News Release: SBA Announces $3 Million for 60 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Recipients Supporting Startups and STEM Focused Entrepreneurs

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Release Date: October 1, 2019


Release Number: OCIE 20-01



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SBA Announces $3 Million for 60 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Recipients Supporting Startups and STEM Focused Entrepreneurs

UCI Beall Applied Innovation a Recipient

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced 60 winners of SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The recipients, including UCI Beall Applied Innovation in Irvine, represent accelerators and incubators across 39 states and territories focused on a broad set of industries and sectors and will receive a total of $3 million in awards to support startups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations.

“I am proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Over the past five years, the competition has provided awards to innovative and promising accelerators and incubators. This year’s recipients, who will each receive an award of $50,000 from the SBA, are no exception,” said Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “This includes entrepreneurs located in Opportunity Zones – where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”

The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition will infuse the accelerators and incubators with additional operating capital to provide focused assistance to entrepreneurs. This assistance includes support for company formation as well as awareness and education on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Notably, the prizes are not for direct investing in the entrepreneurs’ small businesses.

UCI Beall Applied Innovation will use the award to educate and mentor women entrepreneurs as they compete for SBIR/STTR funds for innovative opportunities across federal agencies. 

"The SBA is a strong ally to startups and an important partner to us in our goal to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the STEM field," said Richard Sudek, UCI chief innovation officer and executive director of UCI Beall Applied Innovation. "We're thankful to the SBA, especially our local representatives, for these funds to support women-led startups and keep moving the needle forward."

This year’s award recipients will focus at least 60 percent of their Competition-related work to entrepreneurs who represent one of the following groups: women; socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; entrepreneurs living in or whose businesses are located and operate in states with a lower number of SBIR/STTR awards, or in an Opportunity Zone. By focusing the accelerators’ and incubators’ efforts on these entrepreneur groups, SBA aims to increase the pipeline of future SBIR/STTR applications and STEM-related innovations.

Applicants to the Competition submitted a brief presentation deck and an optional two-minute video outlining the organization’s overall approach, experience working with the targeted entrepreneur group, and key metrics that will be used to evaluate the success of the proposed plan. Applications were judged by panels of experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector.

For more information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and a full list of award winners past and present, visit: and


About the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

A total of $3,000,000 was appropriated to be awarded as prizes to accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, or other entrepreneurial ecosystem models. Each prize of $50,000 provides operational funding to the awardee for their work in supporting startup businesses. The Competition was conducted by SBA pursuant to the government wide prize competition authority known as the America COMPETES Act (15 U.S.C. 3719). Additional information can be found at and


SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which each year provides more than $3.7 billion in early stage seed capital totaling over 5,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal government agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

About the Orange County / Inland Empire District Office

The Orange County / Inland Empire District Office, under the leadership and vision of J. Adalberto Quijada, District Director, is responsible for the delivery of SBA programs and services in the Southern California counties of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Located in Santa Ana near John Wayne Airport, the office and its staff facilitate understanding and access to SBA loan programs; coordinate and conduct hundreds of training sessions and special events annually such as matchmaking forums and loan workshops; and manage a portfolio of nearly 100 businesses enrolled in the agency’s 8(a) business development program.

About UCI Beall Applied Innovation

UCI Beall Applied Innovation is a dynamic, innovative central platform which includes the UC Irvine campus, entrepreneurs, inventors, investors and the business community. Together they collaborate and commercialize discoveries designed to benefit humankind and have an economic impact that leads to innovations, growth and job creation.  UCI Beall Applied Innovation also serves as a host to an SBA-powered Small Business Development Center. Additionally, UCI Beall Applied Innovation serves as a portal to the California and U.S. market and is helping to position Orange County, both nationally and internationally, as an innovative and robust business community and ecosystem.