WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation, Office of Native American Affairs, and Office of Veterans Business Development, along with the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Education, announced 68 winners of SBA's third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The recipients will receive a total of $3.4 million in prizes to boost the economic impact of accelerators across 32 states and the District of Columbia.
In making the announcement, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said: "SBA created the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014 as a way to make new connections and strengthen existing bonds within America's small business support network, bringing entrepreneurs and innovators together and connecting them with local and national resources that support small business job creation and growth. These awards deliver on a longstanding commitment at SBA to strengthen and modernize these support systems especially in parts of the country where access to capital has been a major barrier to starting a business. This year's winners show that our efforts are bearing fruit and further cementing our nation's most pioneering accelerators, incubators and innovation hubs as major players driving America's technology startup ecosystem."
The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While there are entrepreneurial activities occurring nationwide, some are better supported by private sector ecosystems than others. SBA has created connective tissue among the over 200 winning entrepreneurial ecosystems now part of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition program.
"Accelerators serve entrepreneurs in a broad set of industries and sectors – from manufacturing and tech start-ups, to farming and biotech – with many focused on creating a diverse and inclusive small business community. Through this national competition, we are also empowering accelerators which are led by and support women or other underrepresented groups. SBA will continue to explore ways to creatively harness this powerful network and connect startups with one another and with available government resources. We reported to Congress 138 winners from 2014 and 2015 – made up of 5,000 companies that have raised $1.5 billion and employ nearly 20,000 people. With the addition of the 2016 winners, the number of SBA supported entrepreneurs will significantly grow,"Contreras-Sweet added.
Applications were judged by more than 100 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector. The first panel of judges reviewed over 400 applications and presentations and established a pool of 200 highly qualified finalists. The second panels evaluated the finalists' presentations and pitch videos and selected the 68 winners.
Each organization will receive a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA. In accepting funds, the accelerators will also be committing to quarterly reporting for one year. They will be required to report metrics including jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. This will allow SBA to continue building upon its database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.
The 2016 Growth Accelerator Competition Award winners are:
Authentically Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Ben Franklin Techcelerator
BIG Accelerator (formerly FOCUS)
BioAccel (Southwest Commercialization Center)
Bioscience & Technology Business Center
Salt Lake City
Cherokee Center for Cultural Art and Technology
Coalition for Queens
Long Island City
Fannin Innovation Studio
FAST (Fellows All Star Team)
South San Francisco
Good Food Business Accelerator Incubator Without Walls
GVS Transmedia Accelerator
Ho'okahua Capacity-Building Accelerator
IGNITE Community Accelerator
Jefferson Education Accelerator
La Cocina's Business Incubator Program
Launch – Chattanooga
Local First Delta Spark
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives
Maui Food Industry X-celerator
mystartupXX at University of California San Diego (UC San Diego)
Native American Business Incubator Network
Native Entrepreneur In Residence
New Biz Launchpad
New England Pediatric Device Consortium
New Orleans BioInnovation Center
NewSchools Ignite/WestEd Research Partnership
North Shore InnoVentures, Inc.
Phase 1 Ventures at the University City Science Center
Prince William Science Accelerator
PROPEL at the iBIO Institute
SCAPE Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs
Texas Health Catalyst
The Rosie Network's Military Entrepreneur Center
WIN for Life Sciences Entrepreneur Mentoring Program
ABOUT THE U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov