The Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded Startup Junkie with a $50,000 award that will benefit the second Fuel Accelerator. Startup Junkie is one of 60 winners of the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition that supports accelerators and incubators.
The SBA funds are earmarked to facilitate the operation of second Fuel accelerator, set to return in 2020. While the first Fuel Accelerator focused on supply chain companies, the second Fuel Accelerator is targeting growth stage companies in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to use these SBA funds for our next Fuel Accelerator. Fuel is unique because it is an enterprise-ready accelerator,” Startup Junkie Executive Director Haley Allgood says. “We’re combining startups that are innovating with the latest technology with corporations that have problems that can deploy that technology at scale.”
Fuel organizers will be utilizing the funds to attract companies working the target industries to participate in the accelerator.
“The SBA is excited to support the Fuel Accelerator through this award which will help growth-staged technologies companies find a home in Northwest Arkansas,” said SBA Arkansas District Director Edward Haddock.
Fuel is a partnership between Startup Junkie and RevUnit, and is sponsored by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. During the 12-week accelerator, company founders will have exposure to industry and policy experts, as well as workshops, educational experiences and feedback sessions.
The awards were announced Wednesday, Sept. 26, with organizations in 39 states and territories receiving grants. The SBA has awarded a total of $3 million to accelerators and incubators.
“I am proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Over the past five years, the competition has provided awards to innovative and promising accelerators and incubators. This year’s recipients, who will each receive an award of $50,000 from the SBA, are no exception,” Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton said. “This includes entrepreneurs located in Opportunity Zones – where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”
The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition is designed to provide additional capital for organization to offer programs and assistance to entrepreneurs and startups.