By UCF’s collaboration with the Florida Excessive Tech Hall, the college can be implementing an initiative funded by the U.S. Small Enterprise Administration to help girls entrepreneurs. The Hall was chosen as considered one of eight winners for the Administration’s first Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) Catalyst Competitors, which acknowledges mannequin partnerships addressing the gaps for underrepresented entrepreneurs nationwide.
With its $150,000 prize, the Hall crew —which incorporates packages at UCF, the College of South Florida, College of Florida and Florida Tech — will elevate the function of underrepresented women-owned small companies throughout the 23-county area’s innovation ecosystem by enhancing the inclusivity and participation of girls entrepreneurs within the SBIR program. Nationally, girls presently make up solely 13% of SBIR grant recipients.
UCF’s Business Incubation Program, which offers enterprise growth and operational help to early-stage, progressive companies in eight incubators all through Central Florida, will lead the college’s efforts with the Hall. For greater than twenty years, UCF’s Enterprise Incubation Program has facilitated smarter, quicker startup progress for almost 600 firms that has led to $2.4 billion of financial impression.
“We’ve got a protracted historical past of serving to our purchasers be very profitable within the SBIR program together with lots of our women-owned purchasers. This program give us assets and collaborations to supply even stronger help to our women-owned purchasers in addition to different women-owned small companies locally and to be taught from different organizations throughout the nation,” says Carol Ann Logue, director of Packages and Operations for the UCF Enterprise Incubation Program. “That is one other instance of why we at UCF are so dedicated to partnerships. We all know it solely enhances our skill to make a big impression in our neighborhood.”
The schools will work collectively to ascertain a structured community of mentors and function fashions, equip girls entrepreneurs to develop aggressive SBIR grant purposes, and streamline commercialization pathways for his or her ensuing SBIR-funded improvements.
“Much more necessary than profitable the prize is what this effort symbolizes for the area, validating the necessary work of our companions to help and showcase girls entrepreneurs in Florida,” says Amy Beaird, senior cluster supervisor for the Hall. “I’ve labored in STEM for a very long time and have skilled firsthand the wrestle of girls in entrepreneurship. We all know that extra various analysis groups result in extra progressive outcomes and stronger firms.”
As a member of the Hall’s crew UCF will meet frequently with different profitable teams from throughout the nation to trace progress and share finest practices for fostering innovation-driven entrepreneurship in underserved communities. Different winners of the 2021 SBIR Catalyst prize embrace groups from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York and Oklahoma. If the inaugural competitors is profitable, it could be expanded considerably in future years in an effort by the Biden-Harris Administration Construct Again Higher Agenda, which outlined an extra $400 million funding to help start-up accelerators and incubators working with underrepresented entrepreneurs.
By the Hall’s signature Matching Grants Analysis Program, girls entrepreneurs within the area have extra alternatives to have interaction in collaborative analysis with UCF and USF. Ladies eager about producing new mental property with the assistance of college researchers or eager about commercializing current college mental property could make investments their SBIR or different funds to obtain matching funds from the Hall.
“I’m so excited for the chance to take away limitations stopping extra girls from securing their rightful place in our innovation neighborhood,” says retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Paul Sohl, CEO of the Hall. “Simply because the title of this prize implies, the Hall is a catalyst for boundary-breaking collaboration. We welcome the duty to function a convener, bringing the experience and assets of our companions collectively to meet a shared mission round such an necessary difficulty.”