Tech giants, VCs look to help startups with new White House initiative

Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Facebook are among the technology companies joining a new initiative from President Barack Obama to encourage entrepreneurship. The companies are part of a multi-sector pledge to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to high-growth industries of clean energy, medicine, advanced manufacturing, information technology and other fields.

Dubbed the StartUP America Partnership, the group is a coordinated public/private effort that brings together an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders, who will work in concert with a wide-range of federal agencies to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of American entrepreneurs.

Intel Capital has pledged to commit $200 million for new US companies, and IBM officials investing $150 million in 2011 for programs that promote new business opportunities through StartUP. HP will invest more than $4 million this year into its educational and technology outreach aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners, called HP LIFE. Facebook, meanwhile, will set up a series of events, called Startup Days, to provide entrepreneurs with access to expertise, resources and engineers to help accelerate their businesses.

“The investment will help us greatly expand the work we’re doing to build business skills and provide market opportunities for the most innovative new companies in the country,” said James Corgel, General Manager of IBM Developer and Academic Relations, in a statement. “These start-ups are tackling some of the country’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.”

StartUP America Partnership will be run by AOL Inc. co-founder Steve Case and Carl Schramm, the chief executive of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will join its board. Other participants include Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Ernst & Young LLP, JumpStart Inc., MassChallenge and TechStars.