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Innovation


  • Submitted on 11 August 2015

    Created on August 11, 2015
     

    As the Founder and CEO of Urban Co-Lab, Natalie Madeira Cofield and her team believe that if you empower communities through entrepreneurship and business engagement, you not only give people the opportunity to sustain themselves but also their communities. For more than 10 years, Natalie has been inspired by and influenced by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) as a champion for minority-owned businesses.

  • Submitted on 11 August 2015

    Created on August 11, 2015
     

    Business Owner with Open SignEntrepreneurs are the driving force of our 21st century economy. They have the power to spur innovation, create jobs, stabilize communities, and inspire the next generation of inventors.

    At the Department of Commerce, it is our goal to create the economic conditions that allow start-ups and entrepreneurs to succeed. While we meet this goal through a wide variety of Department initiatives, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) focuses on accessing and engaging the talents and inventiveness of all our citizens through inclusive innovation efforts. Inclusive entrepreneurship and inclusive innovation means that every American, regardless of their background or past, has the opportunity to engage the marketplace and offer their goods, services, gifts, and talents to the world.

  • Submitted on 10 August 2015

    Created on August 10, 2015

     

    On August 4, President Barack Obama hosted the first ever White House Demo Day, and what a day it was.   The content of the day is front and center of what our agency does every day. 

    The White House helped us put a magnifying glass on the wide-ranging talents of innovators from diverse walks of life and across the country and the small companies they lead.  Our economy, especially our entrepreneurial economy is the envy of the world.  For it to fire on all cylinders, we need to draw on talented Americans from all backgrounds and locations and leave no one on the bench. 

    The Demo Day Fact Sheet lays out amazing actions, commitments and announcements made by federal agencies and a broad swath of the private sector.  The day was nothing short of astounding and SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation was equally excited to have had a leadership role supporting the White House Office of Science and Technology.

  • Submitted on 06 August 2015

    Created on August 6, 2015
     

    NIST Lab to MarketThe U.S. Department of Commerce has established a new partnership between the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) to support minority business development through our nation’s investment in research and development at more than 300 federal laboratories. 

    The Minority Business Enterprise Technology Transfer Innovation Consortium will support American innovation and global competitiveness by promoting high-technology opportunities to groups that have had historically low participation in this process. It was one of a number of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship announced as part of the first White House Demo Day, held August 4, 2015. 

    By fostering “lab-to-market” initiatives, the partnership aims to increase the number of minority businesses that engage in advanced technology transfer by creating strategic regional ecosystems that link the national science and technology enterprise with the MBDA centers that support minority businesses.

    “MBDA is very excited about this new partnership. It will ensure that minority-owned firms and students of color are truly engaged in the 21st century economy,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, national director at MBDA. “It will support diverse communities that need innovation resources to spur local job creation in various STEM industries.” 

  • Submitted on 05 August 2015

    Created on August 5, 2015
     

    Innovate HerThe U.S. Small Business Administration announced the launch of the 2016 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit, including a nationwide women’s business competition to highlight innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and their families.

    “The SBA is pleased to announce this second round of our InnovateHER Business Challenge, building on the success of our 2015 challenge where we engaged over 100 organizations and reached over 1,000 entrepreneurs across the nation,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “We have expanded on our pilot InnovateHER Women’s Business Challenge to include a women’s summit that will make the competition more impactful.”

    Earlier this year during the SBA’s InnovateHER Business Challenge’s first round, up-and-coming Back2Family, owned by Ty Delley of Lincoln, took home the nod as Nebraska’s winner. 

  • Submitted on 21 July 2015

    Created on July 21, 2015
     

    MBDA High TechInnovation. When most people hear or use this term, they are referring to new, cutting edge technology and products. However, innovation means much more than that. Operational innovation involves creating entirely new ways of filling orders, developing products, providing customer service, or doing any other activity that an enterprise performs.

    David Brier, a brand identity expert, explains the single difference between the innovator and the ordinary person as: The innovator sees the dots and connects them while ordinary people either 1) don’t see them, or 2) don’t explore, question, or connect any of them.

    The Atlanta MBDA Business Center connected the dots when they recognized the potential for substantial growth among minority-owned information technology firms in relation to the growing demand for healthcare IT services. A successful partnership with the Healthcare Supplier Diversity Alliance enabled the Center to transition 77 minority-owned businesses into the rapidly growing healthcare industry in fiscal year 2014.

    The Minneapolis MBDA Business Center connected the dots by realizing that baby boomer business owners are retiring and selling their companies. They also realized that acquiring these businesses is a perfect opportunity for minority-owned firms to increase revenue, expand operations, and create jobs.

  • Submitted on 30 June 2015

    Created on June 30, 2015
     

    Patenting and Innovative Startups:  Putting the America Invents Act in a Broader  Economic ContextThe Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the U.S. Small Business Administration, released an Issue Brief entitled “Patenting and Innovative Startups: Putting the America Invents Act (AIA) in a Broader Economic Context.” The issue brief summarizes some of the potential small business outcomes of the AIA and contextualizes those outcomes for innovative startups. This issue brief finds that policy changes that affect patenting could affect innovative startups as they may heavily utilize patents to raise funds to continue to innovate.

    The importance of patents to the economy

    Patents are at the crux of innovation in the economy. Patents provide a framework by which innovative research can take place and new technologies can be disseminated. In particular, patents provide a clear economic incentive to undertake innovative research that has the potential to substantially grow startups.1 Patents protect researchers and investors with clear determinations of intellectual property rights while also providing a vehicle with which to share newly developed technologies without a fear of losing ownership of intellectual property.2

  • Submitted on 22 June 2015

    Created on June 22, 2015
     

    SBIR Road TourThe SBIR Road Tour is coming to a city near you! This is a national outreach effort to convey the non-dilutive technology funding opportunity provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Over the course of this year individual program managers from the 11 participating agencies representing $2.5 billion in early stage funding will embark on a 20 state road tour, participating in a series of events alongside technology entrepreneurs and innovation supporters from across the United States.

    If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, researcher, or small technology firm,; don’t miss this opportunity. Every SBIR Road Tour stop provides an in-depth understanding of agency technology funding priorities, and one-on-one meetings with high level decision makers.

  • Submitted on 09 June 2015

    Created on June 9, 2015
     

    This post originally appeared on the SBA.gov

    2015 SBIR/STTR National Conference

    The 2015 SBIR/STTR National Conference is just around the corner – June 15 to 17 at the Gaylord Conference Center just outside of Washington, DC.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with government SBIR/STTR program managers and staff, industry leaders, and veteran SBIR/STTR awardees. You’ll learn how to access SBIR/STTR, build partnerships, and create successful commercialization strategies. Opportunities include roundtable discussions, 1-on-1 meetings, and conference sessions. Click here to register for the conference.

    To prime attendees for the event, we are releasing a series of blogs to provide more in-depth information on some of the panel sessions. This edition features a session on growing and empowering novel STE(A)M innovation pipelines.

  • Submitted on 11 May 2015

    Created on May 11, 2015
     

    SBIR/STTR WebsiteThe Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Maria Contreras-Sweet announced during National Small Business Week 2015 that the SBA is crowdsourcing the official logo for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, “America’s Seed Fund” and has made major improvements to the www.sbir.gov website. 

    The SBA oversees the SBIR and the STTR programs, America’s largest seed fund for small businesses in the STEM fields.  These programs allocate $2.5 billion a year to small innovators. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for smaller firms, this encourages domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth priorities and build a strong national economy.

 

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