Entrepreneur Development Network DC


The George Washington University (GW) and Howard University (HU) have come together to establish the 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 grant-funded and therefore free to all participants thanks to our sponsors.

EDNDC includes training programs and coaching offered by local university instructors, mentors and seasoned entrepreneurs. The program helps startups develop successful business models and go-to-market (GTM) strategies based on knowledge derived through customer discovery interviews - the necessary first step for innovators who hope to bring new ideas to market or pivot when old models no longer work (for instance, due to a pandemic). EDNDC is for early-stage innovators and ventures building toward a successful launch.

We are looking for change makers in the District to participate in our 2022 programming. To begin, entrepreneurs should register for an Introduction to Lean Innovation webinar. The Introduction to Lean Innovation (ILI) is a one hour workshop where participants gain understanding of evidence-based innovation methods.

Programming includes:

  • An introduction 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 long-term for teams

  • Connection to DC resources including counseling, incubation, training and other programs

  • A 2-3 week intensive customer discovery Boot Camp, with access to long-term mentorship, go-to-market strategy building, and preparation for accelerator participation or funding


  • DC-based business or entrepreneur
  • Invention or business idea that has the potential to be repeatable and scalable (This often can mean early-stage, high-growth-focused companies, but can also mean product-focused companies including consumer products or service companies with defined, proprietary processes)

Participating entrepreneurs will emerge from this program better prepared to 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 demonstrate a business's 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.

During the program extensive work is done outside the classroom. In addition to 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 mentor in order to continue their progress on the Five Big Things and pursue a good business strategy.

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