Startup America is an organization created to help startups, and it’s funded by the likes of Steve Case (AOL), The Kauffman Foundation, Michael Dell, and many other big names in entrepreneurship. They want to sign up lots of startups, so they reached out to partners like TechStars and Microsoft’s BizSpark to help recruit.
My teammate Brian Gorbett is the Microsoft startup evangelist for my part of the country (Yay Central Region!). Technically, I’m more of a not-yet-huge-software-company evangelist, but my passion is obviously with startups. Brian is the one actually responsible for making sure startups get signed up and get what they need from Microsoft resources (primarily BizSpark).
Recently, Brian started promoting Startup America – and he’s engaged in a challenge with our counterparts in the West and East to see who can do a better job spreading the word about it. If you have a startup with 2 or more people working on it, please sign up using Brian’s link. You’ll get access to some useful tools, and we’ll get to talk smack about the other regions. Win-win. To sweeten the pot, Brian is offering an hour of startup mentorship to anyone who signs up using his link. He’s a smart and helpful guy, so I think that’s a pretty good offer. I hope you take him up on it. Tell him I sent you.
The most interesting part of Startup America’s site to me is their explanation of startup stages and the way they relate it to company size:
- Idea – you’re a single founder
- Startup – 2 or more people … you’ve taken on at least one co-founder
- Rampup – 6 or more people … your company now has employees
- Speedup – 25 or more people … your company is making it big
It’s not a perfect model, but Startup America appears to be focused on startups as a job-creation engine, so it makes sense in that context. They want companies to hire, hire, hire. One implication of this is that they don’t nurture companies at the Idea stage – you have to have at least 2 people to join. I don’t have personal experience with the organization, but it looks interesting, and it doesn’t cost you anything.
If it sounds interesting to you, please sign up using Brian’s link.