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Blog Posts by Calvin Osborne

FCC Hosts a Power-Packed Conference on Angel Investing for Small, Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

June 18, 2013 - 12:39 PM

On July 11, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m, the FCC‘s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (“OCBO”) will host an Access to Capital Conference and Workshop focusing on telecommunications and technology-related businesses interested in obtaining funding from angel investors.  This conference, which includes one on one breakout sessions, will be held at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street, Washington, DC on Thursday, July 11, 2013 from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm in the Commission Meeting Room. 

We have invited representatives from the angel investment community from across the country to discuss their investment strategies in the telecommunications, technology, and media-related industries.  Our panelists will examine what entrepreneurs need to know when seeking potential funding from angel investors and, once successful, how to navigate the investment relationship.     

The program will begin with a panel discussion from 9:00 am to 11:30 am.  The afternoon, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm, will feature one-on-one sessions between our panelists and any small business owners who would like individualized advice on angel investing and information on current funding opportunities. 

The goal of this program is to identify trends in angel investing, delve into the differences between angel investors and venture capitalists, and explain why would-be entrepreneurs should seek funding from angel investors rather than venture capitalists.  We will also highlight how angel investors select projects as well as the special challenges angel investors and entrepreneurs face in getting to an agreement. 

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2012 OCBO Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop

August 6, 2012 - 05:47 PM

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012 the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (“OCBO”) hosted its inaugural Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop. The conference provided small, minority, and women-owned businesses access to information about the business opportunities available in the government and private sectors, and how to compete for those opportunities.

The Conference consisted of two separate panels.  The first panel featured procurement officers from the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Federal Communications Commission.  Each representative spoke about areas where business is growing and gave in-depth examples of costly mistakes companies can make while bidding on a Government contract.  One officer detailed how a company held a contract with their organization for more than five years.  The contract ran its course and in the company’s new bid it did not talk about the services it offered, only that it held the contract previously.  Subsequently, the company lost the business.

The private sector panel included supply chain executives from AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon, Sprint, and Comcast. The representatives encouraged conference participants to focus on a select number of services they can offer when placing their bids.  The concensus among the private panel representatives was that companies purchasing products or services from potential suppliers must be wary of suppliers who signal that their companies are experts in a large number of areas because often times those companies are not particularly good at any area.   

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FCC to Host a Supplier Diversity Conference for Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

June 29, 2012 - 04:52 PM

The FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (“OCBO”) hosted a Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm. The conference focused on government and private sector business opportunities for small, minority, and women-owned businesses.

The event included a panel discussion, followed by small workshops. The goal of the Supplier Diversity Conference is to provide networking opportunities and share business information with suppliers of telecommunications and technology companies. This will further establish a diverse supply base. The panelists discussed how to develop and utilize the many skills and talents that small businesses possess, and address the various contract needs of large companies and how small businesses can distinguish themselves in the race for lucrative opportunities.

The first panel featured procurement officers from the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Federal Communications Commission. The second panel featured executives from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Comcast, and Microsoft.

The panels were moderated by Thomas Reed, Director of OCBO, and Ronald Johnson, President of Solutions4Change, and a member of the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age OCBO coordinated one-on-one sessions between the panelists and any small business owner who wished to participate. In these confidential meetings, small business owners received individualized advice on supplier strategies and information on current contracting opportunities.

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