Dr. Winslow Sargeant is the sixth Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, appointed by President Obama August 19, 2010. The Office of Advocacy is an independent voice for small business within the federal government with a mission of encouraging policies that support small business start-up, growth, and development.
As chief counsel, Dr. Sargeant directs Advocacy’s operations, which include conducting research on the U.S. small business sector, advocating for small businesses within the federal government’s agencies and rulemaking processes, reaching out to regional and state small business advocates and policymakers, and fostering public awareness of small business contributions and concerns.
Dr. Sargeant sees the entrepreneurial spirit as uniquely American and as a path to wealth and job creation—a thread that runs through his life story. Most recently, he served as managing director of Venture Investors, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin. The firm provided seed and early-stage money to high-potential health care and IT companies. There, he specialized in computer software, hardware, and materials, and worked with technology transfer offices.
The chief counsel brings to his advocacy role years of experience as a federal partner to small firms. From 2001 to 2005, he was program manager in electronics for the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, while also serving as adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The NSF is one of the federal agencies with the largest extramural research and development budgets that are required in the SBIR program to dedicate a portion of their awards to small firms.
And Dr. Sargeant knows the challenges of starting and building a small firm. He enrolled in a PhD. Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1988 and left in 1992 to work at IBM in Rochester, Minnesota. He received his PhD in electrical engineering in 1995, and worked at ATT/Bell Labs in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 1997, Dr. Sargeant and partners co-founded Aanetcom, a “fabless” semiconductor integrated circuit design company. The company designed state-of the-art computer circuits for telecom and broadband applications. In March 2000, Aanetcom was acquired by PMC-Sierra, a publicly traded company.
Dr. Sargeant met his wife, Ikanyeng, during his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. Winslow and Ikanyeng have three children, Kgosi, Lorato, and Marang.