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Innovation


  • Submitted on 17 May 2016

    Created on May 17, 2016
     

      THE CASE FOR INCLUSIVE INNOVATION: MINORITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND AMERICA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE BY: ALEJANDRA CASTILLO, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY  “If our nation is to remain globally competitive, we must leverage and engage our diversity, especially our minority entrepreneurs.”

    Featured in the National Urban League 2016 State of Black America

    What images come to mind when you read the words “innovation” and “entrepreneurship”?

    If your primary points of reference are popular media or trade press, you might envision a fresh-faced 20-something-year-old on the leafy campus of a private university.

    But, as the daughter of a Dominican Republic-born entrepreneur who came of age in the Bronx, I have a different take on American economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation.  As the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I can accurately report that African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans now represent the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States. 

  • Submitted on 17 May 2016

    watch the video

    Watch the DOC Talks

    Joann Hill, Chief of the MBDA Office of Business Development and Alika Kumar, Project Director of the Phoenix MBDA Business Center jointly participated in the Department of Commerce's first ever DOC Talks. Together, they gave a talk entitled "Minority Business Enterprise Parity for National Economic Prosperity."

  • Submitted on 11 May 2016

    Created on May 11, 2016
     

    MBDA Showcases the Importance of Inclusive Innovation at the 2016 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Conference MBDA recently attended the 2016 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) National Meeting in Chicago, Illinois for the second year in a row. Touted as one of the most premier annual events in the technology transfer community, this year’s theme “From Discovery to Commercialization,”  focused on  collaboration between federal labs, private industry stakeholders and the American business community to move federal research and development out of the lab and into the U.S. marketplace.

    In 2015, MBDA formed a new partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) to spur innovation within the minority business community by leveraging the vast amount of research and development (R&D) expertise throughout the national network of more than 300 federal laboratories.

  • Submitted on 15 April 2016

    Created on April 15, 2016
     

    EDA plans to release the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) and begin accepting applications for the 2016 round of Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Programfunding on April 25, 2016; the application period will be open for 60 days.  In this 2016 round, a total of $15 million in Federal funding is available to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs and early-stage seed capital funds through the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition, respectively.

    EDA will host a series of webinars April 19-21, 2016, to encourage all potential applicants to think about their strategies for developing regional opportunities, partnerships, and approaches by sharing the RIS Program’s high-level objectives.  OIE staff will provide an overview of the Programand its objectives and RIS grantees will provide real-world highlights of their RIS projects, including the problems they set out to solve and the activities, outputs, and impacts that their RIS grants have supported.  Each webinar will end with a Q&A session that will be open to all participants but that will focus on specific categories of applicants or geographies as noted below.  EDA will host the webinars at the following times:

  • Submitted on 13 April 2016

    Created on April 13, 2016
     

    Register Now For the Upcoming Federal Lab Consortium 2016 National Meeting

    Register Now For the Upcoming Federal Lab Consortium 2016 National Meeting

    In today’s fast-paced economy, many aspiring entrepreneurs understand the invaluable role that technology innovation plays in determining the long term success of a new company.  Moreover, as the United States continues to serve as a catalyst and champion for technology innovation in the 21st century, many minority business owners are now poised to transform their ideas from research and development to commercially-developed products and services.

  • Submitted on 17 March 2016

    Created on March 17, 2016
     

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will launch a 20 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.

    Each SBIR Road Tour stop will be hosted by a local organization committed to supporting technology-based entrepreneurship, and will provide attendees a face-to-face opportunity to talk directly to federal agency program managers and decision makers from many agencies, including the: 

  • Submitted on 29 February 2016

    Created on February 29, 2016
     

    African-Americans currently make up less than three percent of the nation's technology workforce. Seeking to increase the number of African-American and other ethnic minority technology executives, engineers, and business owners, the second annual Black Tech Week was held earlier this month, featuring PowerMoves Miami, a nonprofit incubator and training organization. 

    Prior to the conference, PowerMoves Miami led a 6-week boot camp for 29 startup companies that focused on pitching to investors. The boot camp culminated with a Demo Day pitch competition. In addition to boot camp training and pitch competitions, the conference provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs of color to network and become part of the PowerMoves and Black Tech Week communities.

  • Submitted on 16 February 2016

    Created on February 16, 2016
     

    STEM 3D PrinterLong before the concept of STEM entered the American lexicon, African-American scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs were creating important products, services, and businesses that helped shape the American economy. From Benjamin Banneker, a mathematician and polymath in 18th Century Maryland, to Dr. Charles Drew, a 20th Century doctor and blood specialist who revolutionized the process of blood transfusions, our nation has prospered and developed as a global leader in science, economics, and business, thanks to the significant contributions of men and women of color.

    The stakes are high: America’s future success in the global arena depends on our ability to foster innovation within communities that historically have been under-served. As the world’s top scientists and engineers pave the way for new breakthroughs across emerging industries, the U.S. continues to be the global leader in science and technology discoveries. The Obama Administration has championed the 21st century STEM revolution.

  • Submitted on 08 February 2016

    Created on February 8, 2016
     

    Last month, Americans across the nation celebrated the 30th official observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the dreams that Dr. King had for a more inclusive and equal nation, and his historic and noble effort to turn these dreams into reality. One important part of continuing Dr. King’s effort is guaranteeing access to fulfilling educational opportunities for young people, particularly in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

    As technology continues to assume increasing prominence in our society, STEM skills are becoming more critical than ever. Currently, there are a half-million job openings in the United States in information-technology fields, with thousands more requiring training in STEM or computer science. Despite the importance and pervasiveness of STEM, there is a significant shortage of STEM opportunities for young people, especially young people of color.

  • Submitted on 26 January 2016

    Created on January 26, 2016
     

    Throughout my career, mentors changed my trajectory.  Through them I met successful people who were willing to listen to my ideas—and give their advice on how to turn them into great opportunities. 

    Every year, my primary resolution has been to “give forward” what they gave to me, and to be a mentor.  You might be pleased to know that January is National Mentoring Month—a great reminder to all of us to reach out to someone early in his or her career.           

    This month reminds us of presidents past, of Dr. Martin Luther King, of service to others and the lasting impact we all have a chance to make in our lifetimes.  And while mentoring isn’t the only solution, it is one way to build a team of fund managers and portfolio companies in the alternative investment industry that is strong and robust because of its diversity.

 

Quote: The Best Way to get something done is to begin.

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