The Made in America Organization, together with seed support from the Stiefel Family Foundation, is committed to launch the Made in America pilot platform, designed to support and scale up 10 companies who can leverage, expand and evolve US Manufacturing. The full platform is organized around several high-value challenges, including advanced manufacturing, robotics, cleantech/energy, mobility health diagnostics, modular housing and STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Art and Math). The program will identify and support companies that work within three critical areas: in-sourced manufacturing, developing and deploying advanced manufacturing technology and processes, and workforce development for advanced manufacturing and associated skill sets.
Between January 2014 and January 2015, Made in America will activate a pilot of its innovation platform by launching the first Advanced Manufacturing Challenge and the programs associated with it. The full challenge will consist of four modules: 1) A Challenge Module will generate and publish a call for submissions looking for companies that can leverage or advance US manufacturing; 2) A Summit Module will convene national leadership, thought-leaders, and stakeholders in a collaborative discussion to identify key opportunities to move the manufacturing sector forward; 3) A Forum Module will assemble an active Council, comprised of a subset of Summit stakeholders. The Council will select and present 10 Challenge winners and identify opportunities for investment, partnership, technology development, capacity and scale; 4) An Accelerator Module that works with the 10 Challenge winners over a 6-month period, building an Action Plan to scale-up their companies and help each company secure an additional $2 million dollars in investment. A key resource within the Accelerator is a grant program, administrated by Made in America that deploys funds to the Challenge winners, to help solve specific US manufacturing scale-up issues.
The success of this Commitment to Action will further Made in America's vision: to expand this pilot to all 50 states and reaching over 500 additional businesses nationwide.
January - June: Program and Platform Development
July - December: Partner and Funding Advancement
September - December: Organizational Ramp Up
January: Made In America launches the organization and first Challenge
February: Challenge Module activated to draft Challenge and begin research on system drivers and gaps
March: Summit Module activated to convene partners, stakeholders, leadership to ratify Challenge and collaborate on sector advancement.
April through June: Publishing of Challenge and Call for Submissions
July and August: Submissions' Review and Vetting
September: Forum Module activated to convene partners, stakeholders, and leadership to engage with Challenge winners
October through December: Accelerator Module activated (Phase 1)
January through March: Accelerator Module (Phase 2)
Since its peak in the 1970's, manufacturing in the United States has seen a great decline. With the GDP dwindling from 25% to 12.5%, over 40,000 factories across the country have closed, 10 million manufacturing jobs have been lost and a monumental shift in trade transformed a 1% GDP surplus into a 5% GDP deficit. America has seen the loss of jobs, closing of plants, and shuttering of main streets in small towns and big cities across the country.
The manufacturing problems in America are systemic and are built upon decades of misguided assumptions, sustained neglect and national policies that incentivize overseas manufacturing. As a result, our manufacturing ecosystem has deteriorated significantly, along with the allure and demand for 'Made in America' products.
The Made in America Organization believes that despite the problems mentioned above, there is an opportunity to enter a new Golden Age of Manufacturing, where innovative products and revolutionary technologies are being and will be developed to drive the 21st century. For the U.S. to take the lead in the manufacturing sector, entrepreneurs need to deliver inspiring new products in key high value sectors, and the US must work to rebuild the entire manufacturing ecosystem (both locally and nationally) through a collaborative effort between investors, industry, entrepreneurs, designers, manufacturers, scientists and government agencies.
In the wake of the economic crisis in 2008, Made in America was conceived as a platform to catalyze the manufacturing ecosystem of this country and accelerate us forward. The platform was conceived and developed by Victor E. Friedberg in partnership with the Stiefel Family Foundation. Victor is a Co-Founder and Founding Executive Director of LAUNCH, a public private partnership between NASA, NIKE, USAID and U.S. Dept. of State. The Stiefel Family Foundation is a hybrid nonprofit, which makes seed-stage investments in renewable energy startups and has supported various prize challenge programs, including Imagine H2O and CleanTech Open.
Made in America seeks public and private Partners providing financial resources, expertise and networks to launch the organization in January 2014. Additionally, Made in America seeks participation of a broad consortium of stakeholders in US manufacturing, representing investment, industry, innovation, academia, research and policy, to engage in the Made in America platform and associated events and program modules. Lastly, Made in America seeks media support and access to networks within government and the private sector to bring broad awareness of the Made in America organization, program and associated events.
Made in America is a platform that offers our portfolio companies broad exposure to investors, partners, media and customers in an effort to accelerate their successful development into the market. The organization envisions a scalable grant fund that would be dispersed to portfolio companies to solve defined manufacturing focused issues such as IP/legal, design/engineering, scaling/cost issues for in sourcing, etc.