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Bend Coworking and Startup Accelerator Receives $50,000 Award from SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

Competition Supports Startups, STEM-Focused Entrepreneurs; Bend Technology Entrepreneurial and Coworking Hub (BendTECH) to Focus on Opportunity Zones
Release Date: 
Monday, September 30, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announces BendTECH in Bend, Oregon is one of 60 national winners in the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. 

The recipients – representing accelerators and incubators across 39 states and territories focused on a broad set of industries and sectors – will receive a total of $3 million in awards to support startups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations.

“The SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition fuels accelerators and incubators with the resources they need to energize and support innovators in our local communities,” SBA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “Innovation is one of our strongest tools for problem solving and job creation. We believe it’s a sound investment in our economy and our region’s future.”

Each recipient, including BendTECH, will receive a $50,000 award from the SBA.

The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition will infuse the accelerators and incubators with additional operating capital to provide focused assistance to entrepreneurs. This assistance includes support for company formation as well as awareness and education about the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 

Now in its fifth year, the 2019 award recipients will focus at least 60% of their competition-related work to entrepreneurs who represent one of the following groups: women; socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; entrepreneurs living in or whose businesses are located and operate in states with a lower number of SBIR/STTR awards, or in an Opportunity Zone. 

By focusing the accelerators’ and incubators’ efforts on these entrepreneur groups, the SBA aims to increase the pipeline of future SBIR/STTR applications and STEM-related innovations. BendTECH will target entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones. Notably, the prizes are not for direct investing in the entrepreneurs’ small businesses.

"We are thrilled to have won this award from the SBA to help increase the pipeline of future SBIR/STTR applications and STEM-related innovations from entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones," said BendTECH Executive Director Amanda Krantz.  "Besides hosting SBIR/STTR focused events for entrepreneurs, providing one-to-one advising and online webinar offerings through a partnership with the OSU Co-Lab, we are focused on creating partnerships with agencies and investors who are dedicated to providing affordable co-working options that make launching new businesses feasible."

Applicants submitted a brief presentation deck and an optional two-minute video outlining the organization’s overall approach, experience working with the targeted entrepreneur group, and key metrics that will be used to evaluate the success of the proposed plan. Applications were judged by panels of experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector.

For more information about the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and a full list of award winners past and present, visit and

About the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

A total of $3 million was appropriated to be awarded as prizes to accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, or other entrepreneurial ecosystem models.  Each prize of $50,000 provides operational funding to the awardee for their work in supporting startup businesses. The Competition was conducted by the SBA pursuant to the government wide prize competition authority known as the America COMPETES Act (15 U.S.C. 3719).  Additional information can be found at and


The SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which each year provides more than $3.7 billion in early stage seed capital totaling more than 5,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal government agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About BendTECH

BendTECH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of tech-enabled companies and business professionals in the Bend, Oregon area. Along with their coworking space, the organization creates opportunities for members of Bend’s vibrant startup community to connect through hackathons, regular mini-pitchfests, resource fairs, and their annual unConference.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality.  As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit The Portland District Office serves Oregon and southwest Washington with its office located in Portland.