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SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation today announced the 68 winners of the third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Each winner will receive $50,000 in prize money from the SBA. A Salt Lake City based Growth Accelerator will share in the prize money. This year’s Utah winner is BoomStartup.

“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,” states Stan Nakano, SBA’s Utah District Director. “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 in our state.”

The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While there are entrepreneurial activities occurring nationwide, some are better supported by private sector ecosystems than others. SBA has created connective tissue amongst the over 200 winning entrepreneurial ecosystems now part of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition program.

The 2016 competition decided to build on the success of the previous two years and provide several different areas of focus for winners to be funded under, including: General, Small Business Innovation (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, Veteran, and Native American.

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 panel evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos and selected the 68 winners.

Each organization will receive a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA. In accepting these funds, the accelerators will also be committing to quarterly reporting for one year. They will be required to report metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. This will allow SBA to continue building upon its database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.

For more information about accelerators and the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, visit: www.sba.gov/accelerators.

Republished from SBA.gov