SBA launches innovation, investment advisory committees to support startups

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the formation of two new federal advisory committees Aug. 1 to accelerate support for startups driving innovation and to increase small businesses’ access to capital.

The Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee (IIEAC) and the Investment Capital Advisory Committee (ICAC) will be comprised of members with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives:

  • IIEAC will focus on innovation commercialization, lab-to-market translation, and constructing a more equitable, inclusive federal innovation ecosystem
  • ICAC will be geared toward developing a more inclusive ecosystem for small businesses and domestic private funds committing capital to small businesses

“These new advisory committees will help us gain valuable insights into not only how the SBA can improve programs and policies to strengthen the innovation ecosystem across the nation, but also how the agency can better serve our customers while accelerating the flow of patient private and public capital to innovative startups and small businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, center, and U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, center right, hold a Small Business Roundtable at Olga’s Diner in Marlton on July 8, 2022. Read more. – SBA

Marlene Cintron, administrator for the Atlantic region, who oversees the agency’s New Jersey’s operation, says the SBA is actively seeking nominations from the public.

“One of the SBA’s top priorities is to provide local and community main street small businesses and innovative startups with access to critical patient capital and R&D funds to advance innovation and support the small businesses located across communities in every corner of our country,” said Cintron. “The SBA is seeking input from entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to make our federal programs even more of a success, and to be able to adapt our offerings to meet the needs of local small business owners recovering from the COVID pandemic.”

To be nominated, you must be:

  • a former or current small business owner or community leader (both)
  • an official from a small business trade association or academic institution, a member of the innovation community (IIEAC)
  • an official from a trade association or investment institution, a member of the investment community (ICAC)

“The foundation of our support for innovation is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program which, for 40 years, has served as America’s Seed Fund, providing startups with R&D funding necessary to pursue big ideas. Since 1958, the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) works with private equity and private credit funds to accelerate the flow of patient capital and long-term loans to small businesses old and new across industries and geographies,” said SBA Office of Investment and Innovation Associate Administrator Bailey DeVries.

“The federal innovation ecosystem is what provides resources to innovators with the big ideas of today that will become the cutting-edge businesses of tomorrow,” she added.

“The opinions of small business owners in these new federal advisory committees will foster dialogue and identify opportunities to accelerate and diversify SBA’s support for innovative startups and small businesses,” said Cintron.

A Nominee Information Form is available here.