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Top Firms Make New $400 Million Pledge to Startup America

More than 15 of America's marquee corporations and organizations, including American Express, Ernst & Young, Google, HP and Microsoft, have joined together to make a pledge worth more than $400 million to the Startup America Partnership to promote high-growth entrepreneurship across the country.

This new promise of cash, goods and services builds on the earlier commitment of more than $200 million to Startup America made by IBM and Intel and more than 20 other companies.

Startup America, an alliance of major corporations, funders, service providers and mentors, was created to accelerate entrepreneurship . President Obama announced the formation of the group at the White House in January.

"Young businesses have created 40 million jobs over the past 25 years, and the need to create a strong ecosystem for startups in our country is more paramount than ever," said Scott Case, CEO of Startup America . "These new partnerships will help ensure that startups have every best chance to succeed."

The new commitments will help companies at varying levels of the new-business life cycle. In the near future, Startup America will roll out a new free membership program that will allow young companies ranging from Startup (newly created), Rampup (initial growth phase) and Speedup (exponential staff and revenue growth) stages to apply for these resources to help them grow

"We’re gratified by the response we’ve seen from the private sector since launching the Startup America Partnership less than 90 days ago," said Steve Case, chairman of Startup America and co-founder of AOL. "Today's announcement of new commitments highlights the progress we're making to provide entrepreneurs with resources to grow and scale. We’re grateful for the companies that have stepped up to help celebrate and accelerate entrepreneurs and we look forward to adding additional partners in the near future."