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SBA Innovation Ecosystem Summit provides resources for entrepreneurs and innovators

December 09, 2021
By: Jordan Kendall

In an effort to bring together entrepreneurship and innovation leaders from around the country and raise the collective success potential of American small businesses, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) hosted its first innovation ecosystem summit last month. In her welcome message, SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman reinforced the Innovation Ecosystem Summit’s goal of reimagining the economy, leveraging the nation’s diversity, removing inequities, and building an economic future where ideas have a chance to flourish. She said she is committed to making sure "the SBA can revamp and transform its programs and offerings to ensure that we’re connecting all entrepreneurs with the investments, and the resources, and the people, the expertise, the knowledge that they need to succeed."

The summit covered a variety of topics aimed at increasing entrepreneurs and innovators ability to access the necessary "networks, talent, resources, and financing necessary to turn expertise into startups." Topics covered included how to connect entrepreneurs to early-stage funding, navigate SBIR/STTR, and develop creative and actionable ways to build an inclusive network. Additional discussions touched on public and private funding, inclusive entrepreneurship, accelerator utility, and more.

SSTI Policy and Development Director Jason Rittenberg contributed to the discussion on strengthening entrepreneurship in regional innovation economies and how to translate entrepreneurial and innovative activities into greater economic opportunities within regions. He emphasized the importance of building networks, developing individuals, public image, and integrated strategies to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in a given region.

Click here to watch recorded segments from the Innovation Ecosystem Summit.

sba, sbir