SBA Launches $2.5 Million Competition for Accelerators and Other Entrepreneurial Models

NEWS 2 USE: Here Are The Final Results for This Competition:

On Thursday, September 4, 2014 the SBA has announced the 50 winners of the first Growth Accelerator Fund competition. 

The recipients – each awarded a cash prize of $50,000 – come from a broad set of industries and sectors – from manufacturing to tech start-ups to farming as well as diverse demographic groups.

To see the list of the 50 winners, go here:

The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a $2.5 million competition for accelerators and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models to compete for monetary prizes of $50,000 each to fund operating budgets. 

To award the prizes, an expert panel of judges will consider each applicant’s stated mission, founding team members and business goals among other core components. 

The panel will give particular attention to, and the SBA encourages, applicants that fill geographic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem space. 

It is well known that the most successful accelerators to date were founded on the coasts. Through this competition, they are looking to support the development of accelerators and thus startups in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (eg: venture capital and other investors). 

In addition to accelerators which fill the gaps described above, they are also seeking out accelerators which are run by and support women or other underrepresented groups. Lastly, special consideration will be given to any accelerator models which support manufacturing.



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For the purposes of this competition, Growth Accelerators include accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, shared tinker-spaces or other models to accomplish similar goals. 

More specifically, they expect that applicants will have most if not all of the following characteristics: 

Selective process to choose participating startups
Regular networking opportunities offered to startups
Introductions to customers, partners, suppliers, advisory boards and other players
High-growth and tech-driven startup mentorship and commercialization assistance
Shared working environments focused on building a strong startup community
Resource sharing and co-working arrangements for startups
Opportunities to pitch ideas and startups to investors
Small amounts of angel money, seed capital or structured loans to startups