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1776 Partners with Commerce Department to Jumpstart Entrepreneurial Economies

Program will teach startups how to scale their businesses and export their products

Washington, D.C.—1776, the global startup incubator and seed fund, today announced it is partnering with the US Department of Commerce in a new initiative to teach startups how to export their products.

As part of the partnership with the Department of Commerce’s “Startup Global” initiative, 1776 will host training sessions, curriculum and seminars with experts who can help teach startups how to export their product overseas. Through the Startup Federation, 1776’s global network of 18 startup incubators that serve as the primary innovation hub and local connectors in their communities, 1776 is already an industry leader in helping its startups grow rapidly by getting access to global communities and directly connecting young companies to the smartest people in those cities.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Department of Commerce to help startups realize their products have incredible market opportunities not just here at home, but also overseas,” said Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776. “At 1776, we’ve been working to identify the world’s best startups, and help them understand that the solutions they offer can change the way millions of people live and do business throughout the world.”

“The Obama Administration wants to ensure that all of our entrepreneurs have the best opportunity to succeed – because start-ups are key sources of economic growth and job creation,” said US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “In fact, across a wide range of sectors and regions, entrepreneurs and small business owners have generated more than 65 percent of net new jobs over the last two decades. The Startup Global initiative will help entrepreneurs and early-stage companies to think global from day one by providing the know-how and technical assistance they need in order to export their goods and services. Startup Global will expand our International Trade Administration’s client base to include startups – a critical part of ensuring that Commerce partners with American firms, whether small businesses, medium-sized enterprises, or large multinationals.”

1776 works to help startups transform industries that impact millions of lives every day—Education, Energy & Sustainability, Health, and Transportation & Cities. While headquartered in Washington, DC, 1776 has created a global community of startups that exists far beyond the District’s borders, and has allowed 1776 startups to develop networks that transcend their individual hometowns.

Austin-based RideScout, a ride-sharing app that combines all available ground transportation options—including taxis, rideshare options, public transportation, bicycle, private vehicles and walking—to help users plan their travel as efficiently as possible is a 1776 member company that recently unlocked the key to global expansion as a result of participating in 1776’s global Challenge Cup startup competition.

After winning the D.C. regional Challenge Cup 2014 in the “Transportation & Cities” category, Ridescout was acquired by Daimler in late 2014 as part of its expansion into the fast-growing ridesharing market—and to help Daimler navigate Germany’s restrictive ride-sharing laws.

The Department of Commerce will host similar sessions at incubators in Arlington, Texas, Nashville, Tenn. and Cincinnati, Ohio.

ABOUT 1776 

1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that believes that startups can change the world and is building the global platform to provide them with the intellectual, social and financial capital to make that a reality.  Unlike any other startup incubator in the world, 1776 is focused exclusively on driving startups that disrupt the most broken, entrenched sectors that impact millions of lives every day—education, energy and sustainability, health, transportation and cities.

Some of 1776’s most successful startups include HandUp, which leverages the power of the Internet to match specific online donors to homeless individuals in need, and, a veteran-owned startup that created a state-of-the-art digital authentication program now used by the VA to identify and track veterans eligible for benefits.

Proving that good ideas aren’t exclusive to Silicon Valley, 1776 has forged partnerships with leading startup incubators in the world’s densest startup communities—known as the Startup Federation—and are using those relationships to connect startups with capital, mentorship and institutional partners wherever they exist.To highlight the importance of these global connections, 1776 hosts an annual competition called the Challenge Cup, engaging Startup Federation partners in 16 cities across the world, to identify the most promising new startups and connect them with the information, mentors and resources they need to succeed—regardless of their geographic location.

1776 was founded in January 2013 by Donna Harris, a serial entrepreneur and former Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership, and Evan Burfield, founder of netDecide, a provider of enterprise wealth management solutions, and the consulting firm Synteractive. Together, they bring the 1776 community their expertise at the intersection of innovation and regulated industries, their experience as startup founders and investors, and the insights critical for startups to thrive in this environment.