SBA 2024 GAFC Stage One Winners, Up to $3 Million in Prizes

SBA 2024 GAFC Stage One Winners, Up to $3 Million in Prizes

SBA 2024 GAFC Stage One Winners, Up to $3 Million in Prizes 150 150

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has just announced the winners of the first stage of the 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). This competition gave away up to $3 million in prizes to help entrepreneurs from underserved communities in important science and technology fields. Each winner got $50,000 in prize money for their effective and inclusive methods of promoting a successful, cooperative national innovation support network.

The winners of GAFC Stage One were chosen from a group of candidates who showed innovative ways to advance small business research and development (R&D) in three main areas: National and Economic Security, Domestic Manufacturing and Production, and Sustainability and Biotechnology. The winners come from 41 U.S. states and territories, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, with 65% being first-time recipients.

“SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One winners join the SBA’s incredible network of entrepreneurial support organizations contributing to America’s innovative startup ecosystem, ensuring the next generation of science and technology-based innovations scale into thriving businesses,” said Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “In its tenth year of driving our nation’s innovation ecosystem forward, this competition provides a unique opportunity to recognize the critical importance of those who help entrepreneurs from all backgrounds access opportunities to scale and grow.”

The winners from Stage One will now have a chance to take part in Stage Two of the competition, where they can win an additional $50,000 to $150,000 in cash prizes to help move their R&D into the market. Stage Two applications will open in June, and the SBA plans to announce the 2024 winners by September.

Since it started in 2014, Growth Accelerator Fund Competition has given 427 prizes totaling more than $26 million to 314 unique winners across the U.S. and its territories.

Stage One Winners

Here are the Stage One winners:

National and Economic Security

Ala: The Catalyst Center for Business and Entrepreneurship
Calif.: Starburst Accelerator
Colo. Catalyst Accelerator
Idaho.: Trailhead
Ind.: Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and Indiana Center for Emerging Technologies
La.: Maven Scouts
Md: Rural Autonomous Innovation Network (RAIN), Association of University Research Parks (AURP)
Mich.: BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting*
Miss.: Innovate Mississippi
Mo.: Codefi Foundation on Rural Innovation
Mont.: Early-Stage Montana
Neb.: Invest Nebraska
N.M.: University of New Mexico and NewSpace Nexus
Okla.: Metro Technology Centers
Pa.: The Crenshaw Institute of Applied Science and Technology
Texas: Capital Factory
Va.: Tambourine Innovation Ventures

Domestic Manufacturing and Production

Ariz.: Startup Tucson
Ark.: Endeavor NWA Entrepreneurs
Washington, D.C.: National Disability Institute
Fla.: Florida Institute of Technology and International Business Innovation Association
Hawaii: XLR8HI
Md.: Salisbury University – Rommel Center for Entrepreneurship
Mich.: Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting*
N.Y.: FuzeHub and Southern Tier High Technology Incubator, Inc.
N.C: RIoT and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
N.D.: Grand Farm Research and Education Initiative, Inc.
S.C.: TechConnect
Utah: Utah Advanced Materials Manufacturing Institute
Wash.: 360 Social Impact Studios

Sustainability and Biotechnology

Alaska: Spruce Root, Inc.
Calif.: Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Conn.: The Community Foundation-Mission Investments Company
Washington, D.C.: Women in Engineering ProActive Network
Ill.: University of Illinois Research Park, LLC
Maine: Central Maine Growth Council and Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Mass.: SeaAhead, Inc.
Mich.: BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting*
Minn.: RuralWorks Partners, LLC
N.Y.: The Research Foundation for SUNY New Paltz’s School of Business
N.C.: Eva Garland Consulting, LLC
Ohio: Bounce Innovation Hub
Ore.: VertueLab and Oregon Health and Science University
Pa.: University City Science Center
Tenn.: BioTN Foundation, Inc. and Native American Investment and Capital Alliance
Texas: Health Wildcatters and Impact Hub Houston
Utah: Altitude Lab
Vt.: LaunchVT
Va.: FedTech
W. Va.: U.S. Research Impact Alliance Corp.
Wyo.: University of Wyoming

*SBIR in all three theme areas.

For more information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and how to connect with a Stage Two Growth Accelerator Partnership, please visit SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (

Image: SBA

This article, “SBA 2024 GAFC Stage One Winners, Up to $3 Million in Prizes” was first published on Small Business Trends


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