SBA Announces 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One Winners
Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One “Catalyze” winners to fund and build strategic ecosystem partnerships for forty organizations across the nation. Winners and organizational partners receive an initial prize of $50,000 and are eligible to compete for an additional $50,000 to $150,000 later this summer.
“SBA’s Catalyze winners join SBA’s extensive network of support organizations who build thriving startup ecosystems to ensure the next generation of science and technology-based innovations develop into thriving businesses,” said Administrator Guzman. “At a time when the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in American R&D, manufacturing and future growth industries, our Catalyst partners will help ensure entrepreneurs from all backgrounds can leverage opportunities. We know these investments will advance American competitiveness and help us build an economy that works for everyone.”
By supporting connections across diverse networks, the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition aims to foster a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high growth small businesses. Stage One prizes go directly to 40 organizations that have developed strategies to speed the launch, growth, and scale of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses through inclusive approaches.
“SBA’s longstanding Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and its extensive national awardee network targets the unique needs of innovative pre-revenue, science and technology focused startups—the small businesses responsible for building and safeguarding America’s future,” said SBA Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation,
Bailey DeVries. “It is with great enthusiasm SBA recognizes these “catalyst” winners which will deepen and strengthen ties between local and national innovation ecosystem support organizations across all corners of our country.”
Since its launch in 2014, the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition has awarded 387 prizes totaling over $19 million to 284 unique winners across 52 states and U.S. territories. This year’s competition introduced a multi-stage approach with Stage One focused on catalyzing an ecosystem around a particular theme. Stage One applicants represented 45 U.S. states and territories, with 70 percent as first-time applicants to the Competition.
This year’s 40 Stage One prize winners come from 30 states, including D.C. and Puerto Rico. Sixty-five percent of winners are first time applicants and 50 percent of the winning organizations specifically support rural entrepreneurs. This year’s competition focused on four theme areas with 25 percent of Stage One winners focused on National Security & Global Competitiveness, 27.5 percent on Domestic Manufacturing & Production, 10 percent on Climate & Renewable Energy, and 37.5 percent on Underserved Communities. Geographically, 17.5 percent of winners aim serve at the local/sub-state region, 42.5 percent statewide, 20 percent regionally (multiple states), and 20 percent nationwide.
Stage One Catalyze Winners
National Security & Global Competitiveness
Domestic Manufacturing and Production
Climate and Renewable Energy
Stage Two Competition and How to Get Involved in a Growth Accelerator Partnership
Prospective Stage Two Partners
Although Stage One Winners have been announced, the real impact of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition comes because of partnerships, yet to be made. This year’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition aims to bring together organizations, entities, groups, and individuals beyond geographic boundaries to support innovators and innovation needed to confront the challenges of today from inequity and climate change, to supporting national defense and community-driven economic prosperity. The real opportunity is now to find a place in the innovation ecosystem.
Organizations who were not selected in Stage One, as well as diverse local, regional, and national entities from any sector or location are eligible to connect with Stage One winners to develop “Growth Accelerator Partnerships” in a bid for Stage Two prizes.
Stage Two cash prizes of $50,000 to $150,000 will support the “Growth Accelerator Partnerships” to further develop strong innovation ecosystems to accelerate the launch, growth, and scale of diverse STEM/R&D-focused small businesses.
SBA will host three opportunities to support networking with Stage One winners:
For organizations interested in networking to join a potential “Growth Accelerator Partnership”, sign up for one or more of the virtual Partner Pitch Sessions at http://bit.ly/2023GAFCPartnerPitch. The Partner Pitch Sessions are free and open to the public.
On June 21, the SBA Ecosystem Development Team will hold an in-person Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Meet and Greet at the America’s Seed Fund SBIR/STTR Spring Conference that occurs concurrent with TechConnect World Conference. For event registration visit: https://techconnectworld.com/World2023/register.html
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