SBA Launches Startup America Entrepreneurial Mentor Corps





Washington (PRESS RELEASE – February 22, 2011) – The U.S. Small Business Administration  launched an initiative to mobilize members of the current generation of successful business owners to mentor and support startups and entrepreneurs to help them become the next generation of great American companies.

As part of the White House’s Startup America initiative, the Entrepreneurial Mentor Corps (EMC) is aiming to support more than 1,000 startup and early-stage firms across the country. SBA is partnering with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in identifying organizations and mentoring best practices for the EMC program.

In line with that, today SBA Administrator Karen Mills announced one of the first initiatives of EMC, a pilot program that will match mentors with 100 startups in the clean energy sector.

“Who better for entrepreneurs and startups to learn from than individuals who have been down a similar path before,” Mills said. “Mentors can provide valuable insights critical to their success; from opportunities for financing, advice on hiring to even walking an entrepreneur through steps for taking a product or idea into the commercial market. The Entrepreneurial Mentor Corps will mobilize some of the best and brightest business leaders to help create the opportunities for success, drive innovation and spur job creation across the country.”

Through EMC’s clean energy pilot, four regional “accelerators” will identify and match mentors with 100 clean energy startups, to help them quickly grow their revenue, create jobs, and attract outside financing while avoiding pitfalls that frequently challenge startups. Accelerators are organizations that offer services ranging from mentoring and technical assistance to business guidance and focused networking.

The EMC clean energy pilot is a partnership between SBA, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Initially, eligibility for the clean energy pilot will be limited to startups that have already received funding from either DOE or ARPA-E.

The four accelerators funded in the initial stage of the project include:

  • CleanTech Open (Bay area and New England);
  • CleanTECH San Diego (Southern California and the Southwest);
  • Clean Energy Trust (Midwest); and,
  • Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (Mountain Region).

Going forward, Startup America’s EMC program, through the partnership between SBA and the Kauffman Foundation, will work to create mentoring initiatives across many industry sectors with a target of helping more than 1,000 entrepreneurs annually and build a nationwide network of mentors, accelerators and successful startups.

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Marie Hernan



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  1. It’s the Over-valued U.S. Dollar, Stupid!!!

    Concerns of small-business owners, include shrinking market-share is caused in a large part by a U.S. Dollar that has been kept overvalue by China. Just as most small businesses aren’t looking to export their products; they don’t do the lion’s share of importing, so the benefit of an overvalued U.S. Dollar accrues to the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world. The flip-side of the overvalued U.S. Dollar is the loss of U.S. Jobs, which translated to shrinking markets for all but especially small businesses. Since foreign trading partners hold so many U.S. Dollars they have a vested interest in keeping it overvalued, both to keep their dollar-denominated assets from depreciating and to keep their exports high, to increase their market share.

    The United States’ trade gap is the proverbial “leak-in the-dike” with its de-simulative effect on our recovery. Media coverage that China has kept it currency undervalued is a gross understatement, it has actually been keeping the U.S. dollar over-valued; which adversely affects all U.S. trade with ALL U.S. trading partners, not just trade with China. This overt act, affecting all U.S. trade, is 8 times as damaging to the U.S. economy as what the media refers to as “China keeping it currency undervalued”.

    In November 2003, Warren Buffett in his Fortune, Squanderville versus Thriftville article recommended that America adopt a balanced trade model. The fact that advice advocating balance and sustainability, from a sage the caliber of Warren Buffett, could be virtually ignored for over seven years is unfathomable. Until action is taken on Buffett’s or a similar balanced trade model, America will continue to squander time, treasure and talent in pursuit of an illusionary recovery.

    An Inflation-Neutral Balanced Trade System (BTS), inspired by Warren Buffett’s 2003 Import Certificate Plan is introduced at the top of page 4 of the Pdf, which is available at:

    http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/111/2010Sept15_Campbell_Submission.pdf

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