NEW YORK - The New York Stock Exchange and three groups that work to help startups are launching a program designed to help smaller companies create jobs.
The NYSE Big StartUp plans to match young companies and entrepreneurs with larger companies that will mentor them and hopefully sign them up as vendors. The goal is to help smaller companies expand, and in the process create new jobs.
Along with NYSE Euronext, which is the parent of the stock exchange, partners in the program include Accion, a small business lending network; Entrepreneurs' Organization, or EO, a business owners' network; and The Startup America Partnership, a mentoring and advisory group for start-up companies.
The program will be aimed at high-growth companies or young businesses and will seek startups with unique ideas or products, said Scott Case, the CEO of the Startup America Partnership.
"We focus on startups that have invented something that large companies don't know they need yet," Case said.
One part of the program is the Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund that will give loans to startups and monitor how they are used. The fund is beginning with a $1.5 million commitment from the NYSE and it expects to get contributions from other companies, said NYSE Euronext spokesman Rich Adamonis.
In another component of the program, startups can register on an online portal and potentially become vendors to larger companies. The larger businesses would provide advice to and mentor their smaller counterparts, Adamonis said.
Although the program aims to help small businesses create jobs, they are not required to have plans to hire to get money or mentoring from the program, Adamonis said.
Case said the program is also intended to help young companies network with one another.
Mentoring of small businesses is an idea that is gaining more attention in the government as well as the private sector. The NYSE program was announced as the House Small Business Committee considers a bill that would allow the Small Business Administration to oversee 13 existing federal mentorship programs for small businesses. The programs aim to match small businesses that are seeking federal contracts with companies that are established government contractors and therefore know the process.