StartItUp is taking Silicon Valley's playbook and adapting it for small businesses
[May 6, 2021: Josh Shavit]
StartItUp, the first mobile-based platform to bring Silicon Valley incubation and entrepreneurial support to 6.5 million yearly small-business startups, officially launched during Small Business Week.
For the first time ever, 30 million mainstreet entrepreneurs will have access to the same type of support and hand-holding that has energized Silicon Valley, finally providing resources to the rest of America.
Entrepreneurs have had to fend for themselves for a long time and often fail to get their businesses up and running due to lack of knowledge or a supportive community. According to the US Census, only 10% of people who apply for an IRS EIN, and intend to start a business, get their business off the ground.
"We set out to overhaul a broken system, and are now honored to be in the right place at the right time to lend a helping hand with the unprecedented surge in business creation that has accompanied Covid," said Goli Ameri, StartItUp CEO.
Covid-era applications increased 24% in 2020 over 2019. The percentage of business launches is likely even higher due to the large number of solopreneurs. Many laid-off and gig-economy workers have taken the self-employment route. Etsy sellers have grown over 62%, and most of Shopify's one million users are first-time entrepreneurs.
StartItUp connects entrepreneurs with the resources, people and expertise they need to turn their passion into profit while avoiding costly mistakes. The company's curated business-planning tools, and a community of fellow go-getters, allow entrepreneurs to spend more time launching and growing their businesses and less time searching for answers.
StartItUp was co-founded by CEO Goli Ameri and Brad King. Their backgrounds bring depth and diversity of experience to solving the global challenge of small-business formation. Ameri has owned a small tech business and served in public office, first as US Assistant Secretary of State and followed by Under Secretary at the International Red Cross with global responsibilities including economic and entrepreneurial development. King has twenty-five years of experience launching successful early-stage companies (Net Effect, iChange, and URB-E among others) and has invested in many more (Baidu, eHarmony).
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StartItUp piloted the first version of its platform in Southern California. "We learned a great deal about the real needs of entrepreneurs from the thousands who downloaded the app, which helped improve our product." said King. "We are passionate about small businesses, who create 50+% of jobs, and believe in an even playing field where good ideas, grit, and determination matter more than a formal education."
Demand for business creation is expected to increase even more in the coming years due to automation. According to the Brookings Institute Hamilton Project, automation has accelerated due to the pandemic, potentially leading to massive losses in large employment, low-wage jobs in retail and food service.