Innovation Initiative

The goal of Advocacy’s Innovation Initiative is to identify the challenges and barriers hindering the growth and development of small innovative companies and to offer solutions to surmount such barriers. The Office of Advocacy’s Innovation Initiative is comprised of the following components:

  • Outreach to innovation and entrepreneurial small business stakeholders,
  • Communicating the feedback and concerns to appropriate federal agencies, and
  • Reporting the initiative’s findings.

Former Chief Counsel Winslow Sargeant initiated a coordinated outreach effort among his team of 10 regional advocates, the Office of Interagency Affairs, the Office of Economic Research, and an entrepreneur-in-residence. Their activities have included a series of symposiums titled “Small Business and Government: Maximizing Entrepreneurship, Driving Innovation.” These events bring together individuals working in the innovation ecosystem to hear firsthand about the challenges to growing successful businesses. Another result of this extensive outreach is a report by Advocacy’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Small Innovative Company Growth: Barriers, Best Practices and Big Ideas.

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Small Innovative Company Growth—Barriers, Best Practices and Big Ideas: Lessons from the 3D Printing Industry

What challenges confront entrepreneurs and small high-growth firms as they attempt to commercialize innovative products and services? This report examines barriers hindering the growth and development of small innovative companies. It illustrates these issues in a case study of one industry—3D printing/advanced manufacturing. And it identifies a set of 11 barriers to small innovative company growth. For each of these barriers, the report presents:

  • What We Heard—Describing the input from entrepreneurs, private industry and other participants in the innovation ecosystem as a result of Advocacy’s outreach efforts;
  • Best Practices—Identifying best practices or recent activities around an identified barrier; and
  • Big Ideas and Recommendations—Highlighting policies or programs that should be considered by the federal government to overcome such barriers.

Read the Innovation Report here: Innovation-Report-2015