Startup America Partnership Using S.CO

Startup America is a privately funded, highly touted organization with three goals: “Provide valuable resources and connections to help young companies grow. Support regional startup ecosystems throughout the country. Recognize startups as the drivers of our economy and their founders as American heroes.

The organization, chaired and co-founded by America Online founder Steve Case, is sponsored by heavy hitting companies and organizations like The Case Foundation, American Express, Dell, Intuit, and Microsoft. According to the organization’s website, it has put together over $1 billion in financial commitments to support the growth of startup companies and entrepreneurs in the United States.

It was just announced that the organization is moving from its long, domain name to the far more memorable and manageable S.CO. Terms of the deal were not released, but ownership of S.CO is still in the name of the .CO Registry, so it may not have been bought by the organization.

Press Release below

Washington, DC – Feb. 2, 2012–The Startup America Partnership today announced that it has rebranded from to the short, memorable web address, making it easier than ever for startups to find the site, register, and access more than $1.2 Billion in partner offerings focused on helping them grow. Thanks to a new partnership with .CO Internet, registered Startup America firms can now also acquire their very own .CO domain name at no cost for one full year.

“Being able to build a business on a simple, meaningful domain name that people can remember is so important for young companies and we’re excited to now offer that opportunity to our startups through our partnership with the .CO team,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “I’m also personally looking forward to saving millions of keystrokes per year with our new web address!”

The .CO web address has been attracting the attention of the startup community, with more than 1 million .CO web addresses registered in the year since its launch. In rebranding to, the Startup America Partnership joins the ranks of other leading organizations that are using .CO domain names to more easily connect with their audiences, including Twitter (, Angel List (, The Founder Institute (, Om Malik (, and 500 Startups (, among others.

“As a startup ourselves, we’re incredibly inspired by the work that the Startup America Partnership is doing to help young companies to grow – giving entrepreneurs the tools they need to drive the economy forward,” said Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .CO Internet. “By giving our fellow startups free access to their perfect .CO domain names, we hope to inspire the world’s next generation of great businesses to build the future online.”

Earlier this week, the Startup America Partnership celebrated its one year anniversary as fourteen Startup Regions across the country hosted events to celebrate entrepreneurs and highlight local startups. Young companies in these regions and throughout the United States should register now in order to access a personalized online dashboard, with which they can connect to resources and find the most relevant offerings based on their specific needs, stage of growth, and location. They also have access to an exclusive online community of other founders and startup team members where they can interact with Partnership representatives, share best practices and support their fellow entrepreneurs.

Whether upgrading from an existing web address or starting an online presence from scratch, effective today, Startup America Firms will also have access to register a free .CO domain name for one year.

For more information about the Startup America Partnership, please visit

About the Startup America Partnership

The Startup America Partnership was launched at the White House in response to President Obama’s call to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. The Partnership is bringing together an alliance of major corporations, funders, service providers, mentors and advisors working to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of high-growth enterprises in the U.S. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are founding partners. American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., and Microsoft are sponsors. The Partnership will identify, measure and report on the effectiveness of cross-sector collaboration in support of entrepreneurial ventures and its effect on job creation and growth.For more information on the Partnership, visit and follow us at and

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. @Elliot

    “The organization is moving from its long, domain name to the far more manageable S.CO”

    You said it. That’s a nice upgrade for sure.

  2. I think the best thing about this for people who invest in .CO is that this organization will be using the domain name for its website and not simply as a shortener. I think that means quite a bit.

  3. I agree. I also think that the buzz of “extremely short shorteners” has been declining lately and there will never be other one-letter .CO domains “wasted” for that purpose.

  4. Here’s another way to look at it – It is upatriotic and a shame that an organization named “Startup America Partnership” decided to use a .CO web address, the country code for Columbia, rather than a .US domain the country code of United States of America.

    It is probably just the domain extension flavor of the day buzz. If this organization formed back when .us was introduced, it probably would have gone that way. Surpised they didn’t forego any domain and do the route. … Ahhh …. except maybe “SAP.ext” was a tough one to get. Always interesting.

  5. Supposedly they are offering as email to their members. If so, their members will very soon find out that they are missing out on majority of their incoming emails (excluding email replies) as most people who send them emails to these emails will mistype the emails and will get back “email undeliverable” messages. Most of those will then just assume the person lost their email and is out of biz.

  6. FAIL.

    They should read about

    They can’t buy a domain like or How about .net .org .biz???

    What the hell does mean to anyone?

    Certainly NOT memorable or good for search engines.

  7. I hadn’t noticed they will be donating .CO domains to registered startups! At this point, even if S.CO has been given for free to SAP (which was probably the case), that would still be a smart move from the Registry!

  8. @ Joe

    I would not say smart move but rather last chance to do anything.

    Take a look at .Co Registry website. They recently just wrote junk info e.g. someone put .co label on the car or they wrote article about site where you can find 2 page disgusting website built in godaddy website tonight – I could build better site in less than 5 min using WP.
    Also, .co registry traffic website is going down not to mention about their domains at or .co after-market condition.

  9. @Peter

    I fully agree with you, the promotion on the Registry’s part has been almost nonexistent lately. Nonetheless the numbers are not bad at all (1.1 million total registrations at just 18 months from launch).

  10. I just had a chance to view the premium domains on

    and I think the pricing on these premium domains are spot on.

    I see all the dozens of LLL.Co s listed for either $15,000 or $20,000

    these pricings are spot on.

    If there is anything we can take away from Mike Mann, Rick Schiling, and Elliot is the danger of selling too cheap. Let the buyers come to us.

    You are definitely never going to get $100,000 for or $450,000 for or $1,000,000 for if you are going to accept the first $1,000 that they offer.

    LLL.Co s are priced just right in the $20k range.

  11. Certainly a better name than they WERE using, but surprising given what Overture went through. I agree with Rob that they should have just bought a more descriptive but shorter .com or .org.

    • @ Steve and Rob

      Overstock and Startup America Partnership (SAP) have a much different audience. Overstock caters to shoppers and it likely skews to female bargain shoppers that aren’t necessarily the most Internet savvy people. It’s likely stay at home moms and older ladies in the 35 – 50 range (just a guess).

      SAP likely skews to younger entrepreneurial and Internet savvy people who see other startups buying and successfully using non .com domain names. There will be much better recognition to the right of the dot with the SAP audience than the Overstock audience.

      SAP is very social media and Internet marketing savvy – just look at Mr. Case and his foundation’s social media marketing strategy and team. They know what they are doing.

      I think if any organization can make .CO work for them, it’s SAP. Sure, Overstock’s reach was far greater, but the target audience for SAP is far more Internet savvy and understands that .CO is not a typo.

      With all due respect to Rob and Steve, the team at SAP knows far more about their audience and market knowledge than any of us, so it’s kind of silly for anyone to chastise them without that knowledge.

      Of course, time will certainly tell, and if we see S.CO being forwarded to or, we will know this didn’t work out for the best for them.

  12. Well, it certainly is a polarizing topic. I knew I could come here for comments like Peter’s and R Cline’s coming from diametrically opposite ends of the spectrum. I get a few inquiries a week for my .co’s and am selling them regularly enough to make it worthwhile. I don’t think you will move many if you follow Cline’s advice and shoot for 20k for every but it’s not crazy that you could find one. I sold for 15k (not boasting, just making a point from experience) so I know it’s possible. Having said that, that was far and away the biggest sale I’ve ever had. A lot of people will however spend between $700 and $2000 on a very good .co domain. That’s f&*$ng great if you bought it for reg. fee! Proper names, one word brandables or are pretty good bets and definitely keepers. I also have a lot that I can’t give away 🙂

  13. @ Eliott

    I don’t think it was necessarily a bad choice, especially compared to what they were using, just that it wasn’t the best choice. I’m not sure why you would completely write off the Overstock experience – they sell the stuff men buy too (electronics, office items, etc.) and they branded the stadium where the Oakland Raiders play – I can’t imagine that was targeted to older stay-at-home ladies.

    Anyways, my criticism of the domain they chose is as much about the use of a short non-descriptive URL as it is about use of .co. I might have been less skeptical about it if they used or even vs. I don’t think would prove to be more memorable than the descriptive names for what they’re doing with it. I think even most of their audience would sooner expect a URL shortener or a brand on that domain vs. an organization helping startups. Maybe to us it would be more memorable because we in the domain business go gaga over really short domains, but I’m not sure it would be the case to their audience.

    We’ll see though. Granted I’m not a fan of the .co extension, but trying to look objectively at it, I don’t think it’s really cases like this or that will help the .co extension but cases of more accessible .co domains being used and becoming popular. New startups won’t all have 6+ figures to blow on a single-letter .co, and they’re only 26 of them after all. It IS still early for .co but they’ve also had over a million registrations – there needs to start being some more success stories other than single-letter .co domains out of those million+ registrations or it’s going to get lost in a sea of non .com TLDs once new TLDs come out.

  14. They are certainly lowering the bar as to whom they will give one letter domains to. Would consider this a negative for the extension.

  15. The decision is terrible for Startup America – building a semi-political site on a Colombian TLD simple makes no sense. It’s hard to say you’re committed to a Build American initiative when you entire site and program starts on the ccTLD for Colombia.

    As far as support goes:.

    Techcrunch is a biased article.. it’s like you saying you think Elliot’s Blog is pretty darned awesome. While I might agree I think I’d ask someone else for an opinion if I was interested.

    I also think-and I have not done much research – that it’s fairer to say that Obama is supporting “Startup America” and related Legislation – and that StartupAmericaPartnership is a non government organization and commitment by a private group related to that initiative.

    They aren’t the same thing.

  16. @ unknown

    I pasted the first few links from reputable sources I found, so TC may be biased, but it was to give more information about SAP.

    I have not done a whole lot of research either, but the White House website article I linked to mentions Startup America Partnership. I assume there is a connection, although I don’t know the extent. It seems like the President supports it.

    I agree that it might look bad for the organization to build on Colombia’s ccTLD. I thought it was bad PR when the President was sending out tweets with Bit.LY (Libya ccTLD) urls. I posted a tweet about that but didn’t receive a reply. That said, a lot of startups are using ccTLD hacks and most people probably couldn’t care less about about it. Sort of like my Apple products are all made in China. Would be nice if they were made here, but it is what it is, and unless you know better, it’s not something overtly noticeable.

  17. “I assume you don’t know much about this organization if you’re saying that.”

    Exactly right, I know *nothing at all about it* because I’ve never heard of it before, pretty clear you and it seems everyone else in this thread doesn’t know much about it either.

    The pro .co are clutching at “about us” pages and press releases to make a case for this. From the heights of Twitter to lows of “Startup America Partnership”. It is another example of things slipping away for this extension.

  18. @ Snoopy

    I will mention again (as I have done several times in various articles) that I have fewer than 10 .CO investments, including Elliot.CO and Bahamas.CO.

    I think anytime a well funded organization that’s been getting lots of press does something drastic with its domain name, it’s big news that should be covered on a domain industry blog.

    In my opinion, this organization using a one letter .CO has a better chance of success than a company like Overstock simply because of its target audience demographic and marketing strategy. I don’t know what it means for .CO or other .CO domain investments, but it can only be positive news.

  19. Here’s another way to look at it – It is upatriotic and a shame that an organization named “Startup America Partnership” decided to use a .CO web address, the country code for Columbia, rather than a .US domain the country code of United States of America.


    You must own an awful lot of .us domains to be thinking like this. Using a .us would be as big a mistake as a using a .co in my view.

    Personally I think the prior domain was better than what they are trying to rebrand to, That is long but it isn’t confusing, it is exactly the same as the name of the organisation and they own the matching .com.

  20. “Personally I think the prior domain was better than what they are trying to rebrand to, That is long but it isn’t confusing, it is exactly the same as the name of the organisation and they own the matching .com.”

    They are forwarding that one to prevent any potential confusion. They are also forwarding the .com.

  21. @ Joe

    I wouldn’t say the registry’s efforts have been nonexistent lately considering they have a 30-second commercial airing at the Superbowl this weekend.

  22. everything is all relative before 2004 was worth $10 bucks

    now that domain name is worth $100,000,000,000.00

    so it is how you position as of today since @Elliot can’t go back in time.

    but he can buy short meaningful respected recognizable



    Sil.Co for Silver

  23. I have some .co domain names for sale on sedo and go daddy, but i never got 1 offer on any of them. Am I overpricing? If I hold onto them will there value increase? And does anyone know if someone might be interested in any of these names? Thank’s

  24. Need some info on vaue for these .co domain names. Thank’s

  25. Is there an alternative to .com’s other than .co’s? The .com’s space is really overcrowded on one hand and the internet will keep on growing on the other. In this context .co seems to be the perfect complement. But still it will take time for sure (several years at least) before people get used to .co as no2
    Have some .co’s – some for reg.price – please visit me at

  26. Here come the .CO haters again. Jesus Christ! The fact that you post your distaste for articles on the .CO domain name is a clear indication you feel threatened by it. Otherwise, why would you post?

    I got a few people onto .CO’s for their businesses just over a year ago. You know what. They’re ranking Page 1. All of them. SEO and SERP’s… no worries.

    I’m tired of the .CO haters that post utter shit in this blog.
    I have .COM’s as well as .CO’s. Guess what? I also am worried .CO could devalue my COM’s in a few years.
    You know what though, I take risks and opportunities, I don’t sit around feeling bitter and sorry for myself. We get it! You didn’t buy any .CO’s and you’re regretting it, and the only way to deal is with anger and resent! You missed the boat. No one cares. Move on.

    I’m currently developing a worlds first website. It’s the first of its kind and there is a demand from millions of people. I don’t do what everyone else is doing. That’s a waste of time to me. Any moron can flap about and follow the sheeple. Unfortunately, that’s why the WWW is held back so much. It’s stagnant morons like above that hinder growth and innovation. WTF have you done lately?

    I have .COM.”country code” and .CO Domain Names for my new site that’s about to launch. .CO will be utilized in the US. ccTLD’s in other countries. .US has absolutely no appeal to me. Know why? Because .CO is marketed as an “alternative” to .COM and is already in a shitload of ccTLD’s!

    Tell me… is .US, .ME, .BIZ, .MOBI? They’re not, so wtf are people comparing .CO to them for? Do you research anything at all or just blindly follow the classic “.com is king” pea brains that contribute nothing to these blogs. The United States was the king too, now look at it! Nothing lasts forever no matter how hard you wish it could.

    Guess what? My .CO… it’s still going to rank just as high as a .COM for my target US market. I’d also like the .COM, but I’m not forking out 10K for a name I could hand register for less than $30 each!

    .CO’s are popping up everywhere. I’m very interested to see what happens over the next few years.
    A new generation of web savvy users are coming online. It seems that they’re the demographic that you whining, bitter tools never thought about did you? I sail on boats, I don’t miss em’ and if it doesn’t take off then who gives a damn? Some investments take off and some don’t. That’s the name of the game. That’s why it’s called an “investment”. It has “risk”, something that you need to take to make a considerably more money than the good for nothing sheep that litter this blog all the time, contributing nothing to e-commerce, nothing to the future of domain trading and nothing to innovation or vision of online growth.

  27. Mark@
    Your domains in .co extension are worthless with the exception of,even those i personally would not buy for reg.price.You need to buy LLL.CO and one word generic,product domains if you wanna make money in 2,3 yrs.

    Some of your domains are available in .net

  28. Damon@
    I agree with you 100%

    This extension it’s been bought by other countries as well,UK,CHINA,INDIA,where .us .biz .pro .me etc…it’s limited.

    Look at .info they got sold 8mill domains because it’s universal generic word.

  29. @ Damon

    Don’t assume that everyone with any level of criticism against .co is afraid of it. You mention .co as a .com alternative. In about a year, the market will be flooded with dozens if not hundreds of .com alternatives that may entice people. Everyone is focused on how that will affect .com, but how about how that will effect other .com alternatives? My biggest criticism of .co has been that while it’s had a nice launch and has gained a little traction since, it’s going to run out of time to be prominent enough before the flood of new extensions arrive.

    .co with just over a million registrations is still at just over 1% of .com registrations. Do you think it will be substantially higher by the time new TLDs hit? Will .web and other similar intended “.com alternatives” compete well against the likes of .net and .co? How exactly will a new bank in 2013 decide between .bank, .com, or .com alternatives like .net, .co and .web?

    These are all questions looming over .co. Meanwhile, nearly all the largest businesses in the world are firmly implanted on .com and will continue to be, which will keep .com ingrained in most people’s minds. It will take several years for that to change even a little bit and it will only change if a significant number of larger businesses start forming/growing on non .com extensions. Thus far that hasn’t happened and .com has continued its growth.

    In an ideal world perhaps, .co would be better than .com on the simple basis that it’s shorter and can be taken the same way (company), but it’s fighting against .com’s history, the mass of established huge businesses on .com that capture most online traffic, and people’s familiarity with .com, .net and .org.

    If the internet were done over and .co was released along with .com, .co might be more popular. Then again, if the internet were done over and both of them were released alongside thousands of more descriptive extensions like .bank, .game, .app, .health and some of the others proposed, people would probably go for those instead of a .com or .co that wouldn’t have any relevance to them.

    That’s not the case however, and both .co and new TLDs will have a hard time denting .com’s dominance given the factors I’ve mentioned.

  30. @Steve Jones

    That’s right. These are the questions that cannot be answered right now. PS – I was not directing my post at you.

    I think the .CO market is where it should be at the moment. It still requires massive marketing and exposure. Let’s clarify this… .CO will never overtake .COM (in my lifetime anyway), however, it has massive potential as a long term investment.

    It “could” overtake .NET in a few years.
    I’m just plain tired of uneducated people crapping on .CO. If I got a dollar for every time I read a post stating “.COM is king”, I’d be a rich man. It’s the same as stating “wheels are round”. What does it benefit stating something so blatantly obvious? The discussions about .CO should focus on the development of it, not the demise and criticism. I ranked a Google Page 2 (top of page) for a .CO in 2 weeks, with no SEO! 2 weeks with no development, just a land page stating coming soon! The keyword is of medium competition. It’s an “alternative” with strong marketability globally and an ability to rank well… and fast.

    It is what it is, it will be what it will be. That’s that!

  31. .com will always be the king, no doubt about that. However I find .CO is a valid alternative from a branding point of view and will be gaining value in the future. Add to this that TLDs are no longer important in Google’s eyes, in fact Big G only distinguishes between non-geotargetable ccTLDs and gTLDs (.com and geotargetable ccTLDs like .co fall into this category). And yes, .CO can rank on page 1 in searches with hundreds of millions of results, just two examples: search for Domain Security and Car Games.

  32. @Joe

    Well said Joe. It’s nice to see people with something between their ears.
    Hey Elliot, I hope your blog is targeting the keywords “.co domain name news”.
    Google doesn’t have any information on the search term, but I don’t really hold their figures with high regard. They are normally very inaccurate.
    You’ve got a niche market right here buddy. 🙂

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