SOURCE: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

August 23, 2011 14:08 ET

Startup America Partnership Announces All-Entrepreneur Board and Corporate Sponsors

American Express OPEN, Dell, Intuit and Microsoft Sign On as Sponsors

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Aug 23, 2011) - The Startup America Partnership, an organization working to help young companies grow in order to create jobs in America, today announced the appointment of its founding board members, eleven of America's most successful and highly-regarded entrepreneurs. At the first board meeting convened yesterday, members offered strategic guidance to the Partnership on bringing the private sector together to provide startups with the resources they need to start and scale their organizations.

The Partnership also announced that four iconic U.S. corporations have become the organization's first sponsors: American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., and Microsoft Corp. These companies join the founding partners, the Case and Kauffman Foundations, to provide financial support and other strategic resources to help the Partnership maximize the success of America's entrepreneurs, and ultimately strengthen America's competitiveness in an increasingly global world.

In addition to Chairman Steve Case, founding board member Carl J. Schramm and CEO Scott Case, the founding board of the Startup America Partnership includes the following executives, each of whom was the founder of his or her company:

  • Tory Burch, CEO and CCO, Tory Burch LLC
  • Pamela Reilly Contag, CEO, Cygnet Biofuels
  • Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell, Inc.
  • Raul Fernandez, Chairman, ObjectVideo, Inc.
  • Reed Hastings, Chairman, President, and CEO, Netflix, Inc.
  • Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, LinkedIn
  • Magic Johnson, Founder and CEO, Magic Johnson Enterprises
  • Lynn Jurich, President and Co-Founder, SunRun, Inc.
  • Kevin Plank, Chairman, President, and CEO, Under Armour, Inc.
  • Fred Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO, FedEx Corporation
  • Nina Vaca-Humrichouse, CEO, Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc.

"This world-class group of entrepreneurs understands the critical role that new and young businesses play in getting the American economy back on track," said Chairman Steve Case. "Their proven ability to conceptualize and scale companies, including the collective creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, will be invaluable to the Startup America Partnership and the young firms we're trying to help."

"From 1980 to 2005, firms less than five years old were responsible for all net job creation in the U.S.," said Carl J. Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "However, new Kauffman research indicates that in recent years, young companies are starting smaller and staying smaller. This underscores how important this board's job is. These successful entrepreneurs and the Partnership's new sponsors are getting behind what I believe is the most important cause of our time -- reinvigorating the entrepreneurial energy that has grown our economy, expanded human welfare, and served as an example to economies around the world."

The Partnership is focused on bringing together some of the country's most successful organizations to provide valuable resources to young companies with high growth potential. Those resources fall into five key areas that entrepreneurs find critical to success: Talent, Services, Expertise, Customers and Capital. The Partnership is also working on a regional basis to identify and help accelerate entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country. Since launching at the White House in January of this year, the Partnership has announced more than $500 million in private-sector commitments to support startups.

"Our core concentration is to drive job growth in America by helping startups grow," said CEO Scott Case. "By signing on American Express, Dell, Intuit and Microsoft as sponsors -- four organizations that are world-renowned for their innovation and dedication to young companies -- we can make sure that we are completely focused on getting entrepreneurs the tools and resources they need to succeed.

About Startup America Partnership

The Startup America Partnership was launched at the White House in response to President Obama's call to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. The Partnership is bringing together an alliance of major corporations, funders, service providers, mentors and advisors working to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of high-growth enterprises in the U.S. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are founding partners. American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., and Microsoft are sponsors. The Partnership will identify, measure and report on the effectiveness of cross-sector collaboration in support of entrepreneurial ventures and its affect on job creation and growth. For more information on the Partnership, visit and follow at and

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