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Nasdaq center aims to build relationships with startups

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Nasdaq has long been known as the "tech-heavy" stock exchange, where some of Silicon Valley's best-known companies have gone to sell shares. Now, as it faces stiff competition from rival exchanges to lure the next hot IPO, it's reaching out to business startups before they go public.

New York-based Nasdaq, through an affiliated foundation, is opening what it calls an "Entrepreneurial Center" Thursday in a trendy commercial district south of San Francisco's Market Street. It's promising business training, mentoring and networking opportunities for early stage startup founders — maybe even the next Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page.

"We want to support amazing entrepreneurs, who may be starting a company today or their next three companies down the line, who will remember the things they were taught as part of the Nasdaq community," said Nicola Corzine, a veteran startup investor who will operate the center as its executive director.

Nasdaq executives say they have a long tradition of working with young companies, and the new center is open to entrepreneurs in...