The U.S. Small Business Administration on Sept. 30 announced new funding for the Blue Hen Proof of Concept, a startup incubator program under the University of Delaware's Horn Entrepreneurship.
The Blue Hen Proof of Concept program provides gap funding, mentoring and training during the initial technology commercialization activities of researchers and inventors across campus.
The program is one of 60 winners of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) to win a $50,000 grant. The federal initiative supports accelerators and incubators across 39 states with a total of $3 million awards to support startups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations.
“Over the past five years, (GAFC) has provided awards to many innovative and promising accelerators and incubators,” said Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “This includes entrepreneurs located in Opportunity Zones – where job creation and investments are revitalizing communities.”
In 2018, startups in the Blue Hen Proof of Concept program generated more than $1.3M in sales and received more than $10.2M in grants or investment.
“Each $50,000 award will infuse a winning accelerator or incubator with additional operating capital to provide focused assistance to entrepreneurs,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Acting Regional Administrator Steve Bulger. “This assistance includes support for company formation as well as awareness and education on the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.”
This year’s award recipients will focus at least 60 percent of competition-related work to entrepreneurs who represent women, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, entrepreneurs living or operating in states with fewer SBIR/STTR awards, or are located in an Opportunity Zone.