Enclavix Awarded Phase I SBIR grant by the National Science Foundation to create Software System to Educate and Support Entrepreneurs - Completed

Details of award on NSF website

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​​Award Details

Awardee:
ENCLAVIX, LLC
Doing Business As Name:
Enclavix, LLC
PD/PI:
Nicole T Davis
(801) 550-6642
ndavis@enclavix.com
Award Date:
12/03/2010
Estimated Total Award Amount:
$149,672
Funds Obligated to Date:
$149,672 
 FY 2011=$149,672
Start Date:
01/01/2011
End Date:
06/30/2011
Transaction Type:
Grant
Agency:
NSF
Awarding Agency Code:
4900
Funding Agency Code:
4900
CFDA Number:
47.041

Primary Program Source:
490100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:
SBIR Phase I: Proposal to Create a Directed Search and Training

Engine to Educate and Support Entrepreneurs​

Federal Award ID Number:
1047421
DUNS ID:
145301979
Program:
SMALL BUSINESS PHASE I
Program Officer:
Glenn H. Larsen
(703) 292-4607
glarsen@nsf.gov
 

Abstract at Time of Award
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to design and build a running prototype of a Directed Search and Training Engine to Educate and Support Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create profitable, society changing companies with high quality jobs, but many entrepreneurs lack at least some skills in the areas of capital, finance, legal and startup management which are required to convert an opportunity into a successful enterprise. Many resources are available to entrepreneurs, but with millions of search engine links on the topic, most valuable resources are effectively invisible. The Enclavix approach is to use advanced on-line software and semantic networking techniques, combined with deep knowledge of entrepreneurship, to create a unique on-line system. This system will assess the current knowledge and skills of the entrepreneur and the type and state of the venture and provide specific, customized connections to qualified national, state and local resources. The primary research objective is to design and prototype the semantic network and related questions to assess the entrepreneur and the new venture. The two other objectives will be to identify, qualify and index both a critical mass of national resources and state/regional resources for two example states. The anticipated research results will be the development of the running prototype of the system, including the inference engine and semantic network, and the foundational set of qualified, indexed resources described. Our expected successful outcome will be the ability to run a simple case through the system and have it generate appropriate output.
The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is significant as the project will assist in increasing the rate of entrepreneurial success in America. The current rate of entrepreneurial success for Venture Capital backed companies is less than 50%. The overall rate of success of entrepreneurship is far lower, as venture capitalists invest in only a few percent of all ventures. If the United States could improve the success rate of entrepreneurs, significant economic and social benefits would accrue to the nation. Many local, state and Federal agencies are trying to improve the success of entrepreneurs, but there is no mechanism for an entrepreneur to readily find these existing resources. Enclavix believes that this Directed Search and Training Engine to Educate and Support Entrepreneurs would quickly attract many entrepreneurs who would move quickly up the entrepreneurial learning curve because they would be presented with the highest quality and most meaningful resources and contacts customized for their efforts. These entrepreneurs would form a community prepared for success. Existing businesses focusing on narrow slices of entrepreneurship already are commercially viable. The strength of the Directed Search and Training Engine would form the basis for a robust and profitable business providing training, resources, mentoring, access to advisers and capital and social networking for America's high potential entrepreneurs. The system and community will also help federal, state and local agencies better reach potential entrepreneurs and connect them to qualified local and regional resources, increasing the leverage of other government investments being made in entrepreneurship.

Project Outcomes Report

Disclaimer

This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The VentureWrench™ Project

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project designed and built a running prototype of a Directed Search and Training Engine to Educate and Support Entrepreneurs, called VentureWrench™ . Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create profitable, society-changing companies with high quality jobs, but many entrepreneurs lack at least some skills in the areas of capital, finance, legal and startup management, which are required to convert an opportunity into a successful enterprise. Many resources are available to entrepreneurs, but with millions of search engine links on the topic, the most valuable resources can often be invisible. The mission of the Enclavix team is to systematically help America's entrepreneurs learn more and learn faster, both via on-line resources and by referring them to high quality mentoring and training programs.

The Enclavix VentureWrench™ project is a web-based resource-matching system, using an inference engine and semantic network (types of artificial intelligence referred to as “fuzzy logic”). After the entrepreneur answers a few questions, the system will assess the current knowledge and skills of an entrepreneur as well as the type and state of the venture, and guide entrepreneurs to the national, regional and local resources that will best help them achieve entrepreneurial success.

In addition to creating the technology engine and system to drive the matching of entrepreneur to resources, the Enclavix team created an index of the highest quality, most relevant entrepreneur-specific resources across the United States. These include resources from government agencies, non-profits and associations, high quality books, publications and relevant real-time on-line content such as blogs and social media. The prototype index also includes connections to local/state/regional agencies and resources, as well as local/state/regional mentors and training programs.

There is no cost to organizations or resources to be included in VentureWrench, nor is there a cost for entrepreneurs to use the system. VentureWrench.com currently hosts a brief introduction to the system and acknowledgment of NSF support, until the prototype is completed and becomes commercially available. Inquiries can be directed to VentureWrench@gmail.com

The broader impact of VentureWrench is significant as the system will assist in increasing the rate of entrepreneurial success in America. The current rate of entrepreneurial success for Venture Capital backed companies is less than 50%. The overall rate of success of entrepreneurship is far lower, as venture capitalists invest in only a few percent of all ventures. If the United States could improve the success rate of entrepreneurs, significant economic and social benefits would accrue to the nation. Many local, state and Federal agencies are trying to improve the success of entrepreneurs, but there is no mechanism for an entrepreneur to readily find these existing resources. Enclavix believes that VentureWrench, once commercially available, will quickly attract many entrepreneurs and organizations supporting entrepreneurs, so that they will move quickly up the entrepreneurial learning curve because they will quickly have access to the highest quality and most meaningful resources and contacts customized for their efforts. These entrepreneurs will form a community prepared for success.

This proposal and project were developed in response to an NSF solicitation which identified that, “...the focus of entrepreneurship education should be how to harness quickly a greater variety of different ideas to successfully exploit a business opportunity. To this end, innovative educational applications exploiting advanced software and hardware can be developed to integrate curricula and training to serve this growing and important segment of education, which is a critical component for success in the contemporary global economy.”  VentureWrench uses advanced software technology to help entrepreneurs quickly learn “what they don't know they don't know” and accelerate their success in the global economy.