Innosphere, Mergelane, SCAPE win $50K SBA prizes

Tuesday September 6, 2016 Tags: Fort Collins, Boulder, Durango, Innosphere, MergeLane, Todd Headley, CSU Ventures, Mike Freeman, Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs, SBA, Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

FORT COLLINS/BOULDER/DURANGO -- Business incubator Innosphere in Fort Collins, startup accelerator Mergelane in Boulder and Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs in Durango are among 68 groups that each won $50,000 in the Small Business Administration’s third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.SBA_logo

The winners, in 32 states and the District of Columbia, will receive a total of $3.4 million in prizes to boost the economic impact of accelerators.

“Innosphere collaborated with CSU Ventures on this proposal, and we are thankful to Todd Headley and his team for supporting us,” said Innosphere CEO Mike Freeman.

“This SBA funding will be used by Innosphere to better support startup companies as they put together SBIR and STTR applications.”

SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said the competition is a way to make new connections and strengthen existing bonds within America’s small-business support network, bringing entrepreneurs and innovators together and connecting them with local and national resources that support small-business job creation and growth.

Applications were judged by more than 100 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 more than 400 applications and presentations, and established a pool of 200 finalists. The second panels evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos and selected the 68 winners.

In accepting funds, the accelerators will commit to quarterly reporting for one year. They will be required to report metrics including jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained.

This will allow the SBA to continue building its database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in innovative and entrepreneurial communities.

The competition is backed by the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, Office of Native American Affairs, Office of Veterans Business Development, the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Department of Education.