WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced virtual events will be held for applicants for its seventh Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). The GAFC will offer $13 million in prizes awarded in 2023 and 2024 aimed at expanding growth accelerators and creating innovative partnerships with inclusive approaches toward supporting entrepreneurs in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) and research and development (R&D).
“SBA’s impactful Growth Accelerator Fund Competition provides prizes to entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that serve as catalysts for our thriving, inclusive national innovation ecosystem,” said Bailey DeVries, Associate Administrator of Investment and Innovation. “These awards reflect a priority across the Biden-Harris Administration to advance equity by incentivizing greater collaboration and partnership among stakeholders and supporting the development of inclusive growth accelerators that will empower underserved entrepreneurs. I encourage ecosystem builders and entrepreneurial support organizations with great ideas to accelerate growth and drive for innovation to apply as soon as possible.”
Entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Growth Accelerator Competition are encouraged to join one of the informational online webinars. The online webinars will provide information on the competition and will facilitate connections between ESOs and potential partners working on similar themes across the nation. The webinar offerings are as follows:
- Feb. 6: National Security and Global Competitiveness, including but not limited to National Security and Defense; International Trade; Public Health
- Feb. 7: Domestic Manufacturing and Production, including but not limited to AgTech, Food Security, and Nutrition; Supply Chain Resiliency; Critical and Resilient Infrastructure
- Feb. 8: Climate and Renewable Energy, including but not limited to Climate and Environment, Energy, and Sustainability
- Feb. 9: Under-Represented People, Places, and Themes
Interested applicants should RSVP for a webinar here: https://bit.ly/GAFC23ThemeConvening. Stage One Catalyze submissions are being accepted now until Feb. 24. Multiplier Bonus Prizes will be available for new and rural-focused Ecosystem Partners.
Since 2014, SBA has made nearly 400 awards to Innovation Growth Accelerators in 52 states and territories, establishing a solid network of innovation support for startups and small businesses across the country. New this year, the competition places greater emphasis on fostering connections across innovation ecosystem stakeholders. Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) motivated to strengthen and increase equitable access to resources for underserved communities and industries should visit Challenge.Gov.
Competition rules, requirements, and additional information can be found at https://www.challenge.gov/?challenge=sbaaccelerators2023.
The Pre-Application Webinar can be found at https://youtu.be/0DX5gnkWRTU.
Article Courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration