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InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on February 18, 2015
 

InnovateHER is a cross-cutting women's business challenge to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.

Did you knowWe know that our workforce looks very different from 50 years ago. Women now make up nearly half of the labor force and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. Most children live in households where all parents work. And as our population ages, families are increasingly caring for aging parents while balancing the needs of work and home. As demands on women and families grow, the need for products and services that address unique challenges increases. This Challenge will provide that platform.

Challenge Criteria

InnovateHER provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products or services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%), have the potential for commercialization (40%), and fill a need in the marketplace (30%).

Participants must be at least 18 years of age, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet other requirements as defined in the Competition Rules

How to Participate

InnovateHER’s first round goes live March 1st. Throughout the month of March, universities, accelerators, resource partners and other organizations will host local competitions. A month after going live, each host will select and submit one local winner to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), who will then identify no more than 10 finalists. Finalists will make a live pitch to a panel of expert judges during National Small Business Week, May 4 – 8, 2015, in Washington, D.C. where they will compete for top three awards and prize money totaling $30,000.

Updated IRS Smartphone App IRS2Go Version 5.0 Now Available

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on February 17, 2015
 

IRS2GOThe Internal Revenue Service today announced the release of IRS2Go 5.0, an update to the only official IRS smartphone application, compatible with both Apple and Android devices.

Download IRS2Go free of charge for Android devices from the Google Play Store or from the Apple App Store for Apple devices. Use it to check your refund status, watch the IRS YouTube channel, find free tax preparation help, get IRS news as soon as it's released, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs.

 “The new version of IRS2Go provides taxpayers another way to quickly get information and help around the clock,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS is focused on providing taxpayers with convenient self-service tools like IRS2Go, but it’s important to remind taxpayers to only use official IRS products to safeguard their personal information.”

National Road Tour Promotes Innovation and Technology

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on February 17, 2015
 

SBIR Road TourThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will launch an 18 state road tour, joined by 11 fellow federal agencies in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The SBIR Road Tour “Seeding America’s Future Innovations,” is a nationally focused outreach initiative targeting advanced technology communities, including women-owned and minority-owned small businesses in states that have underutilized funding opportunities through these programs. Today, the agency is launching information on the tour through www.sbir.gov and will also launch a blog that will be active up through the end of the tour in late August.

Northern California MBDA Business Centers Help Minority Entrepreneurs Enter Technology Transfer, Innovation Market

Blogged By: 
Guest blog post by the San Francisco MBDA Business Center
Created on February 17, 2015
 

MBDA MOU SigningLed by National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has been collaborating with the San Francisco MBDA Business Center (SFMBC), operated by ASIAN, Inc., to advance a groundbreaking technology transfer and innovation agenda.

The SFMBC, along with its sister San Jose and Fresno MBDA Business Centers, serve the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, which is universally recognized as one of the world’s leading regions for technology innovation and entrepreneurship. Minority business entrepreneurs (MBEs) in this region are not short of innovative ideas and are all too eager to gain access to cutting-edge technologies from national laboratories and universities, especially in life sciences, IT, and clean technology sectors. We’re working diligently to get those MBEs into these emerging markets.

IRS Launches Directory of Tax Return Preparers

Blogged By: 
IRS.gov
Created on February 11, 2015
 

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the launch of a new, online public directory of tax return preparers.

Tax HelpThis searchable directory on IRS.gov will help taxpayers find a tax professional with credentials and select qualifications to help them prepare their tax returns.

“This new directory will be a practical tool for the millions of Americans who rely on the services of a paid return preparer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers can also look to these tax professionals for help if they have questions about the new health care provisions on this year’s tax forms.”

The directory is a searchable, sortable listing featuring:  the name, city, state and zip code of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents and those who have completed the requirements for the voluntary IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). All preparers listed also have valid 2015 Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN).

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