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SBA Boosts Economic Impact of Accelerators with $4.4 Million in Prizes

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced the 80 winners of the second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The recipients represent 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Accelerators serve entrepreneurs in a broad set of industries and sectors – from manufacturing and tech start-ups, to farming and biotech – with many focused on creating a diverse and inclusive small business community.

“SBA is continuing to make advances in supporting unique organizations that help the start-up community grow, become commercially viable, and have a real and sustained economic impact,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Through the wide-spread outreach of this competition, we are able to reach entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country. My commitment is to make our resources available to 21st century entrepreneurs where they are, and these accelerators, also known as incubators and innovation hubs, are the gathering place for today’s innovators and disruptors.”

Applications were judged by more than 40 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector. The first panel of judges reviewed over 400 applications and presentations and established a pool of 180 highly qualified finalists. The second panel evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos and selected the 80 winners.

Each organization will receive a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA. In accepting these funds, the accelerators will also be committing to quarterly reporting for one year. They will be required to report metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. This will allow the SBA to continue building upon its database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.

The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While there are entrepreneurial activities occurring nationwide, some are better supported by private sector ecosystems than others. SBA has created connective tissue amongst the nearly 130 winning entrepreneurial ecosystems now part of the Growth Accelerator Fund. We will continue to explore ways to creatively harness this powerful network and connect startups to each other and Federal government resources. We reported to Congress a baseline of 2014’s fifty winners – made up of about 1,500 companies that have raised $600 million and employ nearly 5,000 people – and with the Class of 2015 the number of entrepreneurs we touch grows significantly.

Additionally, SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) used the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition’s framework to award an additional $400,000 to ecosystems primarily dedicated to Native American entrepreneurs and small businesses. Criteria used for these eight $50,000 prizes were determined by the ONAA, which also managed and judged these eight selections.

The SBA will be discussing the Growth Accelerator program and other SBA programs at the White House Demo Day today. Tune in live at and check out for more details.

The winners are listed below:

City State Name of Accelerator
Anchorage AK Launch : Alaska
Homer AK Alaska Small Business Incubator, LLC
Birmingham AL Velocity
Fayetteville AR Startup Junkie Consulting, 2.7.0  Accelerator
Phoenix AZ CPLC Pickle House
La Jolla CA mystartupXX, University of California San Diego
Los Angeles CA LACI (Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator)
Oakland CA Impact Hub Oakland
San Diego CA Hera Labs
San Jose CA Manos Accelerator
Alamosa CO San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
Boulder CO Unreasonable Institute
Boulder CO MergeLane
Loveland CO The Warehouse Business Accelerator
Hartford CT LaunchPad for Impact
Washington DC Halcyon Incubator
Washington DC Launch Pad
Washington DC Mess Hall
Fort Pierce FL Pioneer Business Incubator
Orlando FL VentureScaleUp
Tampa FL FirstWaVE Accelerator
Atlanta GA FOCUS Inculator
Rome GA Makervillage
Honolulu HI XLR8UH
Kahului HI Maui Food Innovation Center – Maui Accelerator Program
Kailua-Kona HI GVS Transmedia Accelerator
Cedar Rapids IA Entrepreneurial Development Center, Inc.
Cedar Rapids IA Iowa Startup Accelerator
Champaign IL I-Start (EnterpriseWorks at the UIUC Research Park)
Chicago IL Fulton-Carroll Center
Chicago IL Impact Engine
Park Forest IL SouthWorks MakerLab in Park Forest
Anderson IN Flagship Accelerator Program
Louisville KY XLerateHealth
Louisville KY LVL1 Inc.
New Orleans LA PowerMoves.NOLA
New Orleans LA Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation
New Orleans LA IDEAx
Boston MA Fraunhofer TechBridge
Boston MA InciteHealth
Somerville MA Greentown Labs
Rockville MD Relevant Health
Portland ME E2Tech – Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine
Portland ME Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED)
Battle Creek MI Inge’s Place
Detroit MI NextEnergy
St. Louis MO Prosper Startup Accelerator
Bozeman MT 406 Labs
Charlotte NC RevTech Labs & QC FinTech
Research Triangle Park NC First Flight Venture Center
Omaha NE Year of the Startup
Keene NH Hannah Grimes Center
Ironia NJ Great Turning Advisors Social Business Accelerator
Albuquerque NM Creative Startups Accelerator
Albuquerque NM Native Entrepreneur in Residence Program
Brooklyn NY Manufacture New York
Ithaca NY Passenger to Pilot: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
Long Island City NY Coalition for Queens (C4Q)
New York NY KiiLN – Keystone for Incubating Innovation in Life Sciences Network
New York NY Minority Venture Partners (MVP) Accelerator
Cincinnati OH First Batch
Cleveland OH VictoryStart
Medford OR Sustainable Valley Technology Group
Portland OR Oregon BEST StartSpace
Portland OR ONABEN
Philadelphia PA University City Science Center Digital Health Accelerator
Reading PA IDEA Food Accelerator
San Juan PR EnterPRize Accelerator
San Juan PR Codetrotters Academy / Accelerator
Providence RI Social Enterprise Greenhouse Accelerator
Charleston SC Local Works
Greenville SC Greenville Chamber Minority Business Accelerator Program
North Charleston SC Fresh Future Farm Inc.
Chattanooga TN CO.LAB (The Company Lab)
Memphis TN ZeroTo510
Memphis TN Start Co. Integration Accelerator
Dallas TX EMERGE powered by Tech Wildcatters
El Paso TX RedSky
San Antonio TX Live Work Unit Accelerator
Salt Lake City UT Sustainable Startups
Arlington VA Eastern Foundry
Hampton VA Peninsula Technology Incubator
Richmond VA Lighthouse
Vienna VA Equita
Spokane WA Ignite Northwest
Milwaukee WI WERCBench Labs
Beckley WV West Virginia Hive


Office of Native American Affairs Special Prizes


CITY               STATE          NAME OF ACCELERATOR 
Anchorage        AK                 Launch: Alaska
Fayetteville       AR                The ARK Challenge
Kahului             HI                  Maui Food Innovation Center – Maui Accelerator Program
Albuquerque     NM                Native Entrepreneur in Residence Program
Charleston        SC                  Fresh Future Farm Inc.
Fort Pierce        FL                  Pioneer Business Incubator
Portland           OR                  ONABEN
Homer              AK                 Alaska Small Business Incubator, LLC



Release Date:  August 4, 2015 Contact: Miguel Ayala (202) 450-0148
Release Number: 15-66  

Internet Address:


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