Startup Weekend Launches Startup Foundation Initiative in Partnership with Kauffman Foundation

Contact:
Nicole Provansal, 760-213-0731, Nicole@startupfdn.org, Startup Foundation
Barbara Pruitt, 816-932-1288, bpruitt@kauffman.org, Kauffman Foundation

Board of directors is named to Startup Weekend to help steer mapping and development of regional entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.), Sept. 27, 2011 – Startup Weekend, a global grassroots network of entrepreneurs and leaders, today announced an initiative in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that will lead to the creation of vibrant startup communities in cities across the nation. Called the Startup Foundation, the program is a grassroots initiative that helps cities build and establish ecosystems that will support more high-growth entrepreneurs, startups, and ultimately, jobs.

"We know from our experiences with local Startup Weekends that entrepreneurship is best supported at the grassroots level," said Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend. "The Startup Foundation will ensure that community leaders across the country have a sustainable platform for which to effect real change within their local communities."

Startup Weekends are events in cities around the world where aspiring founders and startup supporters meet to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch companies. With funding from the Kauffman Foundation, the Startup Foundation will focus on researching and mapping the ecosystems of participating cities to identify influential leaders, programs and gaps in community resources; supporting local initiatives that drive the creation of more entrepreneurs, startups, and jobs; and raising funds for local entrepreneurship support initiatives.

The Startup Foundation currently has eight pilot member cities: Boston; Des Moines; Detroit; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York City; Seattle; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Foundation co-founders in each city are mapping their local entrepreneurial ecosystem and interviewing community leaders.

The Startup Foundation already has hosted local startup summits in its eight pilot cities to bring leadership together to discuss their visions for entrepreneurial ecosystems and to identify opportunities and obstacles. These summits have led to the launch of more than 40 new initiatives that directly address community needs and are estimated to support more than 7,200 entrepreneurs, 840 startup teams and 800 jobs.

Startup Weekend also named its board of directors consisting of these entrepreneurship leaders: Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation; Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur, author and entrepreneurship lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University; Greg Gottesman, managing director at Madrona Venture Group; Brad Feld, co-founder of TechStars and managing director of the Foundry Group; Laura McKnight, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; and Nick Seguin, manager of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.

To join the Startup Foundation initiative, a city leader must apply and be accepted to the program. This leader will manage the Startup Foundation's local activities and be required to raise $100,000 in capital dedicated completely to local operations and initiatives. At least 10 additional cities are expected to join the Startup Foundation in the next year.

For more information about the Startup Foundation, to get involved or to contribute to ongoing initiatives, visit: www.StartupFDN.org

About Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship by events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. Startup Weekend has built a network of more than 25,000 alumni, 150 volunteer organizers and 60 trained facilitators spread across more than 175 cities in 100 countries. For more information, visit www.startupweekend.org. @StartupWeekend

Startup Foundation is a major initiative of Startup Weekend that works at a grassroots level to empower community leaders to create and support educational events and activities that foster early-stage startup activities in key local regions. Initial regions include Boston; Des Moines; Detroit; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York City; Seattle; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.