Microsoft, LinkedIn, Yelp Join NYSE Big StartUp Jobs Growth Initiative

The program calls on the nation’s corporate community to lend experience and resources to startups and small companies.

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Euronext, an operator of financial markets and provider of trading technologies, announced the launch of NYSE Big StartUp, a nationwide jobs-growth initiative to connect young companies and entrepreneurs with corporate America, in collaboration with small business financing company Accion, the Entrepreneurs€™ Organization and The Startup America Partnership.

Online local search company Yelp, social networking site LinkedIn and tech giant Microsoft are among the first corporations to participate in the endeavor.

The program calls on the nation€™s corporate community to lend support, experience and resources to startups and small companies to improve procurement, networking, business development, training, marketing and information sharing. In addition to information and events to be provided as part of the initiative, a microfinance program called the Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund, started with a $1.5 million commitment by NYSE Euronext, will provide small businesses and startups with the capital and support needed to expand their companies. The program helps promote the increased demand for goods and services that these growing companies need, while also mobilizing the corporate sector to contribute knowledge, expertise and funding where it can be critical to job creation.

€œAmerica is looking for ways to create jobs, and we believe part of the answer lies in nurturing the small business community,€ said Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext. €œWe are calling on established companies to direct their purchasing power to small companies. In addition, we are launching new training, mentoring and education programs for entrepreneurs, as well as the Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund to help ensure that capital is available to those least able to access it from traditional sources.€

Yelp said it would leverage platform insights and marketing best practices to develop programs that help local businesses engage in an online dialog with their consumers, and provide companies with practical mentoring and networking opportunities. "Helping businesses understand and take advantage of these opportunities to interact with existing and potential customers is an important part of our business education programs,€ said Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO of Yelp.

LinkedIn intends to create a group for Big StartUp that will enable participants to connect with one another, engage in online conversations, encourage companies to form their own groups to connect with startups and entrepreneurs, and share insights and advice throughout the LinkedIn community. Microsoft€™s BizSpark program helps software startups succeed, and boasts more than 45,000 startups from 100 countries in the program, plus a global network of 2,300 BizSpark partners. At no cost, the program provides a wide range of Microsoft technology, technical and business expertise, and enhanced market visibility.

€œStartups are incredibly vital to a vibrant economy and very fragile. Through the Microsoft BizSpark program, we work with thousands of startups to help them grow their businesses by providing access to technology, market visibility, mentoring and inclusion in the growing BizSpark entrepreneurial community,€ said Dan€™l Lewin, corporate vice president of strategic and emerging business development at Microsoft.