Build to Scale (B2S) Program

The Build to Scale (B2S) program, led by the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), aims to foster regional economic growth through scalable startups. This initiative comprises three competitions dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship, accelerating company growth, and enhancing access to risk capital across regional economies. Specifically, the Build to Scale Program strengthens regional economies by facilitating the launch and expansion of startups through the Venture Challenge and Capital Challenge.

The Venture Challenge, a key program component, focuses on igniting and accelerating regional growth through technology-based economic development (TBED). It aims to strengthen regional innovation ecosystems, promote the commercialization of new technologies, and foster industry clusters, creating high-quality jobs. The competition offers three funding levels—Build, Scale, and Ignite—to support grantees in implementing programs aligned with the maturity and capacity of their innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. The new Ignite Challenge, introduced for FY 2023, supports the development of nascent technology-based ecosystems, aiming to build organizational capacity through feasibility studies, impact analyses, and planning to address regional innovation needs.

Georgetown’s University Proposal

Georgetown University’s proposal for the FY2023 Build to Scale Venture Challenge, titled Georgetown Tech Ventures (GTV), has been selected for funding. GTV focuses on implementing a research translation program to enable technology-based startups to contribute effectively to the economic ecosystem in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region. The project aims to assist startups by employing proven strategies:

The successful completion of the GTV project will increase research- and technology-based startup ventures, thereby enhancing the DC contribution to a thriving DMV technology ecosystem. The project will be spearheaded through the GU Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), focusing on establishing an effective technology transfer operation. This operation will support research- and technology-based startups, facilitate collaboration between inventors and entrepreneurs, provide training and networking opportunities, and offer support for prototyping and proof of principle for innovative technologies.