Nashville, TN, September 2, 2016 – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) announced today that they were named by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation as one of the recipients of their annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. LaunchTN joins 67 other selected awardees who collectively will receive a total of $3.4 million in prizes to boost the economic impact of accelerators across 32 states and the District of Columbia.
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 over 400 applications and presentations and established a pool of 200 highly qualified finalists. The second panels evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos to select the 68 winners.
LaunchTN will use this SBA award for their recently announced Networks initiative. The LaunchTN Networks is a systematic program, offering early-stage companies access to mentoring and curriculum, and is driven by scientific and business milestones. The program currently serves two vital Tennessee industries: Life Sciences and Energy.
In yesterday’s official announcement, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said: “SBA created the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014 as 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. These awards deliver on a longstanding commitment at SBA to strengthen and modernize these support systems especially in parts of the country where access to capital has been a major barrier to starting a business. This year’s winners show that our efforts are bearing fruit and further cementing our nation’s most pioneering accelerators, incubators and innovation hubs as major players driving America’s technology startup ecosystem.”
About Launch Tennessee – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership dedicated to supporting high-growth entrepreneurs with the goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for entrepreneurs to start and grow a company. To learn more, visit LaunchTN.org.