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EDC Selected as a Recipient of 2019 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund

Cedar Rapids-based business accelerator receives $50,000 in funding from SBA to support startups and STEM focused entrepreneurs

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA—SEPTEMBER 26, 2019—EDC, Inc., a not-for-profit business accelerator based in Cedar Rapids, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of 60 winners of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The recipients represent accelerators and incubators across 39 states and territories and will receive a total of $3 million in awards to support startups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations.

EDC was founded in 2003 and in its first 15 years of operation, EDC entrepreneur members have raised and employed over $428 million in capital, generated over $1.8 billion in new revenue and over $529 million in new wages paid.

“We are very pleased to receive this funding and national recognition from the SBA,” said EDC President & CEO, Curtis Nelson. “The SBA Grant application was specific in its intent to support under-represented classes in new business creation and growth specifically in the STEM-related fields as well as SBIR/STTR applications. EDC will use the award to support our work with bio-tech and energy-tech entrepreneurs. Our team has extensive experience with SBIR / STTR grant applications, solid relationships with experienced SBIR grant writers, and access to State of Iowa grant application supporting capital. Our team and entrepreneur members have been a part of securing 29 different SBIR/STTR grants for roughly $16M over the past 15 years and we look forward to deploying the wealth of commercialization experience our entire team has acquired to this program,” he added.

The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition was launched in 2014 with $2.5million in appropriated funds. With the 2019 Fund Competition, SBA is awarding $3 million to infuse the accelerators and incubators with additional operating capital to provide focused assistance to entrepreneurs.  This assistance includes support for company formation as well as awareness and education on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

This year’s award recipients will focus at least 60 percent of their Competition-related work to entrepreneurs who represent one of the following groups: women; socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; entrepreneurs living in or whose businesses are located and operate in states with a lower number of SBIR/STTR awards, or in an Opportunity Zone.  By focusing the accelerators’ and incubators’ efforts on these entrepreneur groups, SBA aims to increase the pipeline of future SBIR/STTR applications and STEM-related innovations.

Applicants to the Competition submitted a brief presentation deck and an optional two-minute video outlining the organization’s overall approach, experience working with the targeted entrepreneur group, and key metrics that will be used to evaluate the success of the proposed plan.  Applications were judged by panels of experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector. For more information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and a full list of award winners past and present, visit: www.sba.gov/accelerators and www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

“I am proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.  Over the past five years, the competition has provided awards to innovative and promising accelerators and incubators.  This year’s recipients, who will each receive an award of $50,000 from the SBA, are no exception,” said Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “This includes entrepreneurs located in Opportunity Zones – where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”

About the EDC
The Entrepreneurial Development Center was incorporated in 2003 as a community-sponsored, non-profit business accelerator. The company provides economic growth through the development and expansion of entrepreneurial enterprises and has successfully assisted more than 1,000 Iowa-headquartered businesses. Its focus is on creating local wealth for area re-investment by growing and cultivating regional, national, and international businesses. For more information please visit www.edcinc.org. On social media, follow Entrepreneurial Development Center on Facebook, LinkedIn and on Twitter (@edcinc123).

About the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

A total of $3,000,000 was appropriated to be awarded as prizes to accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, or other entrepreneurial ecosystem models.  Each prize of $50,000 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 can be found at www.sba.gov/accelerators and www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

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 and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.