Hannah Grimes Center wins SBA's Growth Accelerator Fund competition

Keene incubator receives $50,000

Photo courtesy of Lee Germeroth

The Hannah Grimes Center is one of 80 winners of the second annual U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund competition. 

The center held an award ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at the Hannah Grimes Center on Roxbury Street in Keene. Seth Goodall, SBA New England regional administrator, and Erin Andrew, SBA Office of Women's business ownership director, presented the award to the Hannah Grimes Center staff and board of directors. 

The center also received a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA. In accepting these funds, each accelerator commits to submitting quarterly reporting for one year on metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. The SBA uses the data to determine their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and entrepreneurial constituents. 

SBA is continuing to make advances in supporting unique organizations that help the start-up community grow, become commercially viable and have a real and sustained economic impact, said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. Through the wide-spread outreach of this competition, we are able to reach entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country. My commitment is to make our resources available to 21st century entrepreneurs where they are, and these accelerators – also known as incubators and innovation hubs – are the gathering place for today's innovators and disruptors.

Accelerators serve entrepreneurs in a broad set of industries and sectors – from manufacturing and tech start-ups, to farming and biotech – with many focused on creating a diverse and inclusive small business community.

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 established a pool of 180 highly qualified finalists.  The second panel evaluated the finalists' presentations and pitch videos and selected the 80 winners.

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. SBA has created connective tissue amongst the nearly 130 winning entrepreneurial ecosystems now part of the Growth Accelerator Fund: sba.gov/accelerators.

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