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SBA Awards XlerateHealth with $50,000 to Support Startups and STEM Focused Entrepreneurs

Kentucky based XLH is the only healthcare accelerator to receive the national SBA award four times
Release Date: 
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Release Number: 

LOUISVILLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced 60 winners of SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, including XlerateHealth (XLH), a Louisville-based healthcare accelerator. XLH and other recipients represent accelerators and incubators focused on a broad set of industries and sectors to support startups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations. 

XLH is the only healthcare accelerator and one of only two accelerators nationwide to receive the award four times and the only Kentucky-based accelerator to receive the award in 2019. XLH was developed to cultivate and grow promising healthcare innovation in underserved areas. 

“I am proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition,” said  Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “Since its inception in 2014, the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition has provided awards to innovative and promising accelerators and incubators.”

“We are honored to receive recognition for a fourth year from the SBA,” says Jackie Willmot, CEO & Co-founder of XLH. “Since 2013, we have supported over 80 companies across a range of healthcare and life sciences domains.”

The 2019 recipients will focus at least 60 percent 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 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, SBA aims to increase the pipeline of future SBIR/STTR applications and STEM-related innovations.

XLH will allocate the awarded funds to further advance training and mentoring for life science focused entrepreneurs to help them understand the path to commercializing their technologies and how to successfully apply for SBIR/STTR funding in underrepresented states, including Kentucky. XLH supports this work through its Southeastern XLerator Network, one of four shared accelerator hubs supported by the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program at NIH, which funds R&D partnerships between small businesses and academic institutions.

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 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and a full list of award winners past and present, visit: and