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Newsletter II: June 2018

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Great crowd at the launch of the 2018-2019 BEACON Grant Program!

BEACON will award $50k to local ecosystem builders. 

The BEACON Grant Program, now in its second-year, will accept applications now through July 31st for innovative programs and initiatives that support DC's women founders. Through an initial eligibility round, community voting, and final awards selection, BEACON will award $50,000 to ecosystem builder organizations dedicated to making an impact in Washington, DC. This year's competition has a special bonus prize for the community voting round -- learn about this and more on the BEACON website

Past Awardees Share Experiences at BEACON Grant Launch

Yesterday, BEACON hosted a Grant Launch event at WeWork Navy Yard to officially kick-off this year's program. In addition to remarks by Karima Woods, Director of Business Development and Strategy at the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, attendees received an overview of the grant program, learned tips and insights from past awardees, and networked alongside the city's entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders.

Shreya Bhargava of District Mugs shared how the BEACON grant provided "credibility" and opened doors for bulk orders, volunteers, and partnerships. Kezia Williams of the Black upStart shared how BEACON's "wrap-around" service distinguished it from other grant programs, and assisted in the piloting of her "Black Womenpreneurs School" which trained 11 entrepreneurs with culturally-relevant curriculum in January. 

Many thanks to Elena Volkava of Springboard Enterprises, Julia Westfall of Hera Hub DC, and Sarah Chen of the BEACON Board for their participation as well! 

The Werkin Mentorship Platform Pairs 66 Sponsors & Sparks 
We're thrilled with the progress we've seen in just a few short weeks since the launch of the WERKIN mentorship platform. With 66 spark/sponsor pairs, women founders are already meeting for coffee, exchanging assignments, and boosting their ventures with mentorship and guidance. One cool aspect - peer mentoring. One participant notes, "she and I have lots in common and there are synergies between our ventures. I feel like she could be my mentor as much (if not more!) as I could be hers." That's the community building we love to see.  Many thanks, Werkin, for supporting BEACON!

BEACON attends the Disability Startup Network Meeting

The Disability Startup Network is training the next generation of disabled entrepreneurs. By introducing the Network mindset, the network aims to build successful businesses and make an impact.

BEACON's Summer Research Assistant, Mary-Margaret, notes that "to be inclusive we must also include those with disabilities,  as this group actually makes up the largest minority in the world." Founder, Diego Mariscal, stressed that those with disabilities are "inherently entrepreneurs because we are always having to find a way to solve different problems that arise." Want to learn more?  Follow the network and attend the next community meeting! 

BEACON is growing! Say hello to our new board members!

BEACON is excited to formally announce new and existing members of our Board of Directors and Advisory Board!. We welcome them to the community and appreciate their time, expertise and commitment to making DC the #1 city for women entrepreneurs! Click here to see the new faces on our team! 

Interested in partnering with us, or have exciting news to share? Submit a Partnership Request Form and/or email We'll be in touch! 
Upcoming Opportunities
Funding Opportunities + Technical Support

The  Inaugural PitcHER™ contest is a pitch competition that brings leading women entrepreneurs to the Grace Hopper Celebration – the world’s largest gathering of women technologists – September 26 to 28, in Houston, Texas, with the goal of supporting, encouraging, and providing new funding opportunities to these entrepreneurs. Apply by 6/30.

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement for innovative proposals for initiatives that support minority business owners. Priorities include Access to Capital, Global Minority Women's Economic Empowerment Initiatives, HBCUs, virtual business centers and more. Apply by 7/11.

Pitch with Purpose is a global pitch competition celebrating and rewarding diverse founders who have committed their companies to social good. Learn more and apply by 7/31.

The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards are an international business plan competition created to identify, support and encourage projects led by women entrepreneurs. The awards aim to encourage inspirational women entrepreneurs worldwide to solve contemporary global challenges by: supporting and recognizing creative women who are making concrete contributions to finding solutions for the future of our planet and bringing these business solutions to the largest audience possible. Apply by 8/31.


Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program equips participants with practical skills in negotiation, marketing and employee management that immediately be put into action. Components include practical business education, access to capital and a supportive network of advisors and peers. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis year-round

The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC) and BloomShift will offer up to 25 hours of free digital marketing assistance for qualifying businesses. Any business registered in Washington, D.C. may apply but the program is designed to serve low and middle-income D.C.-based businesses who need marketing support to reach the next level. Learn more and apply now - rolling admissions are accepted until September 2018.

The PeaceTech Accelerator provides an eight-week structured program in Washington, DC including mentorship, sprints and tutorials for startups that apply technology to assist communities in conflict and crisis zones. The program covers all aspects of scaling up, with a focus on scaling using the cloud. Participants will receive $50k in credits for Amazon Web Services and a $15,000 cash investment. Click here to learn more - admissions are rolling and the program begins June 4th. 

500 Startups wants to train accredited, underrepresented investors. Click here to learn more about the program and scholarship offers for "Venture Capital Unlocked: The Secrets of Silicon Valley."
Community News
Upcoming Events
6.28: Women's Empowerment Program-Combined Master Business Pitch Event 

6.28: Women, Wisdom, and Wine

6.28: BEACON: Social Impact Dolphin Tank presented by Springboard Enterprises

6.28: Corporate Forms & Contracts presented by Street Entrepreneurs

6.28: Senior Entrepreneurship Program

6.28: Writing a Winning Business Plan 

6.28:  Score Live Webinar: Find Investors and Finance Your Business with Equity Crowdfunding
7.9: Building Your Business with the DCSEU

7.12: How to Start a Business Workshop

7.12: Advanced Business Financial Workshop: Financial Statements & Ratio Analysis 

7.12: Let's Excel: Federal Government Contracting

7.14: A Hustler's Guide to Hacking Your PR

7.14:   Sip & Paint for a Cause, Presented by District Mugs

7.17: Let's Push: Overview of the Lending Packaging Process

7.18: Creating a 501(c)(3) Workshop presented by Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts
7.19: Challenge HER: Opportunities for Women in Federal Contracting

7.19: Tips on Negotiating a Commercial Lease presented by SCORE

7.19:  High Tea Speaker Series: Intellectual Property and Marketing

7.19: Georgetown Summer Launch Showcase

7.20: General Assembly's Women in Tech Breakfast

7.24: "I'm Certified, Now What?!" Next Steps for Contracting Success. For more information contact

7.24: The Unplugged Series: The Builder Dinner

7.25: Finance 101 for Startups

7.26: Build It In DC 

7.26: Advanced Business Financial Workshop Series: Cash Management Services

7.31: Startup Gauntlet presented by the Startup Leadership Program

Ongoing: DCRA's Small Business Resource Center offers one-on-one consultation on an on-going basis. Sign-up for a time convenient for you.

OngoingMade in DC in The Park @ The District Wharf (7th Street Park SW - next to Hank's Oyster Bar) every weekend from Friday -Sunday, 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm beginning July 4, 2018. 
*Please be sure to visit our Makers and join us at the 7th Street Park during our special kick-off week from July 4- 8, 2018, 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm 

Ongoing: Register for the Made East River Directory for creative products/services based in Ward 7/8 neighborhoods 
Entrepreneur Spotlight
My Style Authority is a mobile-friendly beauty and fashion matching website featuring quality professionals in the hair, makeup, fashion, spa and specialty cosmetic industries. Professionals enhance their online branding presence, while matched users receive the style guidance they need. My Style Authority is a one-stop shop community and content portal for all things beauty and fashion!

Company founder, Jessica Dew, believes in giving back to the community by using fashion/ beauty to inspire and elevate those less fortunate. A self-proclaimed "Social Style-Preneur," she brands herself as a social entrepreneur who gives back using style. She enjoys partnering with like-minded nonprofits and companies to provide various programs like makeovers for women, youth, and veterans.
Resource Spotlight
Do you have a full-time job but hustle on the side? Do you freelance? Do you have a home office that you wish to get out of? Do you already have an office but need a local change of scenery? 

Alley has the perfect membership option for you. Alley wants to support the growing number of entrepreneurial trailblazers in DC and is doing so through its "Side Hustler" membership. For just $20 a day, you can become a full-time Alley member. Learn more by scheduling a call with an Alley team member. 

Looking for housing? Union House is a free 'Crash Pad' for Bootstrapping Entrepreneurs in DC. Learn more.

Scholarships are available for Deal Camp - a four-day training institute for investors. Apply by 7/21. 

Are you interested in volunteering during D.C. Startup Week (Sep 24-28, 2018)? Various opportunities include mentors, day-of-event logistics, marketing, speaker, and core team roles. Learn more and apply today!

Are you interested in serving as a mentor? Empowered Women International is recruiting for mentors for the Entrepreneur Training for Success program. If interested in learning more, contact Alexandra Boycheck at Mentors are needed in Rockville (English) and Herndon (Spanish). 

Are you looking for a job or gig with a value-based company? Find teams that share your interests and values through

Angel Track is a masterclass and community for angel investors who are just getting started. They are specifically looking to support women and minorities interested in investing. Click here to apply for their Spring 2018 cohort.

Do you know of opportunities that could benefit the BEACON community? Share them with us via
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