The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched its annual accelerator fund competition, adding a new element designed to increase investment in underrepresented communities.
Proposals for the 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition are now being accepted through July 2. In this competition, the SBA will award $50,000 in funding to accelerator, incubators or other entrepreneur support organizations that have proposals impacting STEM and R&D entrepreneurs. Accoridng to the SBA, approximately 84 prizes are expected to be awarded to organizations focusing on women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs addressing key policy issues (including clean energy and supply chain), and underserved entrepreneurs, including rural, veteran, disable and other target categories.
Established in 2014, the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition was created to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States. Since its establishment, the program has distributed 303 awards totaling $15,150,000 across 51 states and territories to 222 unique winners.
In 2021, SBA is launching a new SBIR Catalyst program, which will award an additional seven prizes of $150,000 designed to building regional partnerships and other collaborations that support the SBIR/STTR program.
“The Growth Accelerator and SBIR Catalyst programs are important parts of our efforts to support high-tech, deep-tech startups, by developing a network that targets the unique needs of pre-revenue, R&D-focused businesses,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement. “We are committed to equity and will award prizes to organizations that are finding ways to inclusively support underserved entrepreneurs — including women, people of color, and individuals living in underrepresented geographic regions — so that they can participate, contribute, and benefit from the U.S. innovation ecosystem.”
To submit a proposal for both tracks, applicants are required to make a 12-slide presentation and a 90-second video that addresses the elements of their respective track. Proposals are required to be submitted by July 2 at 3 p.m. CST.
Click here to learn more or submit a proposal.