WASHINGTON (KCBS/AP) — Three of the nation’s biggest technology companies are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to an initiative backed by President Barack Obama to encourage job creation and economic growth by supporting small businesses.

The program, called the Startup America Partnership, is aimed at helping entrepreneurs start businesses and help them grow. In his State of the Union address last week, the president encouraged such efforts to stimulate the economy.

Several Silicon Valley hi-tech giants are already responding to President Obama’s call to assist entrepreneurs.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“Startup America is a national campaign to win the future by knocking down barriers in the path of men and women in every corner of this country hoping to take a chance, follow a dream, and start a business,” explained White House economic advisor Gene Spirling.

Several big Bay Area businesses are assisting with that effort, including IBM, Intel and Hewlett-Packard.

“The opportunities are massive here,” declared HP Senior Vice President Stephen DeWitt, explaining that the company is prepared to provide relationships, technology and funding to American entrepreneurs who are being measured on a global scale. “You’re having to compete with companies in China and in India, Russia and Brazil and all over the globe. It’s a very different environment and requires a different level of support and we’re ready to do that.”

Intel Corp. said Monday it is giving $200 million to the campaign, while IBM Corp. is investing $150 million.

IBM said its funds will be used in part to help mentor start-up companies, support software developers and expand mentorship programs.

Startup America is an independent private-sector alliance, working with the White House to support entrepreneurial businesses.

It will be chaired by Revolution LLC CEO and AOL Inc. co-founder Steve Case, whose Case Foundation along with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will provide launch funding for the partnership.

The White House is making an effort to move away from the heavy government spending that it relied on to pull the economy out of recession to a business-friendly strategy to make the U.S. more competitive in the global marketplace.

The week, Obama will discuss innovation with technology business leaders on Tuesday.

Kauffman Foundation CEO Carl Schramm will be one of Startup America’s founding board members.

“This partnership will bring together partners from across the private, public and non-profit sectors, working together toward a common goal: supporting the entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of our economy,” Schramm said in a statement.

Also as part of this initiative, the Department of Energy will boost mentorship for cleantech startups.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (5)
  1. Sara Alvarez says:

    Do you think more Fortune 500 Companies participate in the Startup America’s initiative?