SOURCE: Startup America Partnership

Startup America Partnership

November 11, 2011 13:13 ET

Startup Florida Kicks Off With Five Events Across the State During Global Entrepreneurship Week

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - Nov 11, 2011) - Startup Florida, a statewide effort to support entrepreneurs and help startups drive job creation, will officially launch during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with five kickoff events taking place throughout the week. Startup Florida is the fifth regional affiliate collaborating with the Startup America Partnership, the national organization dedicated to helping startups grow in order to jumpstart job creation in the country.

"Florida is a hot bed of startup activity and our entrepreneurs are launching promising high-growth companies all over the state," said Kirstie Chadwick, head of Startup Florida. "Startup Florida provides a collaborative forum for Florida's entrepreneurs to tap into a statewide network of experienced mentors, capital, talent, corporate partners and resources. Startup Florida will be 'led by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs,' so it will also provide a consortium to collectively voice our needs and barriers for growth to regional, state and national policymakers."

By leveraging the Startup America Partnership's national network, Florida's entrepreneurs will gain access to business resources throughout the state and country, enabling them to grow faster, be more competitive and create more jobs. Startup Florida has already started assembling commitments from a wide range of Florida-based companies and organizations to provide assistance to entrepreneurs in the following areas:

  • Expertise: Connect entrepreneurs with training, mentors, advisors and accelerators
  • Services: Provide entrepreneurs access to critical services at reduced costs
  • Talent: Assist entrepreneurs in recruiting and training the people that can help them grow
  • Customers: Help to scale startups through new and existing markets
  • Capital: Highlight sources of capital available to entrepreneurs in various regions and sectors

"As one of the national partners of Startup America, IBM is committed to supporting entrepreneurs in high growth industries and accelerating the innovation ecosystem around the nation," said Claudia Fan Munce, managing director, IBM Venture Capital Group. "Active venture capital investments in Florida have created an exciting climate for entrepreneurs in the state, and we are proud to be a part of the Startup Florida initiative."

The organization has also announced a statewide steering committee, which will guide Startup Florida's efforts. Steering committee members include:

  • Susan Amat, Executive Director, The LaunchPad at Toppel
  • Brian Breslin, Founder, Refresh South Florida
  • Kirstie Chadwick, TRDA Executive In Residence/Managing Partner, Growth Innovators
  • MJ Charmani, Executive Director, IndoUS Chamber of Commerce North East Florida
  • Cari Coats, Executive Director, Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship at Rollins College
  • Maria Hernandez, Director, Business Partner/Mid-market Strategy and Transformation IBM Corp.
  • Linda Olson, Executive Director, Tampa Bay WaVE
  • Erik Sander, Director of Industry Programs, University of Florida College of Engineering
  • Daniel James Scott, Founder, Gazelle Lab (Techstars Affiliate)
  • Jane Teague, Executive Director, Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida

"It's great to see the entrepreneurial leadership in Florida focus on helping startups grow," said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. "We look forward helping take the startup ecosystem to the next level and, in doing so, creating the jobs of the future throughout the state."

Next week's Startup Florida Launch events include:

  • Monday, Nov. 14th, 5:30pm-7:30pm
    Tampa Bay WaVE GEW Kickoff Event, Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16th, 6pm-8:30pm
    High Growth Florida, Storer Auditorium, 5250 University Drive, Coral Gables, FL
  • Thursday, Nov. 17th, 9am-3:30pm
    Gazelle Labs Demo Day, Mahaffey Theater, 400 First Street South, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Friday, Nov. 18th, 7:30am-3:30pm
    2011 Invention 2 Venture Central Florida, University of Central Florida FAIRWINDS Alumni Center, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, FL
  • Friday, Nov. 18th, 2pm-5pm
    Startup Florida, St. Thomas University, 16401 NW 37th Ave, Miami, FL

For more information on all of these events and Startup Florida, please visit

About the 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 effect on job creation and growth. For more information on the Partnership and to register as a Startup America Firm today, visit and follow at and

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