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The 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition is underway

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 8:32 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -The U.S Small Business Administration added a new component to its 6th Annual Growth Accelerator und Competition.

This new component aims to encourage investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy at scale.

The 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Small Business Innovation Research Catalyst programs recognize the nation’s most innovative organizations with inclusive approaches towards supporting entrepreneurs in research and development.

“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,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “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.”

This year’s competition features two tracks totaling in over $5 million in cash prizes.

Track one will award $50,000 prizes to entrepreneur programs proposing impactful assistance to Science Technology Engineering Math/ R&D entrepreneurs. The competition will award about 84 prizes to applicants who focus on assisting women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs building technologies to address key policy issues like clean energy and supply chain resilience, or an underserved target group identified by the applicant.

Track two awards seven additional $150,000 prizes to scale collaborative partnerships and build regional collaborations in support of Small Business Technology Transfer applicants and awardees. This track helps address gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

For both tracks, applicants must submit a brief 12-slide presentation addressing relevant elements of their track and a video narrative of no more than 90 seconds. Applications are due at 4 p.m. EDT, or at 2 p.m. MST, on June 25. Winners will be announced in August.

Panels of expert judges from the private and public sector with experience in early stage investment, entrepreneurship, academia, startups and economic development will review proposals.

For more information about the competition, visit www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

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