Hey, everyone else has received a bail-out, why not the venture capitalist business? Introducing the Start Up America Partnership.
Some sort of consortium organization including Intel (INTL), IBM, HP (HPQ), Facebook (FU), and Google (GOOG) along with some VCs and publishers announced itself on January 31. It claims to be the real-world manifestation of an Obama administration small-business-encouragement program of the same name. Usually these things roll out with hundreds of supporters but the scuttlebutt on the web is that they wanted this to tie to President Obama's Win the Future theme announced January 25.
I think such consortiums are a waste of shareholder money. This is the third or fourth one the Obama administration has hooked up with. But at least in the case of Intel, IBM and HP this does not seem to be a matter of new money but just a continuation of long-time internal venture capital and/or channel building programs. Get enough new companies percolating and they're bound to buy some HP PC/printers and IBM servers/software, all of which include or relate to Intel chips. Google and Facebook weren't clear about what they were doing (but who cares about FU's Russian and other non-US shareholders anyways).
Then you get the ironies of such consortiums.
How come the Start up America consortium has the Jumpstart America Initiative consortium within it? Why couldn't the Jumpstart guys get the White House to give them a separate nod. Must be Republicans? No, they're just Ohioans.
Or how about the fact that the Blackstone Group is not putting any money into this idea. But its charity organization is. That tells me something.
Then there's the fact that four of the members of the consortium have no information about them included on the group's website. Hopefully, those members are not the ones in charge of the consortium's advertising.
-- Dennis Byron
(no financial interest in companies mentioned)