updated 5/3/2011 8:46:27 AM ET 2011-05-03T12:46:27

CASSOPOLIS, Mich., May 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Edward Lowe Foundation today announced its new partnership with The NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation to establish a new research and education institute focusing on job growth and capital access for developing companies in the United States.

The institute, known as the Institute for Exceptional Growth Companies (IEGC), will focus on the relationship between equity funding sources and fast-growing companies. Particular attention will be paid to high-growth companies in the second and third stage of business development, which include companies with 10-99 employees and 100-499 employees respectively.

Among key activities of the IEGC will be to:

  • Create new datasets and use existing data in innovative ways to track exceptional growth companies (EGCs) and better understand their impact on community and economic development. For example, the IEGC will leverage the National Establishment Time Series (NETS), a longitudinal database that tracks the performance of more than 41 million business establishments from 1990 to 2009.
     
  • Establish a concentrated research initiative to examine the performance of EGCs through economic cycles and how they contribute to job creation and economic prosperity. This initiative will be led by Doug Tatum, a nationally recognized entrepreneur, author and advocate for high-growth companies.
     
  • Develop new research and educational tools to help evaluate the important roles that EGCs and equity markets play, such as a website that enables visitors to see these economic contributions of EGCs at the local, state and national levels.

"One of the primary functions of a public marketplace is to enable entrepreneurs to raise both financial and human capital with a public listing," said Bob Greifeld, Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ OMX. "As a driver of our global economy and a key asset to job growth here in the United States, NASDAQ OMX continues to focus on the relationship between equity funding sources and developing companies with research partners like the Edward Lowe Foundation."

"NASDAQ's history of working with entrepreneurial companies and the resources it brings to the table combined with our shared interests and expertise will enable the new institute to have great impact on increasing literacy about financial markets and entrepreneurship," said Mark Lange, executive director at the Edward Lowe Foundation.

"Although entrepreneurship is recognized as critical to our country's economic recovery and growth, there are many misconceptions about entrepreneurs, including how they should be categorized and served," Lange continued. "A better understanding of EGCs' impact on job creation and economic growth — especially those that have received equity financing — would provide valuable insights on how regions can support these important companies."

About the Edward Lowe Foundation: 

Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs, which are delivered nationally through entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth.

For more information about the foundation, visit www.edwardlowe.org or http://www.facebook.com/EdwardLoweFoundation.

About The NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation:

The mission of The NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation is to promote learning about capital formation, financial markets and entrepreneurship through innovative educational programs. It was established in New York City in 1994 and is supported entirely by contributions from The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

About NASDAQ OMX:

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is the world's largest exchange company. It delivers trading, exchange technology and public company services across six continents, with approximately 3,600 listed companies. NASDAQ OMX offers multiple capital raising solutions to companies around the globe, including its U.S. listings market, NASDAQ OMX Nordic, NASDAQ OMX Baltic, NASDAQ OMX First North, and the U.S. 144A sector. The company offers trading across multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and exchange-traded funds. NASDAQ OMX technology supports the operations of over 70 exchanges, clearing organizations and central securities depositories in more than 50 countries.  NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic are not legal entities but describe the common offering from NASDAQ OMX exchanges in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Iceland, Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. For more information about NASDAQ OMX, visit http://www.nasdaqomx.com. Please follow NASDAQ OMX on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/nasdaqomx ) and Twitter ( http://www.twitter.com/nasdaqomx ).

NDAQG

CONTACT: Media Contacts:
         
         Edward Lowe Foundation:
         
         T.J. Becker
         (269) 445-4294
         tjbecker@lowe.org
         
         NASDAQ OMX:
         
         Frank DeMaria
         +1 212 231 5183
         Frank.DeMaria@NASDAQOMX.com
         
         Robert Madden
         +1 212 441 5045
         Robert.Madden@NASDAQOMX.com

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