WASHINGTON, DC—Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins, US Small Business Administration (SBA) District Director Bridget Bean, Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director Harold Pettigrew, and Bioscan Vice President Alex Kleinman gathered today to launch ConnecTech, an initiative designed to assist small tech firms with connecting to technology opportunities. ConnecTech is an effort funded by DSLBD in partnership with the SBA through the Federal and State Technology (FAST) grant program, and directly supports Mayor Gray’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy goal of making the District the largest technology center on the East Coast.
"My vision for the District of Columbia includes an economy with diversified, resilient businesses that create good-paying jobs for our residents," said Mayor Gray. "By supporting technology entrepreneurs as they take their innovations to market, this partnership with the SBA continues the District’s economic momentum and represents a concrete step toward our goal of becoming the largest technology center on the East Coast."
"Less than nine weeks ago, the Gray Administration announced its bold, comprehensive Five-Year Economic Development Strategy," said Deputy Mayor Hoskins. "ConnecTech is the first of many partnerships the District’s economic-development cluster will be launching with partners in the public and private sectors as we aggressively move to make the goals outlined in the strategy a reality. This program aids in those efforts, particularly by offering a business-friendly solution to help the District grow the most competitive technology presence in the region."
The signature initiative of ConnecTech is an effort to assist small businesses with competing for commercialization opportunities in the federal government through the federal Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Tech Transfer (STTR) programs. The SBIR program assists small businesses with engaging federal research and development with the potential for commercialization, while the STTR facilitates cooperative research and development opportunities between small businesses and research institutions with potential for commercialization. The SBIR and STTR awards are highly competitive research and development awards to small businesses, amounting to more than $2.5 billion per year from 11 federal agencies.
"ConnecTech represents DSLBD’s commitment to supporting DC’s technology companies and providing DC businesses with a comprehensive set of business support services," said DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew. "The technology sector is an important part of the District’s Economic Development Strategy, and we’re looking forward to working with the SBA and local partners to maximize the growth and launch of technology companies by diversifying the business opportunities available to them."
"At the SBA, we’re bringing entrepreneurial and innovative approaches to our business support programs," said SBA District Director Bridget Bean. "I want to commend Mayor Gray for his administration’s energy and commitment in launching this program. The SBA is excited to partner with the District to support the enterprising spirit of the District’s small technology businesses."
DC biotechnology firm Bioscan, Inc. hosted the event at its R&D and manufacturing facility in the District. Bioscan is a leading supplier of preclinical molecular imaging equipment that facilitates life sciences research and accelerates the development of new therapies.
"At Bioscan, we've leveraged SBIR resources to support the development and commercialization of our technologies," said Bioscan Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Alex Kleinman. "By helping more small businesses access those resources, this initiative has tremendous potential to benefit DC technology companies like ours."
To learn more about the ConnecTech program, please visit http://dslbd.dc.gov/service/connectech.
To learn more about the SBA’s FAST Grant Program, please visit the SBA’s website.
For more information about Bioscan, please visit http://bioscan.com.
- Brendon Miller (DSLBD), (202) 741-0860