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US small business association launches USD 2.5 m fund to support start-up accelerators

Updated: May 19, 2014 12:49:51pm
New Delhi, May 19 (KNN)  To give impulse to the start-up eco-system in the United States, the US Small Business Administration (SBA), is launching a USD 2.5 million competition fund. 

Through this competition SBA is looking to support innovative models of ‘accelerators’. The accelerators are highly specialized firms which provide services to start-ups for their quick scaling-up thus increasing the odds of building a successful business in exchange for a small chunk of equity.  Their services include access to angel and venture capital, technical services and market linkage,” said an official release.  

The value of the prize is USD 50,000 each to fund operating budgets of innovative models. Deadline for applications is August-2.

“To award the prizes, applicants will be judged by an expert panel that will consider each applicant's stated mission, founding team members and business goals among other core components,” the SME communique said.

Interestingly, while selecting best models the jury is to accord particular attention to accelerators promising development objectives such as geographic gaps, equity of opportunities to gender, other underrepresented groups and to especially accelerator models which support manufacturing.

In keeping with that, accelerators which are run by and support women or other underrepresented groups will be actively sought by US SBA. 
For the purposes of this competition, growth accelerators include accelerators, incubators, co-working start-up communities, shared tinker-spaces or other models to accomplish similar goals.
More specifically, US SBA expects that applicants will have most if not all of characteristics such as: selective process to choose participating start-ups; regular networking opportunities offered to start-ups; introductions to customers, partners, suppliers, advisory boards and other players; high-growth and tech-driven start-up mentorship and commercialization assistance.
Preference will also be given to applicants who have - shared working environments focused on building a strong start-up community; resource sharing and co-working arrangements for start-ups; opportunities to pitch ideas and start-ups to investors; and small amounts of angel money, seed capital or structured loans to start-ups.   (KNN/ES)


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