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Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC) Selected as a Winner of SBA 2015 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

Cedar Rapids-based business accelerator receives $50,000 in funding from SBA, announced at first-ever national White House Demo Day

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA—AUGUST 4, 2015—The EDC, a not-for-profit business accelerator based in Cedar Rapids, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of 80 winners of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2015 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The recipients represent 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This list includes two accelerators from Cedar Rapids: EDC, Inc. and Iowa Startup Accelerator. The winners were announced today at the first-ever White House Demo Day in Washington D.C.

EDC was founded in 2003 and in its first 11 years of operation, EDC entrepreneur members have raised and employed over $260 million in capital, generated over $900 million in new revenue and over $300 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. EDC has seen a steady rise in female founded businesses over its eleven years to the point where in 2014 32% of the businesses supported and over 50% of the support hours were invested on female founded businesses. This grant will support the growing Consumer Goods Founders program that EDC implemented this year. This group now includes nineteen area consumer goods companies, 58% of which are female founded. EDC provides guided hands-on expertise as well as connections to critical start-up capital to improve Iowa’s overall position in the nation’s Innovation Economy,” he added.

The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition was launched in 2014 with $2.5million in appropriated funds. With the 2015 Fund Competition, SBA is awarding $4 million to accelerators in order to continue building the support structure needed to help startups become commercially viable and create jobs more quickly. The goal of the competition is to get an extra infusion of capital to qualified accelerators and the burgeoning ecosystem in which they play a part which in turn, provides resources to boost the startup and entrepreneurship communities around them. Applications were judged by more than 40 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector. The first panel of judges reviewed over 400 applications and presentations and established a pool of 180 highly qualified finalists. The second panel evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos they prepared and selected the 80 winners.

Each organization will receive a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA. The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While there are entrepreneurial activities occurring nationwide, some are better supported by private sector ecosystems than others.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem in America is incredibly exciting and very powerful,” said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for Office of Investment and Innovation. “Administrator Contreras-Sweet and I welcome this year’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition winners and the important and inclusive work they do in support of innovative and high-growth small businesses.”

The first-ever White House Demo Day focused on inclusive entrepreneurship, a showcase of America’s entrepreneurial potential hosted by the President at the White House on August 4. Unlike a private-sector Demo Day, where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to funders, innovators from around the country joined President Obama to “demo” their individual success stories and demonstrate the importance of every American having the opportunity to pursue their bold, game-changing ideas.

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 nearly 700 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 and on Twitter (@edcinc123).