NYSE visits EC to launch platform linking start-ups to large corporations

Nashville chosen as beta site because of health care prowess

Representatives from the NYSE Euronext stock exchange, the NYSE Big Start Up initiative and Startup America this week gathered at Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center to unveil a new online platform that helps start-ups develop relationships with corporate partners.

“We were given a chance to get a little ahead of the rest of the country with this launch,” said Michael Burcham, president and CEO of the EC. “Think of the platform like a Match.com for start-ups and corporations.”

Burcham said Tuesday’s event was geared to help Nashville’s health care companies connect with established publicly traded companies.

“They wanted to focus on one specific industry as kind of Beta test, and they felt that Nashville really stood out because of its health care community,” Burcham said, adding he expects at least 50 local companies to participate.

The NYSE's Corporate Connections platform allows start-ups to develop partnerships, mentoring relationships, client and vendor relationships and licensing opportunities. Since major corporations are active in the platform, leaders of young ventures get direct access to executives for increased collaboration and long-term relationship building.

On a related note, NYSE Big StartUp on Wednesday launched a nationwide jobs-growth initiative co-sponsored by micro-financing network ACCION, Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Startup America Partnership, a nonprofit alliance of corporations, funders, service providers, mentors and advisors.

In a release, backers of the initiative say they are asking the nation’s corporate community to lend support, experience and resources to start-ups and small companies to improve procurement, networking, business development, training, marketing and information sharing. Organizers are looking for corporations to contribute between $10,000 and $50,000 to the NYSE Jobs Growth Fund. Contributors will receive access to the Corporate Connections platform, which includes a network of more than 15,000 potential small business partners and access to a social media community on LinkedIn, Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare and YouTube.