Australian software firm LeadMaster has pledged $36 million-worth of support to Startup America, but has downplayed the prospect of similar backing for start-ups in Australia.
The company says it will provide CRM licences worth $36 million over the next year to more than 10,000 small businesses involved in the Startup America program.
The licences will provide US start-ups with a cloud-based sales and marketing platform that will help them grow their businesses.
“By helping to jumpstart entrepreneurs, LeadMaster believes that Startup America Firms will need to hire more people to support their growth, thereby supporting the initiative to create high quality jobs in America,” LeadMaster said in a statement.
Startup America is a major entrepreneurship drive launched by the Obama administration. It has been backed by partners including IBM, Google and Facebook.
The program aims to boost start-ups, as well as the ailing US economy, by providing funding and mentorship to promising young ventures.
LeadMaster, which has expanded beyond its Sydney base to become a global company, denies that it is getting involved in the program as a marketing exercise.
“It’s a very good initiative and we want to help businesses in the US, as they are struggling at the moment,” says a spokeswoman.
“We want to promote and help small organisations, as larger companies won’t do it. We are still an SME ourselves but we can help others.”
“If the economy improves, that helps us, so it’s a win/win.”
However, start-ups in Australia won’t be getting a similar leg-up, at least in the foreseeable future.
“We are happy to help small businesses in Australia, but the economy is very good here,” said the company spokeswoman. “It’s not to say we won’t do anything in the future, but businesses in the US need that help at the moment.”