What drives innovation? SBA seeks entrepreneurs’ input

    By Adrienne Burke | Small Business

    SBA symposium will ask, What drives innovation?

    Ever wish you could tell U.S. Small Business Administration officials directly how they could support innovation? Here's your chance.

    SBA's Office of Advocacy is seeking input from small business owners and entrepreneurs in advance of a symposium it will present in Seattle next week. The event, Small Business and Government: Maximizing Entrepreneurship, Driving Innovation, hosted in partnership with the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, the Seattle Center Foundation,, and K&L Gates, will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 8:30 am — 5:00 pm PST.

    SBA is asking entrepreneurs to join an online chat to propose questions and ideas about how best to drive innovation that will help direct conversations that will take place among SBA officials, leading entrepreneurs and innovators, and investors during the event. The public is also invited to participate in the live-streamed symposium via tweet, chat, or with comments and questions directed to the panelists and speakers.

    The event agenda calls for discussions to address:

    • the experiences of entrepreneurs interacting with government as they have started and grown their companies;
    • the role that innovation accelerators and startup incubators play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the impact they are having on entrepreneurial activity and success;
    • emerging innovative funding options such as crowdfunding and revenue-based loans;
    • where venture capitalists and angel investors see the most investment activity now and in 2013 by sector, geographic region, or investor type, and what these trends tell us about the innovation climate and how to optimize it.

    A keynote address by Michael Young, president of the University of Washington, will address the role that technology transfer plays in commercializing innovation and reaping the economic benefits of converting ideas into products and services.

    Speakers and panelists at Small Business and Government include Small Business Administration representatives, Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, and Christine Kymn, Economist, Office of Advocacy.

    Entrepreneurs among the panelists include Chris Bajuk, Co-Founder and CEO of UrbanHarvest; Eric Koester, COO of Zaarly; David Roberts, Chairman and CEO of PopCap Games; Matthew Silver, Founder and CEO of Cambrian Innovation Inc.; Lindsay Andreotti, CEO of Brilliance Enterprises and the Brilliance Foundation.

    Investors speaking at the meeting include Greg Gottesman, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group; Catherine Mott, Founder and CEO BlueTree Capital Group/BlueTree Allied Angels; Andy Sack, Founder and Chairman of Lighter Capital.

    Representing the crowdfunding industry will be Wil Schroter, Founder,, and Danae Ringelmann, Co-Founder of Indiegogo.

    For information about how to attend the event live in Seattle or via live stream online, see Small Business and Government: Maximizing Entrepreneurship, Driving Innovation.

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