In last week’s State of the Union Address, United States President Barack Obama laid out his plan for America’s future. In it, he declared, “we will do big things.” Among them, a plan for American innovation in which creativity, imagination and free enterprise come together to create new industries and millions of new jobs.

The Rebirth of the American Startup

Today, the administration launched the first of many initiatives focused on innovation. Startup America,as it’s called, is a national campaign to help America achieve goals ofpromoting high-growth entrepreneurship, with initiatives to helpencourage private-sector investment in job-creating startups, accelerateresearch, and address barriers to success for entrepreneurs and smallbusinesses.

The event, at which CMSWire had the privilege ofattending at the White House today, featured a bevy of SeniorAdministration Officials and top American entrepreneurs, including: Gary Locke, Secretary of the Department of Commerce; Karen Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration; Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council; Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; and top entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the country.

Senioradministrators outlined on-going efforts and policy proposals aimed atempowering students, small business owners and inventors to change theworld with their ideas.

Secretary Locke addressed the need foraccelerated patent examinations, while Austan Goolsbee spoke aboutstartups from the perspective of economists, nothing that many of theFortune 500 companies started out their garages, therefore making itcrucial that we foster an entrepreneurial culture.

Citing keypolicy investments, notably the zero capital gains tax, which theadministration aims to make permanent in the proposed budget, GeneSperling highlighted that challenging economic times often become aperfect breeding ground for small business startups and innovation.Secretary of Energy, Dr. Stephen Chu and Karen Mills acknowledged theneed for providing both the tools and funding needed to build theirbusiness, sustain growth and create jobs.

Funding the Future of Small Business

Stepping outside the government liaisons associated with Startup America,Steve Case and Carl Schramm will guide this initiative. Case, bestknown for his founding role in AOL and Schramm, founder of the Kaufman Foundation,which devotes it resources to studying  entrepreneurship, outlinedtheir commitment to small business innovation, citing Kaufman researchthat shows that net job creation is in firms less than 5 years old.

Learning Opportunities

Oncesenior officials and program leaders completed their remarks we heardfrom entrepreneurs who spoke about their experiences navigating thesmall business landscape and the need for more official channels forinvestors and entrepreneurs to connect. The event also provided theopportunity for entrepreneurs present in the audience to share theirsmall business stories and adventures.

From Jennifer Zeszut at Scoutlabs, a social media monitoring company in San Francisco to Kimberly Brown at Amethyst Tecnologiesin Baltimore, to Brent Skoda, a 2010 global student entrepreneur awardrecipient, these leaders spoke about their passion and energy forinnovation, as well as their commitment to helping to build theirbusinesses while helping communities solve problems.

Manycorporations also used Startup America to showcase their own investmentsin entrepreneurs and small businesses. IBM, for instance, announcedthat they will invest $150 million in 2011 to fund programs promotingentrepreneurs and new business opportunities. The program piggybacks onIBM’s existing Global Entrepreneur initiative, which began last year and helped launch more than 500 new businesses focused on green energy, health care and transportation.

Share Your Ideas & Innovations

Eventhough the event didn’t have a clear agenda of the road ahead, it wasclear that they are committed to helping small businesses innovate.Ultimately, they want entrepreneurs, business owners to play an activerole in the conversation. In fact, you can lend your ideas and insightvia Twitter using #startupamerica or by following @startupamerica. We look forward to following their progress throughout the year.