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White House Launches Initiative To Encourage Business and Technology Innovation

Business leaders joined administration officials Monday to launch an effort to spur more entrepreneurship and innovation.

The "Startup America" initiative comes in the wake of President Obama's State of the Union speech in which he announced the plan and urged Americans to "win the future" though increased innovation, education and manufacturing.

"Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the belief that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country," Obama said in his speech. "That's why we're launching Startup America, a national campaign to help win the future by knocking down barriers in the path of men and women in every corner of this country hoping to take a chance, follow a dream, and start a business."

Monday's launch event included Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and Karen Mills, administrator of the Small Business Administration, as well as other government officials.

Locke asserted his commitment to ending the backlog of patent applications and streamlining the process to encourage small startups.

The White House also announced increased corporate investment and support for startups from companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Facebook.

Facebook says it will provide new companies with assistance building new apps and incorporating social technology. "We've bet big on startups, especially those who build social into their products from the ground up.," said Facebook's Douglas Purdy in a blog post Monday.

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