In a move that could be good news for venture capitalists, President Obama on Tuesday nominated a venture and tech industry veteran to serve as chief counsel for advocacy at the Small Business Administration.
Winslow Sargeant, a managing director at , was picked for the post. He still must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The venture industry has wanted a greater role within the Small Business Innovation Research program, which provides funding to startup companies. The VCs want these grants to be made available to venture-backed firms.
“In leading the Office of Advocacy within the U.S Small Business Administration, Dr. Sargeant’s role will be to protect, strengthen and effectively represent the nation’s small businesses within the federal government’s legislative and rule-making processes,” the government said in a statement.
“The Office of Advocacy works to reduce the burdens that federal policies impose on small firms and maximize the benefits small businesses receive from the government,” the statement added. “Advocacy’s mission, simply stated, is to encourage policies that support the development and growth of American small business.”
Sargeant is managing director in the technology practice at Venture Investors. He also worked as a program manager for the SBIR program in electronics as part of the National Science Foundation.
In the private sector, Sargeant co-founded Aanetcom, a semiconductor firm backed by Cisco Systems, He also worked at Lucent, IBM and AT&T Bell Labs.
Venture Investors has offices in Michigan and Wisconsin.