The New York Stock Exchange is teaming up with The Startup America Partnership, the national campaign that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship; to launch an initiative to fund, mentor and promote startups across America. Startups can apply to receive mentorship and advice from NYSE’s listed companies through the program, and the NYSE will also be partnering with microfinance organization Accion, to provide $1.5 million in working capital for small businesses and startups to grow.
The NYSE ‘Big StartUp’ initiative will provide chosen startups with “live” and “virtual” events, learning and mentoring experiences, conferences and roundtables, webcasts, and relationship-building opportunities.
The partnership with Accion will loan (not fund) money to startups who need working capital to grow. As Scott Cutler, Executive Vice President and Co-Head of U.S. Listings and Cash Execution at the NYSE explains, ” Access to capital is important to all companies and as an exchange, we tend to be involved at the point when companies are accessing public capital, but we also want to make sure that we are creating foundations for small companies to grow and become public companies one day.”
Cutler adds that the NYSE will be leveraging public company relationships and calling on the corporate community to mentor these small businesses and startups. One recently public company, Yelp, which listed on the NYSE a few weeks ago, will be working with the exchange to help small local businesses chosen in the program with mentorship, marketing advice and more.
Startup America is chaired by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL (and disclosure: TechCrunch parent).