Van Hollen and Cardin Announce Federal Funding for Bowie State University Innovation Programs


May 10, 2022

$4 million in congressional-directed spending will support expansion of the Business Accelerator Program and hydroponics research at Maryland’s oldest HBCU

Today, Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, and Ben Cardin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (both D-Md .) announced $4 million in congressional-directed spending to support innovation programs at Bowie State University. , the oldest historically black college and university (HBCU) in Maryland. The senators secured $3 million for the Bowie Business Innovation Center (Bowie BIC), as well as $1 million for the university to develop a new hydroponics research lab.

Along with the announcement, the senators joined University President Dr. Aminta H. Breaux, Bowie BIC Executive Director Lisa S. Smith, graduates of the Bowie BIC Business Accelerator Programs, entrepreneurs and regional small business leaders for a listening session on challenges. to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Prince George’s County. Senators also heard from graduates of Bowie BIC’s 8(a) Accelerator Program, who briefed senators on their experience in the federal contracting process.

“The Bowie Business Innovation Center is a pioneering initiative that provides underserved small businesses with the tools they need to succeed and better position them for government contracts. That’s why I was proud to join Senator Cardin in supporting a $3 million federal investment for the BIC as part of the federal funding bill this year,” said Senator Van Hollen. “With these funds, Bowie State will be able to expand services to Marylanders – and the Bowie BIC will help other HBCUs across the country replicate its success. We will continue to work to provide more opportunities for growth by leveraging federal investments in Bowie State and all of our state’s HBCUs, which play a vital role in opening doors of opportunity for people across the Maryland.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that our nation’s HBCUs are uniquely situated to help connect minorities, women, and other underserved entrepreneurs to the services and resources they need to succeed,” cardin said. “The $3 million in funding from Congress will increase the Bowie Business Innovation Center’s ability to help underserved entrepreneurs tenfold. The Bowie BIC inspired me UPLIFT law, which would create a national network of accelerators and incubators on the campuses of HBCU, MSI and community colleges. I remain hopeful that we will pass this bill to capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit that is spreading in our communities. »

“The $3 million received in federal funding will help create the Bowie BIC Center of Excellence pilot program that will provide targeted resources to strengthen HBCUs,” said Aminta Breaux, president of Bowie State University. “The program will also expand on the existing work of the country’s only 8(a) acceleration program. We are grateful to Senator Cardin for helping us obtain the necessary funds to ensure continued success. This additional support will allow expansion and replication of the Bowie BIC 8(a) Accelerator Program mode through partnerships with other HBCUs. Additionally, we thank Senator Van Hollen for his work in securing $1 million to develop the Bowie State University Hydroponics and Aquaponics Research Lab.

The new direct federal funding of $3 million to establish the Bowie BIC Center of Excellence for 8(a) government contracts at Bowie State University is a historic development,” said Lisa S. Smith, executive director of the Bowie BIC, a nonprofit business accelerator located at Bowie State University. “We are truly grateful to Senator Cardin and Senator Van Hollen for their work in securing this funding. With this funding, our award-winning 8(a) accelerator program can be expanded through the Center of Excellence and become a new resource for HBCUs in America by helping socially and economically disadvantaged businesses fully participate in US Small Business. Administration (SBA) 8 (a) Schedule and win government contracts that create wealth for entrepreneurs and create jobs in their communities. »

The award-winning Bowie Business Innovation Center 8(a) Accelerator program, the first in America, is a fast track to help US Small Business Administration (SBA) certified contractors under the SBA 8(a) Business Development program win federal government contracts. Bowie BIC’s 8(a) Accelerator program focuses on developing a targeted federal capture strategy, mentoring, and networking.

The senators also secured $1 million in direct funding for the Bowie State University Hydroponics Research Laboratory to position Bowie State students and researchers at the forefront of research in cutting edge in plant biology and agriculture.

Senators Cardin and Van Hollen present a check to Bowie BIC Executive Director Lisa Smith and BSU President Aminta Breaux (Photo/BSU)


Senators Cardin and Van Hollen pose for a photo with Bowie Mayor Tim Adams, Breaux, Smith and Bowie BIC board members and graduates (Photo/BSU)

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