NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 05/23/13 -- Startup Weekend and the Startup America Partnership announced today that they will join together to create UP Global, a new organization supporting the creation of vibrant entrepreneurial communities around the world. With generous support from The Kauffman Foundation, the Case Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs, Microsoft and The Coca-Cola Company, UP Global will combine the impact and reach of Startup Weekend's action-based programs with the Startup America Partnership's deep expertise in building strong regional ecosystems. UP Global will leverage the strengths of both organizations to build a more comprehensive offering that bolsters entrepreneurial communities across the globe.
"We initially launched the Startup America Partnership as a three-year project focused on jumpstarting the entrepreneurial economy, but as we watched the tremendous momentum that was built through the launch of more than 30 regional ecosystems, we knew there was a need to continue a broader effort to help maximize the success of American startups," says Steve Case, chairman of the Startup America Partnership, who will also join UP Global as chairman of the board. "Partnering with Startup Weekend, an organization that has played a critical role in inspiring and preparing tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, is the perfect solution to continue our mission."
As part of UP Global, the Startup America Partnership will strengthen and expand the first truly national entrepreneurial ecosystem with deep local roots. UP Global will then expand and utilize best practices internationally with the vision of being the single most effective organization supporting entrepreneurial communities across the globe. Both Startup Weekend and the Startup America Partnership will retain their brand names and missions, joining with Startup Digest, NEXT and NYSE Corporate Connections, all closely collaborating with and powered by UP Global.
"Startup Weekend and Startup America Partnership have been among the drivers of a groundswell in grassroots entrepreneurial activity across the nation and around the world," says Tom McDonnell, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "UP Global will enable consolidation and collaboration among community leaders to help entrepreneurs find the local resources they need to get up and going. This combination of two of our key programs is a win for all entrepreneurs."
UP Global will become the first full-spectrum support structure for entrepreneurs, focusing on every aspect of the entrepreneurial journey, from pre-idea through high growth stages. The organization will be grounded in two key pillars: empowering startup champions to deliver action-based learning programs for entrepreneurs, and building local, regional, and national networks between startup champions in order to drive collaboration, sharing of best practices, and celebration of the entrepreneurs at the heart of the movement.
"Startup communities are truly driven by their leaders, and we've shown that we can provide useful tools and frameworks for those leaders to foster sustainable early stage ecosystems, ultimately leading to the creation of more meaningful and persistent firms," says Marc Nager, CEO of UP Global & Startup Weekend.
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