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Office of Investment and Innovation

SBA Growth Accelerators

2015 Growth Accelerator Competition Application - Click Here! 

In May of 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration launched a $2.5 million competition for accelerators and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models to compete for monetary prizes of $50,000 each to fund operating budgets. To award the prizes, an expert panel of judges considered each applicant’s stated mission, founding team members and business goals among other core components.

The panel gave particular attention to, and the SBA encouraged, applicants that fill geographic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem space. It is well known that the most successful accelerators to date were founded on the coasts. Through this competition, we are looking to support the development of accelerators and thus startups in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (eg: venture capital and other investors).

In addition to accelerators which fill the gaps described above, we also sought out accelerators which are run by and support women or other underrepresented groups. Lastly, special consideration was given to any accelerator models which support manufacturing.

For the purposes of this competition, Growth Accelerators include accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, shared tinker-spaces or other models to accomplish similar goals.

See Our Map of Accelerator Winners
click to go to the Map of Accelerator Winners

See the full listing of winners and their video submissions


2015 Growth Accelerator Competition Application is now live! - Click Here


The Ecosystem of the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Infographic.  Please see the PDF linked above for an accessible text version.