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Federal Agencies Driving Innovation: FDA's Entrepreneurship Initiatives

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Federal Agencies Driving Innovation: FDA's Entrepreneurship Initiatives

By Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
Published: August 22, 2011 Updated: August 22, 2011

Working with federal agencies to empower America’s leading entrepreneurs is a key part of what we do at SBA.  It’s great to see agencies like the Food and Drug Administration coming up with innovative ideas that help startups and small businesses create jobs at this crucial time.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg recently announced two new efforts to strengthen entrepreneurship in the medical technology industry.

The first is a new “entrepreneur-in-residence” program at FDA.  FDA plans to recruit seasoned entrepreneurs in the medical industry who have successfully navigated FDA’s regulatory process.  These Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will find ways to help FDA and small businesses work together to introduce new products in the marketplace both quickly and safely. 

On the FDA side, these experienced entrepreneurs will train FDA staff on how to engage and network with small businesses.  They will help FDA more fully understand the challenges small businesses face, including the importance of timely communications during the review and approval process. 

On the small business side, they will help the next generation of entrepreneurs make the best possible decisions about how to move through the FDA review process given their unique situation, their resources, and their ability to raise capital.

I should also mention one other thing FDA is doing to strengthen the pipeline of entrepreneurship.  Working with universities, they will establish a Young Entrepreneurs program with fellowships for business, engineering, and science students who are interested in working in the medical industry.

What FDA is doing is a great example of how federal agencies can reach out and directly help small businesses out-compete and out-innovate the rest of the world.  I look forward to working with them and with other agencies to uncover and implement even more ideas for empowering America’s entrepreneurs to do what they do best: grow their business and create jobs.

About the Author:

Karen Mills

Former SBA Administrator

Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.


I tried to look up this program on the FDA site couldn't find it.

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