Let's Invest in Our Future: Innovation, Infrastructure, Education. Implement the Jobs Act.
We all will hear much about different ways to create jobs, some paths clearly defined and others imagined. We will each decide for ourselves which of the candidates will offer us not only the best vision, but also the practical steps to take to get there.
Maybe it's just my plain vanilla mid-western upbringing that tells me this isn't so hard to do. Maybe it's because I'm a take charge, act not talk person; maybe it's because I am both an entrepreneur and an executive, that I think a modicum of common sense is what is needed here.
I am also a product of the middle class whose only real path to success was through my education, my imagination and my ability to execute. Honestly, these values I believe are basic human values and basic American values. That's why I believe in a strong middle class. I know that for the vast majority of us this is the path forward.
I happen to love entrepreneurship, the quest to build something better, imagine greater and create a future our ancestors could only dream about, and now they are in our grasp.
This is why I am supporting the Jobs Act and the myriad of ways to create jobs in America. Let's get this initiative on a roll. I support StartUp America, an initiative to bring together corporations local and state local governments and entrepreneurs to create companies and new jobs.
According to the Kauffman Foundation that is focused on entrepreneurship, all net new jobs in the past five years have been created by early stage companies. Yes, corporations have increased jobs, but not net new jobs, because corporations both hire and fire people, and the net is no real new jobs created.
I work with many organizations supporting entrepreneurship from incubators to university commercialization offices, to city and state programs to help educate entrepreneurs on the challenges they will face. All give advice on how to build sustainable businesses. There are many points of access and we all need to know more about how to get in the game.
My personal attention is focused most clearly on Springboard Enterprises, a venture catalyst organization that selects, trains and presents women entrepreneurs to raise venture capital. I see with clarity the passion, drive, persistence and innovation these women are bringing to the market. Any serious investor would be wise to get to know them. They are changing the face of American innovation.
Just to prove my point, I'll offer a few benchmarks by which to judge their success. Since Springboard launched in 2000, we have screened over 5,000 companies, selected 503 of them to train. These founders have raised over $5.5 billion dollars, a third have had positive liquidity events, including 10 IPOs. Some of these you know: Zipcar, iRobot and Constant Contact. Some are in biotech, known mainly to those who work in those fields. Eighty percent of our birthed companies are still in business today and importantly they are well on their way to creating 20,000 new jobs.
We need both men and women to be strong members of the entrepreneurial class. StartUp America planned panels on the opportunities for women at both political conventions. Today, I'll be in Charlotte in support of this bi-partisan effort.
Wake up America. The future is within us, now is the time!