No, America didn’t suffer a breakdown. But according to a “Startup America” campaign launched by the White House to encourage high-growth entrepreneurship in the U.S., it could use a jump-start of entrepreneurial energy. Multiple tech companies will contribute to the campaign but some of the biggest announcements come from IBM, Intel and Techstars, a startup-incubation program.
IBM has announced that it will invest 150$ million in 2011 to fund programs that promote entrepreneurs and new business opportunities in the United States. Intel Capital will commit $200 million of new investment to U.S. companies. Startup accelerator Techstars will launch national startup accelerator network which aims to create 25,000 new jobs by 2015.
Recent research concluded that new companies like high-tech startups create the greatest number of jobs so it’s not surprising that the White House wants to encourage startups.
IBM launched an extensive global entrepreneur program in 2010 providing startups with mentoring and access to IBM research, software and customers. This included the IBM smartcamp competition, won by the San Francisco-based Streetline. IBM will spend $150 million in total on the entrepreneur program in the U.S. this year.
I talked to Mike Riegel, vice president of ISV and developer relations at IBM, about the program. He told me about some new additions to IBM’s entrepreneur program such as establishing centers of excellence on college campuses which produce employees with the skills startups need. IBM is also launching a Skills Tour that will visit 15 universities and bring together students, professors, venture capital and non-profit leaders to discuss the skills needed for leadership jobs in the 21st century. Three local smartcamp competitions are scheduled in the U.S. in 2011.
Startup accelerator and seed investor TechStars launched the Techstars network to connect independently owned and operated startup accelerator programs from dozens of cities across the United States, from Miami to Seattle and Nashville to New Orleans. The network aims to create 25,000 jobs by 2015 with the involvement of 5,000 experienced business leaders and investors as mentors to 6,000 entrepreneurs. Currently there are 16 TechStars Network member organizations across the United States and around the world.
TechStars previously announced an international expansion of its accelerator program from the first location outside the US – Copenhagen – to Madrid, London and Berlin in 2011.