Alumni-run accelerators earn grants

Two accelerators managed by Olin alumni are winners of the Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition that announced $4.4 million in prizes on Aug. 4, 2015 during the White House Demo Day for entrepreneurs. St. Louis-based accelerator for women, Prosper Capital, where Dr. Mary Jo Gorman, EMBA’96 is a managing partner and New Jersey-based accelerator Great Turning Advisors where Steven Boughton, MBA’14 is founder and president each won $50,000 grants. Congratulations!

Here’s the SBA news release:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced the 80 winners of the second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The recipients represent 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


Location of 80 accelerators that won the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

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.

“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.”

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 and selected the 80 winners.

Read the full press release.

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