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NEWS RELEASE: TechTown Detroit Wins $50,000 Growth Accelerator Award from SBA to Support Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs

Michigan Business Network
October 4, 2019 5:00 PM



Nationally, SBA Awards $3 Million to Accelerators and Incubatorsin 39 States and Territories 

DETROIT – TechTown Detroit is one of 60 accelerators and incubators that have won a U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition award. Its $50,000 award is part of $3 million the federal agency allocated across 39 states and territories to support startups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations, company formation, and awareness and education on the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Notably, the prizes are not for direct investing in the entrepreneurs’ small businesses.

sba-1“SBA’s $50,000 award to supplement TechTown Detroit’s training budget is geared to provide focused assistance for specific entrepreneurial groups,” SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott said. “In turn, we aim to increase the pipeline of future SBIR/STTR applications and STEM-related innovations that will continue to advance this country and revitalize communities.”

This year’s award recipients are to focus at least 60% of their Competition-related work on entrepreneurs who are either women; socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; in states that receive less than 50% of the total annual SBIR/STTR funding; or in an Opportunity Zone.

“TechTown is one of two SBA Growth Accelerator award winners in Michigan that will contribute to the growth and development of entrepreneurs in economically disadvantaged areas,” said Constance Logan, the SBA’s Michigan district director. “Our office’s existing strategic alliance with TechTown Detroit will deepen with this SBA Growth Accelerator award, providing additional value to our alliance and the programs SBA and TechTown are working on together to help socio-economic growth Detroit and Southeast Michigan.”

“TechTown is honored to be named one of SBA’s Growth Accelerator winners for 2019,” said Marlo Rencher, director of technology-based programs at TechTown Detroit. “With the money awarded to our organization, we will build capacity to prepare clients to apply for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer funding opportunities. We will also increase the accessibility of incubation services to underrepresented entrepreneurs by leveraging partnerships with community organizations and Wayne State University to grow enrollment for science-based businesses in incubation.”

Expert panels with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, and academic backgrounds from the public and private sector judged the approximately 200 applications for Growth Accelerator awards by reviewing each applicant’s brief presentation deck and optional two-minute video outlining the organization’s overall approach, experience working with the targeted entrepreneur group, and key evaluation metrics for the proposed plan.


About the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition
A total of $3 million was appropriated to be awarded as prizes to accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, or other entrepreneurial ecosystem models. Each $50,000 prize provides operational funding to the awardee for their work in supporting startup businesses. The Competition was conducted by SBA pursuant to the government wide prize competition authority known as the America COMPETES Act (15 U.S.C. 3719).  Additional information including a full list of award winners past and present can be found at www.sba.gov/accelerators and www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which each year provides more than $3.7 billion in early stage seed capital totaling over 5,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal government agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.  Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at www.sbir.gov.

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 www.sba.gov.

Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.