Tuesday, President Obama hosted the first ever White House Demo Day. While not a traditional demo day in which companies demonstrate their innovations before prospective investors, Demo Day allowed entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations before the nation! The White House’s Demo Day is a part of the Administration’s focus on inclusive entrepreneurship and the importance of ensuring that diverse entrepreneurs from all walks of life benefit from and have full accessibility to America’s innovation economy.
Here is the story of one such entrepreneur:https://soundcloud.com/whitehouse/080315-megan-smith-demo-day-calls-pigeonly-call.
To learn more about Demo Day visit:https://www.whitehouse.gov/demo-day
Additionally, yesterday, there were a number of announcements by government agencies, entrepreneurial support organizations and the private sector which highlighted their efforts to increasing inclusivity. SBA announced a number of key efforts, with several being led by the Office of Entrepreneurial Development. I am excited to share with you the hard work taking place here at SBA to ensure that America’s entrepreneurs have access to relevant high quality programs and resources to support the growth of all small businesses.
New Steps Being Taken by the Administration
Today, the White House is announcing major new steps to promote inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation across the United States – including actions that will build the tech talent pipeline, cut red tape, and accelerate research discoveries from the lab to the marketplace. Each of these actions promises to expand opportunities for current and future entrepreneurs, including those in underrepresented communities and geographies. Key actions include:
Announcing the winners of multiple Small Business Administration entrepreneurship competitions and launching new resources.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is working with leaders around the country – both in the private sector and in government – to foster innovation in local startup ecosystems and give more entrepreneurs the tools that they need to succeed.
- Through its Growth Accelerator Fund competition, the SBA is announcing total awards of $4.4 million to 88 startup accelerators, including those that fill geographic gaps and also foster entrepreneurship among women and other underrepresented groups. Awardees represent 39 states, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and eight awards are primarily dedicated to Native American entrepreneurs and small businesses.For details on the Growth Accelerator Fund winners, clickhere.
- As part of theStartup in a Dayinitiative announced by the President earlier this year, the SBA is announcing 27 prizes of $50,000 each to cities and Native American communities to help them streamline the licensing, permitting, and other requirements needed to start a business in their areas, with the goal of enabling entrepreneurs to apply for everything necessary to begin within one business day.The SBA is also awarding a $250,000 cash prize to the city of Los Angeles to create an open-source solution that will be replicable and scalable on a broad basis.For details on the Startup in a Day winners, clickhere.
- Building off the success of the first InnovateHER Women’s Business Challenge earlier this year, SBA is expanding this initiative to more than double the number of local competitions designed to identify products and services that have measurable impacts on the lives of women and families, have potential for commercialization, and fill a need in the marketplace. Given that only around three percent of venture capitalists are women, but women make up over 80 percent of U.S. purchasing power, this expanded Challenge promises to provide a platform for innovations that are often overlooked. As part of this expansion, Microsoft will more than double the prizes awarded. For more details, clickhere.
- The SBA is releasing the Business Smart Toolkit, a ready-to-use workshop toolkit developed with the National Association for Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), which will help lay the groundwork for assisting new and aspiring entrepreneurs in building credit-ready businesses. The SBA/NAGGL partnership also includes more than 10 national organizations that will help deploy the modules through workshops across local communities.For more details, clickhere.
- TheSBA is partnering with NSF to adapt the I-Corps program for “Main Street” small businesses, utilizing the insights of “lean startup” methodology that challenge conventional notions of business-model planning. Through this new partnership, the SBA plans to issue a challenge this fall for its resource partners – including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE chapters – for an I-Corps “Train-the-Trainer” program. These partners will leverage their training to adapt and deliver, on a pilot basis, a lean-startup training curriculum to small businesses and entrepreneurs in traditional sectors.