President Barack Obama today plans to host a Town Hall event at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley in a move to help promote entrepreneurship through the new Startup America program. In addition, the program is announcing $400 million in support from a wide array of companies, including Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Intuit, HP and others.
The funds and resources will be used to help finance, mentor and guide entrepreneurs, with Startup America noting that it will aid in fostering a robust “entrepreneurial ecosystem.” The release notes:
Many of today’s best companies started out just as an idea, and with the proper guidance will grow beyond the founders’ wildest dreams. In the future, today’s burgeoning small businesses will become mentors to the next wave of budding startups and the cycle will continue.
The event — which is being live streamed on The White House’s Facebook page — will get going at 1:45 p.m. today. Startup America is somewhat controversial, in part because some have questioned whether it is really government’s role to try to spark innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
Some big names in the tech business obviously disagree with that thesis. Here’s AOL founder Steve Case talking more about the program, which just launched a new Web site and is ramping up efforts to support entrepreneurs.