|President Obama delivers his the State of the Union address.|
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tuesday evening, executives from several big-ticker tech firms met with President Obama to speak about innovation, job creation and Startup America, the President's new entrepreneur-fostering program backed by Hewlett Packard ( HPQ), IBM ( IBM), Intel ( INTC) and Facebook. The initiative is designed to boost innovation and growth among private U.S. businesses by bringing together tech veterans like AOL ( INTC) co-founder Steve Case and CEOs, venture capital firms, universities and foundations.
For tech giants like Intel, which committed $200 million to American technology companies through its Intel Capital investment arm, investing in small business is nothing new. Last year, the fund invested $327 million in 119 companies. But the government's commitment to spur entrepreneurs as a mean of creating jobs is what makes the Startup America initiative different, said Keith Larson, a vice president at Intel Capital. "People are starting to figure out that entrepreneurism is fundamental in helping move us out of an economic crisis," he said. "The fact that the administration picked up on that up and moved the ball forward is a really productive thing." Large corporations have emerged as important sources of funding for start-ups. Last year, corporate venture capital made up 14.3% of all venture investments, up from 13.3% in the prior year, according to the National Venture Capital Association. Read on for profiles of several cutting-edge start-ups that some of tech's biggest names are advising and investing in.