SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

The 2017 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

SBA Announces $1 Million for Small Business Focused Accelerators 

20 winners will receive funding to boost economic impact of growth accelerators across the country

SBA Launches 4th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to Award $1 Million to Support Startup Focused Centers of Excellence

For the fourth year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching the Growth Accelerator Fund competition for accelerators, incubators, and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models that help support small businesses and startups to compete for monetary prizes of $50,000 each (20 in total). The application period is from June 23rd-July 21st and information about the application process can be found at: or

Similar to last year’s competition, several panels containing expert judges from the private and public sector with collective experience in early stage investing, entrepreneurship, academia, start-ups and economic development will select the winners.  Applicants may include accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, shared tinker-spaces or other models.  The panel will give particular attention to applicants that fill geographic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem space.

Through this competition, the SBA is looking to support the development of accelerators and their support of startups in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (i.e., venture capital and other investors). Eligible organizational entrants for the 2017 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition may only be prior winners from the 2014 – 2016 cohorts.  

Additionally SBA is seeking accelerator applicants headed by women and those who support them or other underrepresented groups, 82 percent of last year’s accelerator winners were run by women and 71 percent were classified as underrepresented groups. Additionally, 35 percent of last year’s winners supported rural communities and 85% of awardees were new winners.

Special consideration will be given to these accelerator models which support STEM/Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), women-owned or minority-owned small businesses, rural communities, and veteran communities.


2017 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Application


See the full list of winners both past and present