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White House Issues Presidential Innovation Fellows Executive Order, Hosts Demo Day

August 20, 2015

This week, President Obama issued an executive order in an attempt to make the Presidential Innovation Fellows program a permanent part of the federal government. Administered as a partnership between the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the General Services Administration, the Presidential Innovation Fellows program is a 12-month, competitive initiative that pairs technologists and entrepreneurs with government agencies to collaborate on difficult problems and build a culture of innovation within the government. Since launching in 2012, nearly 100 innovators have been recruited into the program, working in projects around areas such as government IT, renewable energy affordability and veteran employment.

Earlier in the month, the Obama Administration hosted the first-ever White House Demo Day, an event featuring numerous public- and private-sector commitments to advancing inclusive entrepreneurship. The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the 80 winners of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and the Startup in a Day initiative, a partnership between the SBA, 25 cities, and two Native American communities to develop online tools that streamline information on startups and permitting. The National Science Foundation announced that they were expanding the Innovation Corps program, which provides entrepreneurship training to scientists and engineers, to: the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense; the National Security Agency; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and, the Department of Homeland Security.

In the private sector and beyond, multiple venture capital firms made commitments to foster inclusive entrepreneurship and economic opportunity, with several other corporations and limited partners offering new programs around STEM education, staff diversity, and supply chain inclusion. Companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Intel were among the major companies participating.


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