The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the fifth round of its “Growth Accelerator Fund” competition to recognize the nation’s most innovative accelerators, including incubators, co-working startup communities, or other similar models, to compete for cash prizes of $50,000 each for a total of $3 million.
“Accelerators provide invaluable resources to small business startups, such as mentoring, business plan assistance, networking, and opportunities to obtain venture capital, among others,” said SBA Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands District Director Yvette T. Collazo.
“Through this competition, the SBA is looking to support the development of accelerators and their support of startups that have fewer conventional sources of access to capital,” she said.
This year’s Competition is geared toward Growth Accelerators that provide assistance to technology focused entrepreneurs, to help build the pipeline for new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program applicants.
The prizes can fund operations costs associated with traditional accelerator activities, the SBA said.
In addition, applicants must have been in operation for at least two years and must target at least 60% of the effort under this funding opportunity to entrepreneurs in one of the following groups: Women; Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; Businesses that are located in and operate out of states or territories that are underrepresented by SBIR/STTR awardees; and businesses that are located in and operate out of Opportunity Zones.
Prize competition applications consist of a brief 12-slide presentation and an optional two-minute video. Competition rules, requirements, and additional information can be found HERE. Applications may be submitted starting June 10, 2019 and no later than June 20, 2019.