UM Entrepreneurship Center attends White House meeting

Pictured (l-r) are Scott Case, Startup America; Dr. Susan Amat, The Launch Pad; David Lekach, Dreamwater; Steve Case, The Case Foundation; Albert Santalo, CareCloud; Devon Rifkin, The Great American Hanger Company, and John Duffy, 3C Interactive.

In an early December gathering at the White House, the Startup America Partnership convened its all-entrepreneur board and announced $475 million in new committed resources to help startups scale, pushing the total value of its partner offerings to over $1.2 billion.

The latest round of partner commitments are a direct response to specific requests made by the nearly 2,000 Startup America firms that already have registered with the Partnership since the release of its platform in September.

Dr. Susan Amat, executive director of The Launch Pad at the University of Miami, represented Startup Florida as a regional co-leader.

“Presenting to the administration and the Startup America Board and corporate partners about the activities and opportunities to support entrepreneurs in Florida was an incredible experience,” Amat said. “In taking a leadership role in the state, the reach and resources of The Launch Pad Network will expand to better meet the needs of our students and alumni, and by extension the Florida business community as a whole.”

The Launch Pad, a novel entrepreneurship initiative developed at the University of Miami, helps both students and alumni create new enterprises, with a particular focus on the university’s home in South Florida. These aims are achieved by treating entrepreneurship as a mainstream career, a legitimate way to make a living, and by linking young entrepreneurs to regional commercial and community networks.

Board members, sponsors, regional leaders and entrepreneurs met to discuss how to best utilize these resources and the Partnership’s platform to help startups grow in order to create jobs throughout the country. Joining the board at the White House were representatives from regional initiatives, including Startup Florida, Startup Connecticut, Startup Illinois, Startup Massachusetts and Startup Tennessee.

“The Startup America Partnership is focused on helping young companies grow because with their success come job creation and a stronger American economy,” said Steve Case, chair of the Startup America Partnership. “Our board members are perfect examples of founders who have succeeded in turning their visions into successful, high-growth ventures that employ hundreds of thousands of people.”

According to the Kauffman Foundation, companies less than 5 years old accounted for all of the net job growth in our country between 1980 and 2005. Young firms’ success is often dependent on access to a variety of resources that help them grow. New corporate commitments to the Startup America Partnership support the growth of startups in five key areas: expertise, services, talent, customers and capital.

“With our latest round of partners, we’ve continued to build out the offerings that startups have identified as being crucial to their growth,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “Every startup in the country should register now to utilize these resources and jumpstart their growth.”

Each Startup America Firm has access to a personalized dashboard — their “Growth Kit” — with which they can connect to resources and find the most relevant offerings based on their specific needs, stage of growth, and location. They also have access to an exclusive online community of other founders and startup team members where they can interact with Partnership representatives, share best practices and support their fellow entrepreneurs.

For more information on the Partnership, visit online at www.startupamericapartnership.org.

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