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Sparking Entrepreneurship Through Public/Private Partnerships

Wayne Silby and Mark Beam, Enterprise Innovation Fund

High quality, sustainable job creation is essential to our nation’s economic recovery—and the vast majority of new jobs are created by small businesses and innovative entrepreneurs. That’s why the Enterprise Innovation Fund (EIF), led by SVN members Wayne Silby and Mark Beam, effectively made the case to the White House and government agencies to launch programs that accelerate the supply of equity capital in the impact investing space that ultimately helped influence the launch of “Startup America.” Startup America is a new initiative to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship across the country.

“Startup America” is a public/private effort that brings together the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations and other leaders to work with federal agencies. The government will offer matching capital to help increase the success of American entrepreneurs, create impact and drive job growth to spur economic, social and environmental benefits.

The private sector component of “Startup America” is chaired by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and co- founder and CEO of Revolution LLC. “Startup America” delivers capital and other strategic resources to help entrepreneurs start and scale companies. Major corporations including Google, American Express, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Ernst & Young and others have committed more than $400 million in products, services, mentorship and funds to help accelerate the growth of young businesses.

This corporate support is being leveraged by the federal government for even greater impact. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched two new $1 billion funds for Impact Investment and Early- Stage Innovation. SBA-guaranteed bonds will match private capital raised by these privately-owned and managed investment funds and further catalyze capital support for startups and high-growth firms. EIF collaborated with the SBA to spearhead this landmark investment in our nation’s future.

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