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New JumpStart America Initiative Aligns With the Startup America Partnership to Accelerate Entrepreneurship Nationally

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Leveraging partnerships & best practices from Ohio regional work and the Ohio Third Frontier are key to success

CLEVELAND, Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — JumpStart Inc., a nationally recognized non-profit venture development organization based in Cleveland, announces the creation of a new national initiative, JumpStart America. JumpStart America will focus on building robust public, private and philanthropic partnerships across the country with the goal of aggregating over $2 billion in total funding to create or accelerate regionally-based innovation and entrepreneurship programs. It will also serve as a national center for public policies and programmatic best practices that support high growth entrepreneurship. These efforts will accelerate the economic impact of 100,000 new and existing firms across the U.S. and create hundreds of thousands of new private sector jobs.

JumpStart America is one of the first implementation partners of the newly-announced Startup America Partnership, a national non-profit alliance of top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, CEOs, university presidents, foundations and other business leaders joining together to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of innovative, high growth U.S. startups. The Startup America Partnership is a response to the White House’s call to action via its Startup America initiative. The Startup America initiative was announced today by members of the Obama Administration’s Cabinet including Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council; U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke; and Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Karen Gordon Mills.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, founded in Akron, OH and currently headquartered in Miami, FL, is one of JumpStart’s partners in its expanding national activity.  “Knight Foundation’s partnership with JumpStart in six economically challenged Knight Communities in the upper Midwest has proven that business leadership and communities need to engage with one another in consensus-driven, bottom-up collaboration to arrive at a strategy for creating jobs that’s both workable and sustainable,” said Alberto Ibarguen, the foundation’s president.

JumpStart America will be a separate 501(c)3 organization from JumpStart Inc. but co-located and headquartered in Northeast Ohio. It will be governed by an independent Board of Directors, comprised of local, regional and national representatives, anticipated to be announced in the spring of 2011. Ray Leach, JumpStart Inc.’s current CEO, will lead both organizations going forward.

“Being selected as one of the first implementation partners of the Startup America Partnership reflects the recognition on the part of national policy makers that the high growth entrepreneurial activity occurring across Ohio – achieved because of the enormous support from the funding programs of Ohio Third Frontier – is needed across the country,” said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. He continued, “With JumpStart America’s role securing and aggregating national resources, the stories of Ohio entrepreneurial companies and outcomes of Ohio Third Frontier will become even more visible, continuing to establish Ohio as a national leader in programmatic approaches to building to a technology and innovation economy.”

“We are proud to partner with JumpStart’s efforts in Northeast Ohio via the state’s Third Frontier effort and are encouraged by the potential it holds to accelerate entrepreneurial companies to help create jobs,” said Mark Kvamme, Director of the Ohio Department of Development.

More information on JumpStart America is available at www.jumpstartamerica.org. Information on JumpStart Inc. is available at www.jumpstartinc.org or via Twitter at @jumpstartinc.

About JumpStart Inc.

JumpStart Inc. is a nationally recognized non-profit transforming the economic impact of entrepreneurial ventures and the ecosystems supporting their growth. JumpStart’s primary service is intensive entrepreneurial development assistance delivered to Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs leading high potential, early-stage companies. JumpStart also supports the growth and strengthening of Northeast Ohio’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem by securing a continuous stream of resources for entrepreneurs. In doing this work, JumpStart focuses on economic inclusion and activities that increase the success of minority and women entrepreneurs in growing high impact companies. As Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial landscape continues to transform, JumpStart collaborates with community and regional leaders nationally to support the startup and development of high growth businesses that have a significant and sustainable impact on the economy.

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