To strengthen global startup ecosystems and catalyze U.S. business expansion in emerging markets, the U.S. Department of State, in close collaboration with leading U.S. startup accelerators, formed StartOpps, a public-private partnership operating at the intersection of the shared goals of top U.S. startup accelerators and the U.S. Department of State. The partnership was created with the objective of amplifying startup opportunities worldwide. Entrepreneurship is a pillar upon which the U.S. leads the world in addressing critical economic, social, and development challenges. The founding partners are Y Combinator , Techstars , Entrepeneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) , and Silicon Valley Group (SVG) Ventures .
Under the purview of StartOpps, the THRIVE Africa Challenge is a partnership between Silicon Valley Group Ventures and the Office of Global Partnerships. The Challenge aims to enable the needed transformations in Africa’s food value chain. It will accomplish this by identifying, promoting, accelerating, and investing in innovative early-stage African startups that are creating new and alternative paths for a more efficient and sustainable global food system.
If your organization wants to explore partnering with the U.S. Department of State on StartOpps email us at Partnerships@state.gov. The network of industry leaders aspires to link solutions and policymakers to global opportunities.
Startups provide much needed innovative and game-changing solutions while driving job growth, creating millions of new jobs a year in the United States alone. Now more than ever, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we see startups emerge and respond to specific crises and problems, new demands, and gaps in the market. By identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, startups generate economic value, create jobs, and accelerate recovery and development.
At the same time, startups are less likely to understand how to easily navigate U.S. and other government resources and international expansion or collaboration. Venture accelerators and ecosystem builders who support startups also have unique barriers to overcome around access to international applicants, local information, markets, and other resources. By offering support through capacity building, technical assistance, and network building, the U.S. Department of State and its partners can help both accelerators and startups engage relevant stakeholders, refine their programs, and then help scale their portfolio companies’ technologies and solutions for greater impact.
The main goal of StartOpps is to build and deploy strategic partnerships between American and global venture accelerators to: foster dialogue through connectivity; promote and facilitate new investments; and foster innovative business models. StartOpps will also explore opportunities for American and global accelerators to engage with the Department to meet the shared mission of a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world through economic statecraft. StartOpps will promote the following 3Cs of engagement to promote global prosperity: Connect, Catalyze, and Collaborate. StartOpps will engage its partners thru the following modalities:
Connect | Connecting the dots
GP and StartOpps partners organize and co-host a series of StartOpps gatherings to train, network, and engage the international startup community. The launch events in September 2020 focused on fundraising, pitching, the health, tech, and ag sectors. Future events will address areas of interest identified by participants. GP also connected accelerator partners and startups to embassy resources overseas.
Catalyze | Facilitating opportunities
GP and our partners will lead a series of regionally-focused virtual delegations to develop collaboration between venture accelerators and investors with countries and regions of interest. These delegations and exchanges seek to provide insight and networks to access U.S. and global markets, highlight potential areas for investment, and inspire collaboration to bring innovations to market.
Collaborate | Supporting innovators
GP will collaborate with serious investors, partner nations and embassies, and policymakers with the goal of offering feedback, support, and opportunities for innovators.
For more information on partnering with State on StartOpps, please contact the Office of the Global Partnerships at Partnerships@state.gov.