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SBA Partners with National Science and Technology Council to award $330,000 in Prizes in New Lab to Market Competition; Hofstra University Among First Recipients

Release Date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration partnered with the National Science and Technology Council’s Lab-to-Market subcommittee to award $330,000 in prizes to the winners of the new Lab-to-Market (L2M) Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem Prize Competition. 

The Center for Entrepreneurship at Hofstra University was awarded a $10,000 Ecosystem Responder award for its competition submission highlighting the university’s support to a diverse population of entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic and New York State-mandated pause of non-essential small businesses.

Launched on September 30, 2020, the L2M prize competition accepted over 160 submissions from applicants across the U.S. seeking their share of the $330,000 competition prize.  The program recognizes the most impactful organizations, programs and ideas that support the research and development (R&D) innovation ecosystems, particularly those focused on underrepresented communities and pandemic responses. 

Hofstra’s efforts have supported over 200 entrepreneurs throughout 2020. Notable aspects of the program include small business financial recovery counseling, the Hofstra Veterans Venture Challenge, Ascend Long Island management, money and markets training for diverse entrepreneurs as well as the Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

“The U.S. Small Business Administration and its New York District Office congratulations the winners of this competition, especially metro New York’s Center for Entrepreneurship at Hofstra University in Hempstead. This new competition encourages entrepreneurship and inclusive, sustainable growth by developing and commercializing technology to improve access to resources; the entries were phenominal,” said SBA New York District Director Beth L. Goldberg, who leads the nation’s largest SBA field office covering Long Island, New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley.

“The Center for Entrepreneurship is honored to be recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration along with organizations across the country that are providing assistance to entrepreneurs navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are especially proud of the small business owners we work with who are resilient and creative as they continue to grow their businesses during this challenging time,” said Stacey I. Sikes, Executive Dean of Entrepreneurship and Business Development at Hofstra University.

Submissions were evaluated for quality and clarity by a panel of federal employees and non-federal partners with relevant expertise.  Final selection was made by an interagency committee in coordination with the SBA’s Office of Innovation and Technology.

Nationally, the awardees are as follows:   

  • “Super Connector” – Prizes of $10,000 for current efforts to successfully attract and/or support networks of underrepresented communities in the R&D innovation ecosystem.
    • Startup Tucson – Tucson, Arizona
    • Colmena66 – San Juan, Puerto Rico
    • Launch Minnesota – St. Paul, Minnesota
    • Conductor – Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • “Ecosystem Responder” – Prizes of $10,000 for innovative and effective responses to support the R&D ecosystem amidst the pandemic environment.
    • Challenge America – Basalt, Colorado
    • JumpStart Inc. – Cleveland, Ohio
    • Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship – Hempstead, New York
    • CO+HOOTS/ HUUB – Phoenix, Arizona
  • “Visionary” – Prizes of $25,000 for the most creative and actionable ideas for creating a more inclusive R&D innovation ecosystem for the future.
    • Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation – Lexington, Kentucky
    • Jackson State University – Jackson, Mississippi
    • Arrowhead Center – Las Cruces, New Mexico
    • AWIS STEM to Market Initiative and University of Toledo – Toledo, Ohio
    • Ventureprise at UNC Charlotte – Charlotte, North Carolina
    • LabStart (MXV) – Sacramento, California
    • The Fledge – Lansing, Michigan
    • Central Maine Growth Council – Waterville, Maine
    • MCA Innovation Center – El Paso, Texas
    • BioGenerator – St. Louis, Missouri


About Lab-to-Market (L2M)

The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise leads the federal government-wide implementation of the Lab-to-Market Cross Agency Priority (L2M CAP) goal to improve the transition of federally-funded R&D from the laboratory to the marketplace as part of the President’s Management Agenda.  Key strategies include increasing engagement with private sector technology development experts and supporting innovative tools and services for technology transfer.  To learn more, visit


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