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A New Route to Government Access

A New Route to Government Access

When we think of university/government collaboration, it's usually scientists poking students with sticks to see how they survive on Ramen alone. However, Arlington, VA, by mixing in entrepreneurs, has a much more fun approach.

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Amplifier Ventures founder Jonathan Aberman is kicking off a three-month regional program today with Arlington County to bring together entrepreneurial companies, universities, and government agencies through events. The Ballston Innovation Initiative will spotlight government requirements for national security and expose security products and approaches created by non-traditional sources and the entrepreneurs who launch those companies. The businesses get their innovations in the hands of government and the universities get their students and faculty access to an ecosystem for career development and professional futures, Jonathan says. Some of the groups involved are Marymount, Virginia Tech, GMU, CIT,, and BusyConf.

empathy-carlyThe April 18 launch event will feature former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, with entrepreneurs like Blackbird Technologies' Peggy Styer and Power Fingerprinting's Steven Chen whose companies have had the government as its primary customer. An event in May will walk small businesses through submitting proposals to government agencies, contract compliance, getting on the GSA schedule, and a FAR overview. One in June will let small businesses pitch their tech products to government program managers and potential investors. FounderCorps will offer classes on business formation, corporate finance, and Lean Startup mechanics.