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The Case Triple Threat Steve Case, Jean Case, Scott Case Speak At Startup America Summit

Steve Case,Scott Case,Jean Case,Startup America,startup,startups,Startup America SummitStartup America is holding their fourth quarterly “regions summit” in Chicago Illinois at 1871. The summit brings together nearly 150 regional Startup America influencers, commonly known around these parts as “Champions”.

Startup America champions from as far away as Puerto Rico arrived in the windy city last night for this three day conference meant to bring together regional startup leaders to share best practices, triumphs and even failures that each region can learn from.

To kick off the summit attendees were treated with a Case Triple Threat. Startup America CEO (and founding CTO of Priceline.com), Scott Case, kicked off the festivities. Case and Startup America’s Donna Harris have been busy over the last year flying around the country helping to launch Startup America regions. Scott Case (not related to the other two Cases) spoke briefly welcoming everyone to the event.

The first talk of the morning was a fireside chat between Harris and Startup America Chairman, and AOL Founder, Steve Case .Case has been traveling the country on his own talking to startup and entrepreneur communities throughout the United States. At one point Case pointed out, if you make great products no one cares where you’re from.

Case is no stranger to starting a company and raising money outside Silicon Valley. He’s started companies in Detroit Michigan before, but of course he’s most known for his little internet startup that launched out of Tyson’s Corner Virginia (a DC suburb) before anyone even knew what the internet was. Case told the familiar story of how no one really understood the internet back than and how it was just for a “bunch of geeks”.

Steve also brought home the point that Startup America, in it’s current form, is on a SWAT team mission to launch regions across the country over the next three years, and build growth within the organization. However the mission for Startup America is to have the regions function independently during that time. After that, the Startup America national office will function more as a support piece rather than a mouth piece.

The work the team at Startup America has done is nothing short of greatness though. With the addition of Startup Utah, just yesterday there are now 30 Startup America regional partners.

The third case of the morning was just before lunch. That’s when Case Foundation CEO and Steve’s wife, Jean Case came and spoke about her fearless movement within the Case foundation. The foundation just launched an initiative across the country looking for fearless people who will be the cornerstone of startups, and the economy to come.

Check out our video of Steve Case wrapping up his fireside chat with Harris below:

Linkage:

Check out Startup America here

Here’s nibletz’ coverage of Startup America here

You should be here, Scott Case will!

  • http://chuckblakeman.com Chuck Blakeman

    “The work the team at Startup America has done is nothing short of greatness though.”

    This is not a defensible statement in any way, and amounts to nothing but naked and unwarranted cheer leading. You would need to cite quite a few facts to make such a statement believable.

    Here’s some facts to the contrary:

    1) In the following article http://buswk.co/VRZdRa, Case puts forth the objective of having 100,000 businesses signed up by last April, 2012. I believe they were around 3,500 at that time, and they just hit 10,000 in the last couple weeks. At that pace it will be three years before they reach their first 12-month objective.

    2) The same article has Case promising to release data by the summer of 2012 on how the startups associated with Startup America are doing. I don’t believe any data has been released. http://buswk.co/VRZdRa

    3)In the following article, Case says that in the long-term, they will measure their success by answering this question about their startup projects, “Do they grow faster than the typical organizations?” http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/after-a-year-startup-america-gets-started/

    This is not a reasonable measure of success. Startup America is intentionally sifting through the 600,000 startups each year to find the few hundred to a thousand that might some day fit the “high-growth” model. Less than 00.06% of startups have a chance of fitting this model. If that is their singular focus, finding those few high-growth freaks, it is a given that they should grow much faster than the 99.94% they sifted out of their model.

    4) Finally, Startup America is relying on Kauffman research from November 2009 – http://bit.ly/ThNnJS – to claim that all net job growth comes from high-growth startups. The problem is that in July 2010, Kauffman – http://bit.ly/USghla – finished a further study on this same data and concluded that all net job growth comes from ALL businesses in their first year of business, and that businesses over 1 year old are “net job destroyers”. Startup America defines a “startup” as being up to 12 years old.

    99.94% of startups each year will never have more than 20 employees (US Census Data), and it is these startups, which will all be small businesses, that are responsible for 99.94% of new jobs. Ignoring the newer, better Kauffman data, Startup America has said repeatedly that they are not focused in any way on helping these small businesses be successful.

    None of this supports that statement that what “Startup America has done is nothing short of greatness.”

    Activity does not equate to results. Propping up a lot of regional organizations doesn’t equate to having produced hundreds, thousands or the millions of jobs we need. If Startup America had any data to support their very loud claims that they were creating jobs, it would be all the news.

    The fact that all the focus is on how many regional Startup America locations there are instead of how few companies are joining and how few jobs are being created, should tell you nothing great has happened here.

  • Kyle

    You bring up some interesting points. I wish I would have scene this comment before leaving the Startup America Regions summit. I would have asked for some answers personally.

    I am definitely a Startup America supporter/cheerleader and as a startup founder with 2 successful exits in the last decade, I do think the work they are doing at mobilizing startups is great. I would like to see how the startups are faring as well.

    One thing that you are incorrect in is that they are sifting through startups to find the best ones. Any startup can sign up, period. No startup is denied. The growth in some eyes may be rather slow which was one of the topics the two day summit focused on. However at the pace they are going at now, we can reasonably expect 12,000 startups by January 2013 which would have been 5x growth year over year.

    Startup America is free to join. Their funding is coming from the private sector. So where is your concern coming from?

    I would be more concerned with state and federal EDA’s that are backing similar causes with less results.

    And I’m always open to spirited, well thought out, non attacking debates, so i wholeheartedly thank you for bringing this up.

    Kyle