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IN, NE, and NYC To Provide Hands-On Entrepreneurial Assistance

March 09, 2011

With the number of startups on the rise, several states and cities are reaching out to entrepreneurs to connect them with the assistance and capital they need to survive.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has launched a new initiative to connect entrepreneurs to sources of early stage capital. The INVEST Indiana initiative will use the resources of Indiana's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund to build a statewide network of entrepreneurs, private sector investors and regional stakeholders. This public-private network will provide new ventures with access to experienced entrepreneurs and will actively seek out new, non-traditional sources of capital.

A new nonprofit, Elevate Ventures, has been commissioned to engage investors and work with regional stakeholders. The group hopes to attract federal and private funding to develop regional entrepreneurial action plans across the state.

Find out more about INVEST Indiana at: http://www.in.gov/portal/news_events/67630.htm.

Governor Dave Heineman recently announced a new partnership to provide the state's entrepreneurs with experienced mentors and business development assistance. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development, The Gallup Organization, the Greater Omaha Chamber and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources together are contributing $1 million to the Entrepreneur Acceleration System, which will train and certify mentors. These mentors will be matched with entrepreneurs and small business owners in key, high-growth industries.

The governor's announcement estimates that the program could help up to 400 Nebraska businesses over the next two years. The first class of 27 business and academic mentors is already in the process of certification. Entrepreneurs will be able to participate free, though mentors will be compensated. Gallup will help track the performance of the participating firms for up to two years after they complete the program to help gauge the effectiveness of the mentoring services.

Read about the Nebraska Entrepreneur Acceleration System at: http://omahachamber.org/pdf/Gov.HeinemanAnnouncesNewSmallBusinessMentoringInitiative.pdf.

New York City
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has introduced three new measures to encourage immigrant entrepreneurship. A new business plan competition will award $25,000 to five pilot plans to help assist immigrant entrepreneurs. One of those plans will be awarded an additional $100,000 to expand the program. The free NYC Business Solution courses given by the Department of Small Business Services will now be offered in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Russian. Community-based partners will help provide space and instructors. Also a new business expo will showcase locally-based immigrant food manufacturing businesses to connect consumers and distributors around the country.

In 2010, almost 30 percent of all new U.S. entrepreneurs were immigrants, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.

Read the announcement at: http://www.nycedc.com/PressRoom/PressReleases/Pages/MayorBloombergAnnouncesThreeNewSteps.aspx

Indiana, Nebraska, New York