SBA, business, Small Business Administratikon

Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Is Reviving Small Business Research And Development

The SBA will award up to $3 million in the first stage and up to $5.75 million in total for the competition. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Monday it has opened applications for its annual accelerator competition.

Inc. reported the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund competition brings organizations together to advance small business R&D efforts and compete for cash prizes from $50,000 to $200,000. The competition also allows universities and research organizations to forge partnerships with small businesses.

“The SBA’s 10-year strong Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) strengthens the nation’s innovation ecosystem and builds local partnerships critical to ensuring all of America’s great ideas can thrive through the vast resources available through the federal government,” SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman said in a statement. 

The SBA competition consists of two stages. The first stage focuses on organizations with the ability and capacity to build ecosystems for a given business sector and comes with a $50,000 prize. Companies and research organizations that earn cash in stage one qualify for a stage where they can earn another $50,000 to $150,000.

In stage 2, business owners can receive direct assistance from stage one winners. Prize winners from stage 2 can use the earnings for training and mentorship opportunities, or for putting entrepreneurs in touch with new customers and suppliers.

The SBA will award up to $3 million in the first stage and up to $5.75 million for the competition. 

“If the SBA doesn’t award the full $3 million allocated in stage one, those unused funds may be awarded in stage two so long as the total amount awarded remains below $5.75 million,” an SBA spokesperson told Inc. “It is possible that other federal agencies may join with SBA to provide additional awards.”

Those who apply must submit their materials by Feb. 16. Winners from stage one will be notified in April, while stage two winners will be notified in September. Those interested in being a judge for the competition can fill out an interest form here.