Drive 8(a) with the SBA

Government Procurement Conference

 Presented by the SBA Georgia District Office 

Hosted by Atlanta MBDA Business & Advanced Manufacturing Centers

The SBA Georgia District Office SBA and Atlanta MBDA Business and Advanced Manufacturing Centers will host a half-day event.

Purpose: 1) to foster new applicants for the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program positioned for optimal program participation and 2) provide instruction to current program participants on how to maximize the impact of their 8(a) program experience and prepare for transitioning out of the program at the end of their program terms.

Topics Include:

Federal Contracting Market and the 8(a) Program

8(a) Program Best Practices

8 (a) Program Eligibility and Application Process

Effective Marketing to Federal Agencies

Capacity Building Tools /Resources for Current 8(a) Participants

There is no fee to attend.


What’s Your Pitch- Innovations Meet the Market- USPAACC-SE

*Registration Deadline Extended*- April 30, 2019

Hosted by the Atlanta MBDA Business & Advanced Manufacturing Centers

What’s Your Pitch: Innovations Meet the Market is a unique pitching competition. Early stage startups with innovative ideas, products and/or services will compete at Regional Preliminary Round of choice to become one of 5 semi-finalists of that region to compete at the National Semi-Final and Final Rounds in June 2019. They will enjoy the opportunity to pitch to a panel judges from Fortune 1000 Corporations, Venture Capitalists, and Angel Investors. Five finalists will be selected for the Final Round to receive a total value of $100,000 in cash prizes and services. 

What’s Your Pitch: Innovations Meet the Market” is hosted by the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) in partnership with the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Rice University.

Top 5 at each Regional Preliminary Competition will win cash prizes for travel and accommodation to National Semi-Final and Final Rounds.

Semifinal Round
June 4, 2019 | Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University
(20 semifinalists will be chosen)

Final Round
June 5, 2019 | Hilton-Americas Houston
(At CelebrASIAN Procurement + Business Conference)

Startups that join the Elimination round will:

  • Be a part of USPAACC Pitch Alums Social Group and connect with past competitions’ semi-finalists and finalists.
  • Join USPAACC Young Entrepreneur Membership which will give access to discounted and/or free National and regional events.
  • Attend USPAACC CelebrAsian 2019 Procurement and Business Conference, the largest gathering of Asian American B2B business in the United States.
  • Enjoy networking opportunities with potential angel investors, venture capitalists, high growth entrepreneurs, potential partners, access to clients, Corporation Executives and SME business owners at USPAACC CelebrAsian 2019.

4 Finalists will receive:

  • Cash-prizes only, no equity or ownership from investors.
  • 30-minute one-on-one Coaching session with successful Entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.
  • PR articles on USPAACC website and credible marketing value to finalists.
  • Startup names on USPAACC “What’s Your Pitch” site and social media platforms.
  • One-on-one advisory meetings with USPAACC professionals to help guide your business strategy.
  • Matched mentorship opportunities and ability to gain business guidance from those who have expertly pioneered your industry.

Rules and Eligibilities

Team Composition

  • Teams that have won/placed in past competitions are not eligible to compete again unless they have a new technology or a completely new venture.
  • Each team may bring up to 5 team members including the team leader. A minimum of 2 team members must be present in every round and those team members must meet the eligibilities above.

Categories / Sectors

Must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Consumer Goods
    Food and Beverages, Cosmetics & Fashion, B2C Mobile Apps
  • Life Science & Healthcare
    Medical Technologies, Medical Device, Healthcare IT Solutions, Biotech, Biopharma
  • Technology
    AI, Blockchain, Machine Learning, 3D Printing, Cybersecurity, Robotics, IoT, Enterprise Software, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality
  • Energy & Utilities
    Clean Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Transportation & Mobility, Hybrid Vehicles, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas Technologies

Revenue Limitation

  • All ventures have to be seeking equity/ capital/ early stage investments or angel investments. We do not provide, research grants, loans, friends and family funding or any accelerator, incubator equity funding.
  • All ventures have to be for-profits.

Intellectual Property

An IP is not required but highly recommended.

Startup Stage

  • Only new ventures in early growth, seed and start-up stage can compete at this competition.
  • You may compete in the USPAACC competition more than once. Previous applicants should have new technology or ventures and will be reviewed by the Committee.


  • Startups that have raised more than $1 million in equity capital, other than from friends and family.
  • Startups that have made $100,000 in revenue per month.
  • Startups that operate as or have participated in M&As, growth and/or expansion of existing companies, franchises, licensing agreements and spinouts from current companies.

Application Process

  • Applicants will need to fill in the application form. Once you’ve completed your Eventbrite registration, you will be sent an external email complete with a link to complete the Pitch application.
  • Applicants will have the option to upload a short Introduction Video and an Executive Summary.
  • There is no fee associated with the application.
  • All submitted applications are final.
  • Last day to apply is April 30, 2019.

Experts Question if Artificial Intelligence Will Protect Man-kinds’ Best Interest

Are Robots Equipped With the Ability to Make Ethical Decisions?

Utilizing robots and intelligent reality software in the workplace has altered and enhanced the world as we know it, but to what end? The questions that arise in conversations when discussing robotics and intelligent reality are very similar, usually surrounding the ethics and decision-making capabilities of the intelligence. Robots are being utilized to oversee and optimize processes, but do they have the ability to decide what is best for man-kind before acting?

Over the past 5 years, the merging of artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) has grown tremendously and is expected to continuously rise, eventually transforming the workforce as we know it. The impact of the introduction of thinking machines to the labor force has been major, especially in the manufacturing and healthcare industries.

Artificial intelligence has improved productivity, shortened supply chains, and increased automation in warehouses, contributing to the popularity of smart factories. The automobile industry has begun the production of smart cars, while the healthcare industry is utilizing robots to test diagnoses and revolutionize treatments, empowering innovation and promoting growth.

Industry experts predict 50% of all manufacturing companies will be using AI in some form by the end of 2021

Humans created machines to think, observe and resemble human behaviors, allowing the machines to learn an algorithm and gain the ability to respond to situations as if it was second nature to them. But are the machines morally equipped not to harm humans or able to understand their capacity as machines? Robots have modernized society and embody the power to enhance the world as we know it, but are they capable of correcting and eliminating harmful behavior or adjusting to societal standards?

Technology companies are in a race to the top competing for the title of “most innovative,” while some businesses have encountered backlash due to the entities that have access to the software. Microsoft Corporation faced widespread criticism as they bragged on working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to assist the agency in “processing data on edge devices or utilizing deep learning capabilities to accelerate facial recognition and identification.”

Microsoft Corporation faced widespread criticism as they bragged on working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Microsofts’ CEO Satya Nadella addressed the concerns in an internal memo to all employees ensuring the company isn’t working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families, but they are working with ICE to support its’ legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.

Microsoft president Brad Smith requested for governments worldwide to develop and adopt laws to regulate facial-recognition technology. Concerns continue to rise globally as countries like China rapidly introduce facial recognition to monitor public spaces, with analysts estimating an increase of 100 million surveillance cameras, adding to the 200 million already in place.
Smith suggests pushing for the ban on using facial recognition in ways that harm political freedom or enable discrimination.

He also implanted principles that will guide Microsoft in how it develops and deploys facial recognition technology. The principles are:

  1. Fairness. We will work to develop and deploy facial recognition technology in a manner that strives to treat all people fairly.
  2. Transparency. We will document and clearly communicate the capabilities and limitations of facial recognition technology.
  3. Accountability. We will encourage and help our customers to deploy facial recognition technology in a manner that ensures an appropriate level of human control for uses that may affect people in considerable ways.
  4. Non-discrimination. We will prohibit in our terms of service the use of facial recognition technology to engage in unlawful discrimination.
  5. Notice and consent. We will encourage private sector customers to provide notice and secure consent for the deployment of facial recognition technology.
  6. Lawful surveillance. We will advocate for safeguards for people’s democratic freedoms in law enforcement surveillance scenarios and will not deploy facial recognition technology in scenarios that we believe will put these freedoms at risk.

Limiting a robots competencies may hinder the purpose of innovation, however creating a predictable, transparent thinking machine could be a solution to a question surrounding ethics. If the persons in control of the robot understand its’ limits, this may reduce and eliminate the concern of foul play or human harm.

The National MBE Manufacturer Summit 2019

Join the Atlanta MBDA at the 4th Annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2019 to experience the trending technology and innovation! Our conference participants will have the ability to fully engage and lay their eyes on technological innovations ranging from automation drones and robotics to augmented and virtual reality. This is your chance to be among the first to interact with cutting-edge technologies and expose your team to fresh ideas.