Nasdaq Launches an Entrepreneurial Center to Foster Startups

Nasdaq OMX, which owns the NASDAQ stock market, is trying to bolster its tech offerings by nurturing startups through its new Entrepreneurial Center. This 13,000-square-foot space in San Francisco is designed to help young companies grow and find a community. In the future, Nasdaq may be able to profit from some of these startups when they go public. Currently, Nasdaq faces stiff competition from the New York Stock Exchange in attracting tech companies to the stock market.

news_02_smallAccording to Nasdaq Vice Chairman Bruce E. Aust, the company has always had an interest in fostering startups.

“We see it as a kind of gathering place where you can come if you want to learn more about entrepreneurship,” Aust said in The New York Times. “It’s a way to gather those ideas in one spot.”

The Entrepreneurial Center is an extension of the nonprofit Nasdaq Educational Foundation and it will offer courses, space for meetings and conferences, and other resources to entrepreneurs from all industries.

Nasdaq is hoping that the Entrepreneurial Center will give it some edge against its rival, the New York Stock Exchange. The two stock markets are competing to list the more than 500 private companies. Some of those private companies are huge tech companies worth billions, like Uber, Spotify, and Dropbox.

Since the 1990’s, Nasdaq has traditionally led the tech intial public offerrings. Today, it maintains a narrow lead over the NYSE with 118 tech offerings since 2010 compared to NYSE’s 109. However, NYSE has some of the biggest names in the tech industry, including Twitter and Alibaba.

Alibaba is an e-commerce giant in China and their public offering hit a record $231 billion on the first day of trading. Nasdaq is betting that some of the startups in its own incubator will make a similar splash.