Downturn Spurs Proactive Ingenuity
One could argue that the recession has inspired many people to reinvent their careers and seek new possibilities. The Foundation for Job Creation is one of the phoenixes that has risen from the ashes of the current economy.
Founded by inventor and entrepreneur Mark Nejmeh, attorney Francis X. Taney Jr., and businessman James Flattery, the purpose of the non-profit corporation is to “support ideas, innovations, and concepts through development and into prototype.”
Says Nejmeh, “We can no longer ignore ideas that are born in unexpected places…This new Foundation must mine the brilliance of the ‘can do, will do’ modern American scientists, creative minds, and entrepreneurs in garages, basements, and elsewhere.”
The industries of focus for the Foundation are entertainment, biotechnology, renewable energy, and any type of high- or low-tech industry. All development projects must create jobs and profit, as well as be strong candidates for export outside the U.S.
The foundation is open for various forms of membership, ranging from volunteer status (at no cost) to lifetime membership at $25,000. General annual membership amounts to $175 with significant discounts for those who are retired, serving in the military, students, or educators. A key benefit of being a member includes the right to vote on development of technology and the allocation of funds.
Some of the organization’s plans include creating three to five think tank-like facilities across the U.S. as well as one laboratory and prototyping facility, all open for member use by mid-2010. Anyone is allowed to apply for assistance with intellectual property protection, engineering software, business plan software, website development, branding, engineering services for assisting in concept and prototype design, and professional business mentoring and prototype production at these service centers.
The first fundraiser for the Foundation, Lift America Up, is slated for November 2009, and is a national bench press contest that is open to all individuals as well as schools, gyms, and military bases. A $5000 prize will go to the gym, school, or military base that cumulatively lifts the most weight among all the registered participants. Individual prizes of $1500 are also available.