INDIANA – Flagship Enterprise Center is the recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 Growth Accelerator award. The $50,000 award is part of $4 million the federal agency has allocated in its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to support startup growth, viability and ability to make an economic impact in the U.S.
“An accelerator such as Flagship is a valuable resource to Anderson and surrounding cities-for assisting startups,” SBA’s Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter said. “With this award, we are proud to support it in its efforts to assist small business success, make a local economic impact, and ensure a diverse set of entrepreneurs have the opportunity to participate in our country’s innovation economy.”
Since the Growth Accelerator Fund’s inception in 2014, more than 5,100 jobs have been created or sustained, more than 1,450 startups have been served and nearly $550 million of capital has been raised by the startups. This year, the SBA awarded $4 million to accelerators to continue building the support structure needed to help start-ups become commercially viable and create jobs more quickly.
Similar to last year’s competition, several panels containing expert judges from the private and public sector with collective experience in early stage investing, entrepreneurship, academia, start-ups and economic development selected the more than 80 winners. The panel gave particular attention to applicants that fill geographic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem space and are run by or support women or other underrepresented groups.
“Indiana has a rich history in manufacturing technology and innovation, this SBA Growth Accelerator grant will allow the Flagship to build on that history by further supporting innovative manufacturing technology companies that will create jobs and bring investment to our region. The grant funds will be used to implement programming that will help accelerate the growth of a number of companies in the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Adam Hoeksema, director of loan programs for Flagship.
In accepting the $50,000 cash prize from the SBA, Flagship Enterprise Center commits to quarterly reporting for one year and is required to report metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained among other detail. The SBA will include this in a database of accelerators and their impact, and continue to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.
“We look forward to having Flagship continue to provide critical startup elements, including a physical infrastructure in infancy, mentoring, business development assistance, venture capital opportunities and various networking introductions that help to ensure local small businesses flourish,” Poynter continued.
About the Growth Accelerator Fund
The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition launched in 2014 with $2.5 million in appropriated funds, presenting an opportunity for the SBA engage with and support organizations whose sole purpose is to help startups grow, become commercially viable, and have a real and sustained economic impact. Its goal is to get an extra infusion of capital to qualified accelerators and the burgeoning ecosystem in which they play, which, in turn, provides resources to boost the startup and entrepreneurship communities around them. In its first year alone, the SBA reached entrepreneurial ecosystems in 49 states (all but Alaska) and provided 50, $50,000 awards across 31 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. SBA also reached some of the most overlooked areas for startups with an explicit focus on awarding accelerators that support the underserved, women, the maker community and geographic regions which traditionally have limited access to capital. For more information, access www.sba.gov/accelerators.
About Anderson Flagship Accelerator
The mission of the Flagship Enterprise Center (FEC) is to be a premier technology-based business center, creating, growing and attracting jobs, and contributing to the long-term economic development of the communities of Anderson, Madison County and the state of Indiana. The FEC will pursue its mission through the encouragement and nurturing of the entrepreneurial and business spirit by offering mentoring, business services, networking and educational opportunities, access to capital, and debt financing.