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SBA Invests in 50 U.S. Accelerators, Begins Collecting Performance Data

September 11, 2014

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently named the 50 winners of the first Growth Accelerator Fund competition, which recognizes accelerators building stronger entrepreneurial ecosystems in underserved parts of the country. Each organization will receive $50,000, in exchange for providing SBA with quarterly reports on their activities, impact and partnerships. SBA hopes to use the data to build a national database of information about accelerator programs and forge long-term relationships within the accelerator community.

The $2.5 million Growth Accelerator Fund competition was launched in May, with SBA leaders noting that accelerators have become one of the most flexible and useful tools for entrepreneurial support in underserved regions. Though the model has its origins in Silicon Valley, accelerators have spread across the country to provide intensive mentoring, guidance and connections in regions without easy access to mentoring networks, experienced entrepreneurs and investment capital. Accelerators, which often focus on a specific industry or type of entrepreneur, can help build long-term connections to these resources while creating a more entrepreneurial culture.

SBA chose the 50 eventual winners from a pool of 800 applicants, 100 of which submitted pitch videos for their organizations. Among the list of winners are accelerators from 31 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In keeping with SBA’s goal of recognizing efforts in underserved regions, most of the winners are based in the center part of the country or at least outside of the traditional coastal tech hotspots.

By accepting the award, winning accelerators agree to provide quarterly reports on their activities for one year. These reports will include data on jobs created, funds raised, startups launched, corporate sponsors and other data that will be used to study the operations and strengths of the accelerator model. SBA hopes to turn the information into a national accelerator database.

Read the announcement and full list of winners…

sba, accelerators