U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo Reestablishes the NACIE

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the appointment of 32 leaders and experts to the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE will be charged with developing a National Entrepreneurship Strategy that strengthens America’s ability to compete and win as the world’s leading startup nation and as the world’s leading innovator in critical emerging technologies.

“We must invest further in our entrepreneurs and innovators so that America continues to lead the world in discovering and commercializing critical technologies. At the same time, we must better ensure that more communities throughout the country are included in the ecosystems that will generate these critical innovations. The Biden Administration looks forward to tapping the expertise of the new NACIE members to build a better America and further strengthen our competitiveness on the global stage,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “I applaud these individuals – leaders in their respective fields of industry, workforce development, academia, technology and innovation – for their commitment to serve.”

“The new NACIE members are an impressive group of individuals from diverse backgrounds, regions and industries,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo, who will serve as one of NACIE’s two federal ex-officio co-chairs. “We have plenty of challenges and opportunities to tackle. I’m eager to get to work to ensure our tech and innovation economy prospers equitably for everyone across the nation.”

“The technological, societal and economic challenges that we face as a Nation today require even stronger bridges between discovery, innovation, and commercialization,” said National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, who will serve as a federal ex-officio co-chair. “I’m excited to work with the NACIE to help advance the highly integrated research and innovation ecosystem, with a particular focus on expanding the geography of innovation by engaging with diverse communities all across the country.”

NACIE is charged with identifying and recommending solutions to drive the innovation economy, including growing a skilled STEM workforce and removing barriers for entrepreneurs ushering innovative technologies into the market. The council also facilitates federal dialogue with the innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce development communities.

NACIE is a federal advisory committee managed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. More than 260 nominees were received. Members will serve two-year terms.

The newly appointed NACIE members are:

Non-Voting Federal Ex-Officio Co-Chairs

  • Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director, National Science Foundation

Voting Non-Federal Co-Chairs

  • Steve Case, Chairman/CEO, Revolution; Co-Founder, AOL
  • Kristina M. Johnson, President, The Ohio State University

Voting Members

  • Byron G. Auguste, Co-Founder/CEO, Opportunity@Work
  • Patricia Beckmann, Founder/Managing Director, BioStrategy
  • Melissa Bradley, Founder/Managing Partner/General Partner, 1863 Ventures
  • Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital
  • Christopher Chung, CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
  • Sherrese Clarke Soares, Founder/Managing Partner, HarbourView
  • Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
  • Lisa Feria, Managing Partner/CEO, Stray Dog Capital
  • Annette Finsterbusch, President/CEO, EnPower, Inc.
  • Brit Fitzpatrick, Chief of Staff, Stark
  • Aziz Gilani, General Partner/Managing Director, Mercury Fund
  • Orin Herskowitz, Executive Director, Senior VP of Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer, Columbia Technology Ventures
  • Neil Kane, Director, Curriculum and Capstone Advising, ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s) Graduate Program, University of Notre Dame
  • David Kenney, President/Executive Director, VertueLab
  • Wendy Lea, Co-Founder/CEO, Energize Colorado
  • Ian McClure, Associate VP for Research, Innovation & Economic Impact, University of Kentucky
  • Senofer Mendoza, Founder/General Partner, Mendoza Ventures
  • Rachel Meyers, Chief Science Officer, Faze Medicines
  • Nate Mook, CEO, World Central Kitchen
  • Bill Provine, CEO Delaware Innovation Space
  • Ryan Ramkhelawan, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Lasting Machine Ventures
  • Aimée Rose, Executive Managing Director, Activate Boston
  • Laura Sachar, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, StarVest Partners
  • Peter Scher, Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Liz Shuler, President, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
  • Grace Simrall, Chief of Civic Innovation & Technology, Louisville Metro Government
  • Dug Song, Chief Strategy Officer, Cisco Security
  • Tamara Steffens, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Venture Fund

National Small Business Week Virtual Summit Highlights Resiliency and Recovery

Prominent small business investors, entrepreneurs, and mentors address nearly 50,000 attendees

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that this year’s National Small Business Week (NSBW) Virtual Summit drew more than 47,000 participants for the three-day virtual summit. Attendees heard from celebrity business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, and lead advisors from across the small business community, and connected with fellow small business owners from across the country. The event featured a focus on resilience and recovery, offering 22 educational sessions to help participants leverage SBA services and funding as they work to recover and build back better than ever.

“Our 2021 National Small Business Week Virtual Summit put a spotlight on the more than 32 million small businesses and innovative startups that are the beating heart of our nation’s economy,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “I’m proud that our dedicated SBA team was able to facilitate so many timely, thought-provoking conversations. And, I am thankful to the renowned business leaders and corporate partners who helped us deliver innovative programming to our incredible network of resource partners and customers. Throughout NSBW 2021, we have celebrated the resilience, creativity, and determination of our nation’s small businesses while connecting them with resources and tools to recover and help build our nation’s economy back better.”

California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kunarakis presented a Certificate of Recognition to the AICC for its participation in the CIFTIS 2021

California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis presented a Certificate of Recognition to the American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC) on September 2 and thanked the AICC for its participation in hosting the California Pavilion and Investment Trade Forum at the China International Trade in Services (CIFTIS) 2021.

“It is with great pleasure to recognize you and your leadership your role as Executive Chairman of the American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC),” Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kunarakis wrote on the Certificate of Recognition, “Thank you for representing the AICC as the host of the California Pavilion and Forum in the International Trade and Service Fair in Beijing, China.”

“I am very pleased that Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kunarakis of California today presented the Certificate of Recognition to AICC, and I thank the State of California for reaffirming the work of the AICC,” said Holmes Stoner, Chairman of the American International Chamber of Commerce, on September 2nd, “Under the current economic and trade environment between the United States and China, it is of special significance for the California government to recognize and award the work of the AICC in China. We always believe that foreign enterprises will have more development opportunities and broader development space and benefit more from cooperating with California enterprises or investing in California. For a long time, we have focused on promoting California’s cooperation with Provinces and cities in China, which has achieved sustainable and productive results and won praise and praise from our partners and member companies. We are willing to continue to strengthen interaction and provide services for Chinese enterprises and entrepreneurs, and work together for mutually beneficial development.”

“We are grateful to the State of California and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kunarakis for their support of our project,” said Jason Quin, Executive Chairman of the AICC, “CIFTIS is the largest fair of trade in service in the world. The AICC is willing to provide effective services to American businesses participating in the CIFTIS. Through the excellent platform of CIFTIS, the AICC will continue to promote the image of participating companies, enhance their brands, and promote business development. Actively provide follow-up services for Chinese enterprises and entrepreneurs to invest and do business in California after the conference, and provide practical docking of investment and trade business for our members and customers.”



U.S. Funding for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs

Today, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump announced a new partnership in support of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). The partnership between the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) will expand the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).

AWE was created in 2019 and launched in 26 countries around the world to support W-GDP, which aims to economically empower 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.

“W-GDP is the first ever whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment, developed intentionally to inspire collaboration on best programs and partnerships,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. “I am proud to see the State Department and U.S. Africa Development Foundation partner together to expand the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in support of W-GDP. W-GDP is focused on scaling programs that will have maximum impact for women and communities around the world.”

In 2020, to help achieve W-GDP’s goals, ECA is expanding AWE globally, doubling the number of countries to reach more women, and partnering with USADF in Africa on this important effort.

This new U.S. government interagency partnership will provide select AWE graduates in Africa with seed funding to start and scale their enterprises. Beginning this year, through 2025, USADF will provide up to $10 million in grants to the most promising African AWE graduates. In 2020, funding will be awarded to AWE graduates from the following countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

USADF believes Africa’s growth and prosperity will be driven by women. In 2019, women social entrepreneurs and women-led enterprises constituted approximately 66% of USADF’s total investees. USADF is partnering with the State Department on AWE to promote African women’s entrepreneurship and increase their access to capital, markets, technical assistance, and mentorship.

AWE supports Pillar 2 of W-GDP by providing women with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to create sustainable businesses and enterprises. Through an inclusive learning community and mentoring opportunities, women from around the world will explore the fundamentals of business, including creating business plans and raising capital, with the goal of building a better future for their families and communities across Africa and around the world.