The SBA seeks proposals from the nation’s innovation-focused entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) that outline programs to speed the launch, growth, and scale of deep-tech small businesses across the country. Applicants should submit a 12-slide deck and a 90-second video, addressing the relevant elements of one of the following tracks, by no later than 4:00 EDT on July 2, 2021:
The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) was first launched by SBA in 2014 to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. GAFC prize awards have funded a wide range of accelerators and incubators in an effort to provide increased support to entrepreneurs, particularly in the STEM/R&D innovation ecosystem. Each competition has varied in total prize dollars as well as targeted groups and/or geographies.
- Track 1 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC)—Prizes of $50,000 for efforts to provide focused assistance to STEM/R&D entrepreneurs, including support for company formation as well as awareness and education of SBIR/STTR programs. Contestants must focus their proposed efforts on one of the following groups: women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, or other target entrepreneurs identified by applicants (ie. rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.).
- Track 2 SBIR Catalyst—Prizes of $150,000 to scale collaborative partnerships, strengthen ties between stakeholders (including public, private, non-profit, and academic partners) in support of SBIR/STTR applicants and awardees. SBIR Catalyst winners will help fulfill the SBA’s mission of addressing current gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities.