Brittany Sickler

Program Manager

Economic Development Agency (EDA), U.S. Department of Commerce

Brittany Sickler, is a program manager at the Economic Development Administration. Previously she was a Small Business Administration's (SBA) Senior Innovation Policy Advisor (SBIR/STTR), at SBA's Office of Investment and Innovation, where she led a herculean "boots on the ground" effort for SBA's SBIR outreach programs to address these and other SBIR related changes.

In an environment of limited resources and small staff, Brittany has worked at 110% to manage and lead the SBA's SBIR Road Tours, which is a national outreach effort travelling to dozens of cities, connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses with SBIR program managers and staff. The tours included SBIR program presentations and the opportunity to meet "one-on-one" with agency program managers. One-on-one meetings with program managers are often analogous with herding cats. (Kudos should also be given to Brittany's boss, John Williams, who was one of the original designers of these SBIR outreach programs.)

In addition to this, Brittany also hosted and led telecons that were known as the "SBA SBIR Support Organization Monthly Calls". The goal was to share pertinent program information, highlight updates from agencies, showcase best practices from partners, and receive feedback on what's taking place around the country.

The participants included independent SBIR service providers, Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership awardees, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), Universities, Accelerators, Incubators, Women's Business Centers (WBC), and State Economic Development Offices.