Entrepreneur Development Network DC (EDNDC)




The George Washington University (GW) and Howard University (HU) are excited to announce the newly established Entrepreneur Development Network DC (EDNDC) powered by Wells Fargo. Built on the premise that strong partnerships across the District of Columbia will pay dividends to entrepreneurs and the economy alike, this program is FREE to all participants, thanks to generous donations from our sponsors Wells Fargo, WDCEP, and PEPCO.

EDNDC includes FREE training programs and counseling services offered through instructors and local mentors and counselors. This program helps startups develop successful business models and go-to-market (GTM) strategies based on knowledge derived through customer interviews; it's the necessary steps for inventors and entrepreneurs bringing new technologies and innovations to market or pivoting when old models that no longer work (for instance, due to the pandemic). It is an ideal program for early-stage companies building towards successful launches.

We are looking for entrepreneurs in the District to participate in our programming in 2022. As a condition of applying to the EDNDC program, entrepreneurs must participate in at least one Introduction to Lean Innovation Course. The Introduction to Lean Innovation Course is a two hour workshop, where entrepreneurs will gain understanding of evidence-based innovation methods. Registration for the course can be found at the bottom of this page. Additionally, we are especially interested in supporting entrepreneurs who are looking to pivot their business model due to interruptions and risks caused by COVID as well as new entrepreneurs taking advantage of opportunities posed by the pandemic.

Programming will include:

  • Instruction introducing participants to Lean Startup methodology, including the business model canvas and customer discovery process
  • Connection to a mentor-coach with industry expertise and deep knowledge of Lean Startup to help evaluate business ideas and provide guidance near-term and long-term approach for teams
  • Connection to DC resources based on this evaluation including counseling, incubation, training and other programs
  • Based on the stage of team development and maturity of business models, a select set of entrepreneurial teams will be invited to a 3-week, intensive customer discovery program, with access to long-term mentorship, go-to-market strategy building, and preparation for accelerator participation or funding


  • DC-based business or entrepreneur -- teams of two or more preferred
  • Invention or business idea that has the potential to be repeatable and scalable (This often can mean early-stage, high-growth-focused companies looking, but can also mean product-focused companies -- including consumer products -- or service companies with defined, proprietary processes at their core.

Participating entrepreneurs will emerge from this program better prepared to successfully address the Five Big Things a successful business plan and go-to-market (GTM) strategy require:

  1. Validated Business Model - a clear understanding of a customer and the value they seek and how the business, by delivering this value, makes money.
  2. Business Team - second only to the business model, this is the group best suited to execute on the plan targeting a specific segment. There must be a close match between the plan and the skills and experience of the team.
  3. Product or Service -  to execute the GTM plan, businesses need a product that addresses the specific needs of the customer and delivers the value sought to early customers.
  4. Sales Traction - there is only one true way to demostrate a business' viability: sales. Pilot programs are the ideal method for proving a venture's potential for success while reducing risk for stakeholders.
  5. Channels and Partnerships - the ability to achieve early scale is critical to a new venture. Having the right partners can reduce risk in a new business while accelerating its market entry.

Key Program Dates:

  • Introduction to Lean Innovation Course:
    • January 10th - 6pm - 7:30pm  (prerequisite for all EDNDC participants)
    • January 14th - 11:30am-1:00pm  (prerequisite for all EDNDC participants)
  • Lean Startup Boot Camp: Spring 2022 Dates (EDNDC participiants are required to attend all dates)
    • Monday, January 24th - 1:00pm-5:00pm 
    • Tuesday, January 25th - 1:00pm-5:00pm 
    • Friday, February 4th - 1:00pm-4:00pm 
    • Friday, February 11th - 1:00pm-4:00pm 

During this program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to scheduled (virtual) classroom meetings, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and program assignments. At the conclusion of the program, participants will remain connected with their EDNDC instructor and mentors to continue their progress on the Five Big Things for a good business strategy.

We strongly encourage and seek applications from people of color, people with disabilities, women, men, underrpresented minorities in tech, bilingual and bicultural individuals, veterans, and LGBTQ individuals.