Boom I’ve Got Health Insurance, Thank You Startup America And Cigna

Back in July during one of Tech Cocktail’s legendary mixers in Washington DC, my good friend Scott Case, the founding CTO at and the current CEO of Startup America was speaking. As normal, at the end of his great speech which I remember involved gambling, women and, he had a little Q&A.

I have been a Startup America supporter and Champion since the beginning and am always on listservs, chat rooms, and even here preaching the gospel about Startup America. Well that didn’t sit too well with one woman from Pennsylvania.  We were on the Philly Startup ListServ and I was writing someone about Startup America. Now before Startup PA even opened it’s doors she was all over me about how Startup America gave her no benefit what so ever. Then, she kept on bringing up healthcare like we were talking about Startupacare or Obamacare.

I relayed this conversation during the Q&A with Case and brought the room to great laughter since I did a great impression of the whiney woman on the Philly list serv. But as a Type II diabetic and an entrepreneur since 2003 I was actually curious about the health insurance. Case admitted that while building out regions was Startup America’s focus for the immediate future, there were talks going on about health insurance.

Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and the self employed account for a huge uninsured segment. Truth be told I was looking forward to next year when Obamacare takes over since I couldn’t afford healthcare on my own and 90% of everyone (even Cigna at the time) was either too much or refused me altogether because of the diabetes.

Well low and behold just moments ago I received an email from Donna Harris at the Startup America Partnership announcing an exciting partnership with Cigna for mentorship, education and of course health insurance.

So I quickly glanced over the mentorship and education part, great stuff by the way, and I clickity clicked through to the health insurance part. I filled out the form and within nano seconds I was talking with Shelly from Cigna on the phone. She knew I was signing up via Startup America and BOOM! It’s done** (disclaimer part: of course health insurance is underwritten but I was informed that even with the Type II diabetes the rate she quoted was good). So alas if all goes well Shelly tells me I can go to the doctor for a mere $25 starting next month vs the $85 I have been paying!

In a statement this morning Case said:

“We know how important mentoring, education, and health insurance benefits are to startups, and we’re excited to bring Cigna on board as a new partner to help our members,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “Cigna believes, as we do, that entrepreneurship is a core American value and critical to the country’s long-term economic success.”

The real deal here is that health care, education and insurance is one of the biggest things that hold entrepreneurs back. Healthy entrepreneurs make healthy startups and healthy startups mean more jobs. Really it’s that simple.


Go check out the new partnership with Cigna and sign up for your own insurance here

Sign up for Startup America at here

More Startup America coverage from us here

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Startup America Quarterly Survey Shows Growing Faith In Economy & More

The Startup America Partnership released the results for their first quarterly optimism survey. The survey is being conducted quarterly in conjunction with global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

The survey results from this quarter were released on the heels of two major mini conferences Startup America partnered with StartupRockon to host at the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention. Both events highlighted the role that startups play in the U.S. economy.

The results of the survey echoed the importance and highlighted the resurgence of faith in the US economy from the membership of Startup America.  The fact that so many entrepreneurs have faith in the direction the country is going, restores confidence all around.  Nearly 50% of the survey respondents indicated they were more confident now, about the U.S. economy.

With unemployment at a rate of 8.1% right now in the United States, the most encouraging find in the Optimism Survey was that 85% of Startup America members plan on hiring in the next 12 months. This speaks to the core of the Startup America mission to serve as a resource, and organization for high growth potential startups that will ultimately add more jobs to the economy.

Out of the 85% of Startup America members that said they would be hiring in the next 12 months 42% said they would add between 3-10 employees. 11% said they would hire ten or more employees. This supports data from the Kauffman Foundation that’s said between 1980-2005 companies that were less than five years old accounted for nearly all of the net job growth in the U.S.

“As young companies grow and generate revenue they hire more employees, creating more job opportunities,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “Our members are comprised of amazing startups from every region in the country and we encourage everyone to connect with startups in their local community in order to meet the real heroes of the economy.”

The Optimism survey will be conducted quarterly to have a pulse on where startups stand in regard to the economy.


Startup America Optimism survey page is here

Here’s the PDF with the raw data

Here’s more Startup News from


StartupRockingon With StartupRockon At The DNC


It’s been a festive night in Charlotte North Carolina. While many started partying like a democrat Friday evening, StartupRockon and StarutpAmerica along with MassChallenge have kicked off their presence at the StartupRockon party tonight featuring national recoding act The Roots.

The party has had some great people from startup ecosystems throughout the country, Luke Rafenstahl the Mayor of Pittsburgh is a huge startup advocate and he arrived early for the festivities.

Our awesome social media liaison for the StartupAmerica partnership Anna Eisenberg along with Kathleen Warner the COO of Startup America and the partnerships Communications Director, Chris Roche have been talking innovation all night.

The Publisher of Hypervocal, and founder of StartupRockon, Lee Brenner has done an exceptional job of organizing these events in a short amount of time. Brenner pointed out on stage this evening that this is just the startup of StartupRockon at the Democratic National Convention. More programming including panels with StartupAmerica CEO Scott Case and Huffington Post Publisher Arianna Huffington kick off tomorrow morning.

As for The Roots they’ve been tearing the roof off the mother sucka tonight kicking off the party with a tribute to The Beastie Boys MCA and the godfather of DC GoGo Chuck Brown. A Roots version of Paul Revere complete with vocals from MCA and a mad GoGo swing kicked off their set.

We’ll be here all week reporting all the startup goodness from the must attend political event of the last four years the Democratic National Convention.


More of our DNC 2012 Coverage Here

DNC2012: National Comedian Tone X Needs Help Getting Obama Tickets VIDEO

I remember the feeling like it was yesterday, standing in line at the Obama Inauguration freezing my butt off at 4am on K Street in DC. People everywhere were still looking for tickets to get up close and see Obama get sworn into office. Or perhaps you were looking for an Obama ticket 4 years ago at the DNC.

Well critically acclaimed national comedian ToneX turned to @startuptechguy and @nibletztweets to spread the word. He is a sharp dressed, articulate brother that wants to be in the house Thursday night to see Obama deliver his address to the delegates.

With a plea like this we’re sure if you know someone you’ll help him out. You can tweet to him at @tonexcomedy or just drop us a line at and we can get a message to Tone’s people.

ToneX brought the house down at the PPL headquarters at the Packard building downtown which is serving as our center of operations today for our DNC coverage. We’re headed to the big StartupRockon party next. It’s refreshing to be here. Here’s ToneX is message, and he approved it himself.


More nibletz DNC coverage here


Two Startup Founders Selected To Attend The Kentucky Derby With Scott Case

Scott Case, Startup America, Kentucky Derby, Nibletz, Contest

Two lucky startup founders will join Startup America CEO Scott Case this weekend for the Kentucky Derby

The Startup America partnership recently held a video pitch challenge contest where member company founders could pitch for their chance to win a trip to the world famous Kentucky Derby. The derby is this weekend in Louisville Kentucky and kicks off the coveted Triple Crown of horse racing.

Once in Kentucky the two winners will enjoy spending time with the startup world’s most traveled man, Startup America CEO Scott Case. Ralph Acosta the founder of LA based SkuRun and Andrew Sell, the founder of Ocean NJ based HipCycle were chosen as the winners.

SkuRun delivers sales and marketing content to road warriors in real time. HipCycle offers upcycled home furnishings.

The tickets to the derby were provided by Nucleus: Kentucky’s Life Science and Innovation Center.

In addition to spending time with Scott Case, who was the founding CTO of, they will also spend some time with the Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer. The two winners will also participate in mentoring time with leading entrepreneurs.

The Startup America Partnership is an initiative of the Obama administration. They just recently added their 20th region. Startup Kentucky is just two weeks old. The most recent launch was  Startup Indiana, last week. is a proud member of Startup America


For more information on Startup America visit here


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