Winslow Sargeant is Chief Counsel for Advocacy for the Small Business Administration (SBA) and a former venture capital executive with a background in engineering. He was installed at the SBA in a recess appointment by U.S. president Barack Obama. Sargeant was a managing director at a Madison, Wisconsin-based venture capital firm Venture Investors LLC. It “provides seed and early-stage money to high-potential health care and IT companies” including Alfalight, TomoTherapy, Third Wave and Promega
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At the SBA Sargeant is “responsible for representing small businesses within the federal government’s law- and rule-making” and he joined Karen Gordon Mills, a founder and managing director of New York-based Solera Capital, who is SBA director. Sargeant did prior work with the SBA as program manager from 2001 to 2005 for the Small Business Innovations Research program in electronics at the National Science Foundation, and his appointment was seen as an encouraging sign by for venture capital funding . He has been involved in making SBIR loans available to venture capitalists.
Sargeant has a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He cofounded semiconductor integrated circuit design company Aanetcom in 1997 with seed money from Cisco Systems. The firm was sold to British Columbia’s PMC-Sierra in 2000 after a $900 million bid and was later valued at more than 1.2 billion during the dotcom boom, before the bubble burst and struggles with follow on chip products.
Sargeant’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Barbados and he grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, “one of Boston’s mostly minority neighborhoods”. As a fifth grader he was bused to predominantly white schools as part of the integration programs that were met with rioting in Boston
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Sargeant is married to Ikanyeng, a native of Botswana he met in Madison, Wisconsin while in graduate school, and they have three children: Kgosi, Lorato, and Marang.