There are many resources available for Washington D.C inventors, including the US Inventor group, a business incubator, and the US Patent & Trademark Office. If you are looking to patent your invention, a startup and new business guide, these resources can help.
Inventors Network of the Capital Area (INCA)
The Inventors Network of the Capital Area (INCA) is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1993. The members are made up of both novices and expert inventors, product developers, and entrepreneurs with experience in:
- The Innovation Process
- Product design
- Product Development
The Inventors Network of the Capital Area, one of DC’s few inventor groups has been supporting its fellow inventors through monthly meetups and other networking events. This group has been welcoming everyone, from novice inventors to professionals, to learn all there is about invention.
Each month they host a guest speaker who will talk about inventing. Some past speakers have included successful inventors, marketing professionals, and officials from the US Patent & Trademark Office of Independent Inventor Programs.
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Georgetown University is a top university in DC. This university, founded by Catholics and Jesuits, has been a top choice for education since its inception more than two centuries ago. If you are interested in technology, the Georgetown University Office of Technology Commercialization is a great place to start your ideas.
The Office of Technology was established in 2002 to support the future business leaders within the diverse and forward-thinking student body. The Office of Technology demonstrates the University’s commitment in facilitating the introduction of innovative products to international markets. To help researchers and entrepreneurs connect, they offer innovative events such as Speed dating for Innovation. This allows them to see brilliant ideas transform into billion-dollar ventures.
Be aware that any inventions you create while at Georgetown could become the property of universities. This is a common practice. However, the benefits of networking with investors and meeting a variety of investors who are eager to hear your ideas far outweigh any potential risks.
SCORE Washington DC is an organization of business professionals that assists those who want to start a small business or improve the profitability of existing businesses.
SCORE is a national organization which has gained a reputation for being very accommodating by offering free, confidential counseling (both online and offline) and free to reduced cost services such as workshops and meetups.
In the DC area, anyone who is looking to understand where their business stands in today’s economy can schedule an appointment with SCORE. Their volunteers have extensive experience in areas like accounting, finance and human resources consulting, import/export law, law, operations production, retail, wholesale manufacturing, sales, marketing management, business planning preparation, strategic planning, as well as many other business disciplines.
Since 1964, SCORE has educated and mentored more than 11 million small business owners and entrepreneurs. They are looking for people with diverse backgrounds and experiences to serve in a variety of roles — from knowledgeable business mentors to local community advocates.
George Washington University
It’s one thing for a student to learn entrepreneurship in a classroom or accelerator. But here at George Washington University they have 24 hour access to the entire world of entrepreneurship within the city.
George Washington University is centrally located in Washington, D.C. It offers its students “unparalleled accessibility to leading international institutions, multinational companies, and the governments of 177 countries via their resident diplomatics.” Every student at GW will become the innovator of the future.
If you are looking for a place where your inner inventor can flourish, GW’s Technology Commercialization Office is the place. The university’s TCO is responsible for all aspects of technology marketing. Students have full access to the university’s exclusive entrepreneurial resources, which include some of the most prominent investors in the city.
StartUp Grind DC
Startup Grind DC is a local chapter of the global start-up community. This group is focused on connecting innovators and business leaders to share best practices. The organization has been helping entrepreneurs build their businesses since it started in Silicon Valley and has now spread to other cities. It has helped millions of entrepreneurs secure funding and connect with strategic partners. Inventors with patentable inventions can join StartUp Grind DC for a wide range of resources and support.
The group also includes people with an entrepreneurial background, such as John Harthorne, the co-founder and CEO of Postmates. He is a native of Munich, Germany. He attended the AngelPad Accelerator in San Francisco and founded Postmates in 2011. Today, the company has grown from a small startup to a global company and has partnered with a variety of businesses. In addition to helping people find local restaurants, Postmates has become the largest on-demand delivery fleet in the country, with 13,000 delivery vehicles serving more than 30 metropolitan areas.
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D.C. Small Business Development Center
DC SBDC prides itself on being “one-stop shop for small business success.” They offer multiple avenues of help whether you need help getting your venture off the ground, with financing or cultivating it into a worldwide phenomenon.
This makes the nerve-wracking process of putting your money and life on the line less frightening. Both veterans and newbies can get help with research, training, and mentoring. If you have to request a loan, they will even help you.
While DC SBDC does not offer loans, They and the Small Business Administration have partnered with many banks. The DC SBDC is there to assist you, even if your startup grows into the success story you dream.
The legal process for bringing your ideas to the market can be confusing and time-consuming. The DC’s US Inventor group is available for those who need some assistance in navigating the system. US Inventor is the national voice for inventors. It teaches its members how “promote, defend, and defend the invention process.”
The people at US Inventor are right. “Innovation is the cornerstone American Dream.” How can inventors be taught about the invention process from a legal perspective?
Their mission is to restore the ability of an inventor to stop the theft of a patented invention, regardless of how powerful the corporation intent on taking it. This is the right inventors had that created the incentive to invent that caused America to lead the world in innovation for 200 years.
This right has been significantly lost in recent years by ill-conceived legislation and judicial decisions. All of the activities of US Inventor are aligned to accomplish this mission.
BEACON DC was founded in 2016 and has been a strong grassroots network with over 3,000 female founders. It also provides resources and support to empower women entrepreneurs to be their own bosses, and live the life they want.
According to the website, BEACON DC demonstrates how mentors, investors and government can come together to make sure women business owners succeed.
While most groups focus on creating networking events and coworking spaces for female entrepreneurs to come together and collaborate with one another, BEACON DC goes above and beyond to the point of helping women change the system from a legal standpoint.
Small Business Resource Center
The Small Business Resource Center is perhaps the most valuable resource D.C. has for wanna-be tech gurus. The SBRC provides every service that a budding entrepreneur needs to start or nurture a new venture.
The SBRC combines the best of both federal and local government agencies to offer world-class resources. It harnesses nonprofit services and combines them with the power of the District government. The SBRC offers business development training, workshops at the top of their game and one-on-one support for those in need.
If you are looking to start your own business after retirin, the center’s Senior Day program is the best option. The program is for those 60 and older who want to learn how start a business.
Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national advocacy organization for small businesses. It was founded and managed by small business owners. Small Business Majority is America’s most prominent political supporter of the small business owner. They actively engage and support them by informing them about key issues that affect small businesses, such as healthcare and paid leave.
They use extensive economic research and scientific opinion polling to do this. They also use focus groups and educational programs like the entrepreneurship programme. The program provides in-person and online education seminars, among other resources, to help self-employed entrepreneurs as well as employees.
Washington DC Women’s Business Center
Founded on October 1, 2009, the 2015 SBA Women’s Business Center of Excellence award-winning Washington, DC Women’s Business Center offers female business owners and entrepreneurs with all of the resources needed to start a business.
These services include:
- Business assessment
- Business planning
- Access to capital
- Mentoring and networking opportunities.
DC Department of Small & Local Business Development (DSLBD)
The DC Department of Small & Local Business Development is one of DC’s most prestigious federal programs. It connects business owners with many of the top programs and teams in Capitol Hill. Since 2012, the DSLBD has helped fellow innovators realize their goals by connecting them to funding sources and city maker hubs.
If you are looking to sell your inventions and ideas to the DC market, look no further than DSLBD’s made in DC Program. This program is designed for DC makers who want to learn more about DC-made products and connect with other DC makers.
If you are interested in revitalizing your Main Street program, or commercial district, then consider attending one of the DC Main Streets 101 Training Days. These workshops are interactive and great for inventing and developing entrepreneurial skills.
GW’s Technology Commercialization Office
GW’s Technology Commercialization Office is a resource for entrepreneurs, startups, and researchers who are looking to commercialize their discoveries. The office provides step-by-step guidance and support to help an inventor protect their inventions through the patenting process. The Technology Commercialization Office continuously evaluates an inventor’s invention as it moves through the patenting process.
1863 Ventures, based in Washington DC is a startup accelerator focused on B2C startups and B2B. They offer two programs to achieve this:
- Pipeline program: 3-week program focused on companies in the pre-growth phase with an annual revenue of $100k and more. Participants will be able to take part in workshops, one-on-one sessions with advisors, mentoring and more.
- Acceler8 : 3-week program focused on B2B brands with a minimum revenue of $1 million. Acceler8 participants receive the same mentoring, one-on-1 advisory sessions, workshops etc. as those in the Pipeline Program.
Participants in both programs are mentored on various fundraising models, such as equity financing, debt funding, crowdfunding, angel investment, etc.
CivStart Accelerator is a program that focuses on govtech startup companies. The accelerator is not stage-specific, but participants cannot be at the product or ideation stage.
This 24-month program provides mentorship, and facilitates meetings with CivStart Advisory Board Members who are experts on local and state government challenges and opportunities. The program is subject to a $10,000 annual fee.
The program concludes with a Demo Day and Innovation Summit.
Dcode Accelerate is a program that connects tech startups and the federal government to drive commercial innovation on the federal market.
To do this, they add top tech companies on a regular basis to the Dcode Accelerate program.
Dcode, as part of its program, offers a platform paid for called Nexus. This allows selected tech companies to interact directly with government officials.
Participants receive advice on how to match technology with government applications. Participants will also learn how to market and price technology.
FedTech is Washington DC’s leading startup accelerator. It partners with several organizations to offer customized accelerator programs to technology startups.
Custom accelerator programs are designed to assist startups in providing solutions to the most pressing problems of partner organizations.
Accelerator programs are a great way for startups to move up the ladder through educational programming and mentoring.
FedTech offers 10 accelerator programs:
- xTech Accelerator : This program helps to transition tech from the Army and is for finalists of xTechSearch.
- xTechGlobal AI Accelerator This program helps AI companies to transition tech into the DoD.
- DredgeTech accelerator This program is designed for startups that are working on dredging technology for the removal of sediments from reservoirs.
- xTechHBCU Accelerator : This program is designed for xTechHBCU finalists who are looking to attract Army funding.
- xTech Innovative Combine: The program is aimed at startups that are working on innovative power and energy solutions.
- xTechSBIR Waveform Challenge This program is designed for startups who are working to enhance waveform capabilities by developing and integrating new waveforms into software-defined radio using open architecture.
- Innovation Crossroads This program targets startups in clean energy’s next-generation sector.
- Innovation Combine cohort: The program is specifically for participants in the AFC Innovation Combine, with a focus on startups that have dual-use technologies.
- TABA program This program is designed for small businesses that are applying for STTR/SBIR grants and who need additional commercialization assistance.
- KIC FedTech Accelerator This program offers assistance to Korean tech companies in launching products on the US market.
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