[SAN FRANCISCO] An incubator for entrepreneurs flying the colours of the Nasdaq opened in San Francisco on Thursday, promising to strengthen ties between Silicon Valley startups and the electronic exchange.
The nonprofit Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center billed its mission as being a hub where entrepreneurs from all industries can learn to build successful businesses and connect with experts, mentors, backers and more.
Center executive director Nicola Corzine described it as "a landing spot for founders, where they can learn from each other as they move their start-ups through the different challenges and growth stages of the entrepreneurial journey." The 13,000 square foot (1,200 square meter) facility offers free education and training along with mentorship programs created in partnership with the Nasdaq exchange, businesses, and academic institutions, according to the center.
The center has the potential to help the Nasdaq become the preferred exchange where hot startup's go public with offerings of stock.
"Today's launch, which coincides with Nasdaq's 25th anniversary in the Bay Area, opens the doors to opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect with Nasdaq's network of innovative listed companies and their leaders," said Nasdaq vice chairman Bruce Aust, president of the center.
San Francisco and Silicon Valley are home to a broad array of accelerators intended to be supportive campuses for startups, and spots where established companies and investors can get early looks at potentially hot innovations.
The Nasdaq competes with the New York Stock Exchange to be the place where tech companies put their stock on the market.
Nasdaq's reputation took a hit in early 2012 when technical problems caused trouble with the high-profile initial public offering of Facebook shares.