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$5.4M in prizes to support inclusive entrepreneurship announced by SBA

September 23, 2021

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a combined total of $5.4 million in awards to innovation-focused entrepreneur support organizations with programs to support entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations. The 2021 competition included two prize tracks with 84 winners for the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) and eight winners for the new SBIR Catalyst competition, which aims to spur investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy.  

The accelerators and incubators who won GAFC awards support a broad range of industries including clean energy, supply chain resilience and infrastructure, and will each receive a $50,000 prize. The winners of the SBIR Catalyst competition are connectors across programs that fund innovation clusters, hubs, and other technology-based economic development initiatives. SBIR Catalyst winners will each receive a $150,000 prize.  SSTI recognizes the following members that were among the prize winners (and a complete list of winners is available here):

                SBIR Catalyst:

  • Florida High Tech Corridor Council and partners
  • BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting and partners
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center UNeTech Institute and partners
  • New Mexico State University Arrowhead Center and partners
  • OK Catalyst, The University of Oklahoma and partners


  • Startup Junkie’s Conductor Health Sciences Bootcamp and Science Venture Studio: EMPOWER
  • University of Arizona Center for Innovation
  • Oak Crest Institute of Science
  • Accelerated Innovative Manufacturing - University of Louisville
  • Nexus Louisiana Technology Park
  • TechTown Detroit
  • BioSTL
  • Innovate Mississippi
  • The Ohio State University Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship
  • University City Science Center Launch Lane Accelerator
  • Innovation Works
  • University of Nevada InNEVator
  • University of South Dakota
  • gener8tor Management LLC

The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition was first launched by SBA in 2014 to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship across the country and has awarded 303 prizes over that time, totaling more than $15 million.

sba, accelerators, entrepreneurship, funding, innovation