Inclusive Innovation Fund

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Establish a fund or fund(s) aimed at growing business activity in DC’s opportunity areas (i.e. impact economy, urban innovation/smart cities, hospitality & professional services innovation, data, security tech) and enabling access to capital by underrepresented entrepreneurs. Awards could be made via pitch competition and/or matching fund over the course of several months and would require applicants to have an inclusive growth plan. Explore opportunities for public-private partnership and, over time, ways to maximize the impact of District investments via alternative fund structures.

Progress Updates:

September 2018: The Bowser Administration announced it will partner with The Marathon Foundation (TMF) to create the DC Inclusive Innovation Fund, a new program that will invest in early stage District businesses led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and individuals with disabilities.  The District will provide seed funding of $1.5 million to help the fund raise private capital to support DC entrepreneurs.  Read more here. 

April 2018: The Bowser Administration today released a Request for Applications (RFA) for an investment partner to develop and manage the Inclusive Innovation Fund, a new program that aims to invest in early stage District businesses led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including people of color, women, and LGBTQ people and individuals with disabilities. The District will make available seed funding of up to $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2018 to help an investment professional partner build out a program. Read more here.

February 2018: Mayor Bowser issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on the design and approach for the Inclusive Innovation Fund, a new program that aims to increase access to capital for District entrepreneurs, particularly for underrepresented entrepreneurs, such as people of color and women. Read more here.

  • Timeline: FY17-20
  • Lead and key partners: Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), Dept. of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB)
  • Related core sectors: any tied to an opportunity area
  • Related opportunity areas: impact economy, smart cities and civic solutions, hospitality innovation, professional services innovation, security technology, data science and analytics
  • Related action areas: funding, DC identity and promotion, talent