Small Business Accelerator MORTAR Wins National Accelerator Fund for Second Year

Local Organization Receives $50,000 to help Cincinnati Entrepreneurs
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Advisory Number: 
Brooke Betit,, 614-469-6860

CINCINNATI – The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared Cincinnati small business accelerator MORTAR as one of the 20 winners of the fourth Growth Accelerator Fund competition. The accelerators represent a broad set of industries and sectors from manufacturing to tech start-ups to farming with a diversified range of demographic groups.

“We are excited that MORTAR received this award for the second year in a row,” said Rick Garcia, SBA Columbus District director. “This organization’s commitment to providing valuable resources and opportunities to Cincinnati’s entrepreneurs has transformed the area’s underserved and redeveloping communities.”

MORTAR plans to utilize the cash prize of $50,000 to provide more resources to support under-represented Cincinnati entrepreneurs. Its plans include opening an additional pop-up space for entrepreneurs to test its businesses and developing a more cultural-sensitive curriculum to better serve entrepreneurs while building MORTAR’s internal capacity to serve more entrepreneurs and more communities.

"MORTAR is humbled to receive another year of support from the Small Business Administration,” said Derrick Braziel, MORTAR founding partner and managing director. “Since 2014, we've worked to ensure that all entrepreneurs - regardless of race, background or class - will have the opportunity to participate in Cincinnati's burgeoning regional economy.  This year, we hope to continue opening doors of opportunity for our region's brightest, yet under-represented entrepreneurs."

In accepting these funds, MORTAR is committed to bi-annual reporting for one year and will be required to report metrics on jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained among other pieces of information. These metrics will allow the SBA to maintain a useful dataset of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.

Winners were selected through a two tier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, investing and business plans both inside and out of the federal government. The finalist expert judges reviewed the applications and pitch videos submitted by the finalists.

The purpose of the competition is to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. For more information about accelerators, the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and a full list of award winners past and present, visit: