accelerators

Two webinars offer help to compete for NIH’s Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH)

NIH just launched the funding opportunity announcement for the third cohort of its regional biomedical proof-of-concept and accelerator program, the Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs. On Dec. 12, NIH will be hosting a funding opportunity announcement pre-application webinar which will provide a question and answer opportunity with NIH SEED and NIGMS.

New NSF funding opportunity addresses opportunities for persons with disabilities, sustainable materials, and food security

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Convergence Accelerator intends to provide solutions with nationwide social impact at an accelerated pace. Recently, NSF announced the addition of three new research tracks for the 2022 cohort: Track H, Track I, and Track J. The latest research track topics for the NSF Convergence Accelerator include:

NSF requests community input on research topics to address societal needs

The Convergence Accelerator, a program developed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to invest in research towards developing high-impact solutions for societal issues, requests topic ideas for the 2023 cohort in a Dear Colleague Letter Request for Information (DCL/RFI). This program follows a three-tiered process, including topic ideation and convergence research phases one and two. This RFI seeks input from industry, institutions of higher education, non-profits, state and local governments, and other interested parties and represents the beginning stages of topic ideation and precedes community workshops to develop the final convergence research tracks, anticipated in FY 2023.  Of particular interest to NSF are approaches to advance Critical and Emerging Technologies as described in the Multi-Agency Research and Development Priorities for FY 2023.

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

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.  

Vermont launches business accelerator focused on energy

While states across the country are focusing more on clean energy and climate change, SSTI is happy to share an opportunity from one of our members. The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a Vermont based entrepreneurial support organization, announced the launch of the Delta Clime VT Energy 2020 business accelerator. This business accelerator is focused specifically on startup and/or seed stage technology ventures who offer products or services, including smart home and building technologies, aimed at reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings; enable better integration of distributed resources and smart building technologies; increase resiliency and/or support demand management strategies that avoid peak time energy usage. This program will assist up to 10 innovative energy startups to grow their businesses, connect with mentors and advisors, and gain exposure to customers and investors. Applications are due by Feb. 16. Learn more at www.DeltaClimeVT.com.

Universities launch incubators, accelerators and funds in 2019

Universities frequently play an integral role in providing activities, research, and products that positively affect or support local, regional, state and national economic development or strategic goals.  In higher-education’s efforts to align its participation in innovation and entrepreneurship systems, universities’ incubators, accelerators and fund programs are essential in assisting their faculty, staff, or students in the services and support needed to create startups, bring products to market, or provide critically needed funding. Following on our recent review of research universities and their partnerships with industry, as well as our ongoing review of state activities in 2019 (see our stories on higher education and commercialization programs, free tuition offerings, climate change, clean energy, and broadband), this week we report on new university incubators, accelerators and funds launched in 2019.

SBA announces 60 accelerators competition winners

SBA’s 2019 Growth Accelerators Fund Competition winners were announced yesterday, awarding $50,000 to each of 60 organizations across the country. Special congratulations to the SSTI members, including BioSTL (BioGenerator), TechTown Detroit, Startup Junkie Foundation (Fuel), Invest Nebraska, Launch Tennessee, Innovation Works, Arrowhead Center (Sprints), and University of Illinois (EnterpriseWorks). The competition is for programs with 60 percent of funded work dedicated to supporting women, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and entrepreneurs in states with relatively few SBIR/STTR awards or in Opportunity Zones. SSTI held a webinar when the 2019 competition launched and will announce the 2020 round, when available, through the member-exclusive Funding Supplement.

SBA funding available for accelerators, SBIR aid

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released FY 2019 announcements for the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST) funding. Accelerators emphasizing underserved entrepreneurs can submit a brief application and slide deck from June 10-20; SBA anticipates as many as 60, $50,000 awards. FAST provides a funding match for programs supporting SBIR/STTR outreach and support services; the program is limited to one, governor-supported application per state, so interested parties should begin considering their application well ahead of the June 28 deadline. SSTI will be hosting a free webinar on June 5 at 3 p.m. EDT, in which SBA staff will discuss the two funding opportunities: register today.

NSF piloting new convergence accelerator

NSF is inviting interested parties to participate in a new endeavor, the Convergence Accelerator Pilot (NSF C-Accel). The NSF C-Accel Pilot seeks to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance by facilitating convergent team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals. The initiative reflects NSF’s commitment to be at the cutting edge, supporting fundamental research while encouraging rapid advances through partnerships between academic and non-academic stakeholders.

Startup competitions target the circular economy

The circular economy, a phrase meant to redefine economic growth beyond the current “take-make-waste” extractive industrial model, is gaining attention around the world as a way to produce more positive environmental and social benefits. Over the past few months, three cities have announced efforts to promote circular economy startups. In New York City, a contest will offer a $500,000 prize to the best idea and business plan that seeks to repurpose the city’s recyclables and manufacture a product to sell to the local market. The City of Phoenix and Arizona State University announced four companies will participate in an incubator affiliated with the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network (RISN). Last fall, public sector partners and the university-based Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) collaborated to launch a new Circular Economy Incubator in the region.

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