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StartingBlock + Partners win U.S. SBA awards 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage 2 prize

StartingBlock awarded $150,000 in prize money to implement Growth Accelerator Partnerships to support innovation

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced StartingBlock as a Stage

Two winner for the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. StartingBlock will receive a $150,000 cash prize to build strategic partnerships that will support the launch, growth, and scale of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses.

This year’s Competition has brought together organizations, entities, groups, and individuals beyond geographic boundaries to support innovators and innovation needed to confront the challenges of today.

After winning a $50,000 Stage One cash prize earlier this year, StartingBlock continues its efforts to foster and facilitate a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high-growth small businesses.

Ecosystem partners in the winning application include:

  • WiSys

  • The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce

  • The Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce

  • MadRep

  • Madison College

  • The Wisconsin Law School's Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic

  • The Center for Technology Commercialization

The award of the Stage Two prize to StartingBlock and our 7 regional ecosystem partners again validates that the Madison region is building a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. We're excited to move to the implementation phase of the award.
-- Scott Mosley, Executive Director

Winners of Stage Two were selected through a multi-tier review panel process by experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation, and strategic planning. Applications were reviewed by expert judges and then the Catalyst partnerships participated in an interview process with members of the Office of Investment and Innovation Ecosystem Development team.

The SBA intends the Growth Accelerator Partnerships to help entrepreneurs commercialize their R&D efforts by using Stage Two awards for activities including training and mentorship, introducing entrepreneurs to customers and suppliers, and providing opportunities to pitch investors. The Competition also targets accelerators that support businesses and/or geographies that traditionally face barriers in obtaining R&D funds and investment capital.

For more information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, please visit


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