YBI Awarded $50K in SBA Fund Competition

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Thursday that the Youngstown Business Incubator is a Stage One winner in its 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

YBI will receive a $50,000 cash prize to build strategic partnerships that will support the launch, growth and scale of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses, the SBA said in a news release.

YBI’s model will amplify the impact and success of Growth Accelerator Partnerships and will work to foster and facilitate a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high growth small businesses. This year’s competition has brought together organizations, entities, groups and individuals beyond geographic boundaries to support innovators and innovation needed to confront the challenges of today. 

“The strong partnerships between YBI, America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute and Youngstown State University’s Excellence Training Center helped secure this initial win and puts us in a great position to go after Stage 2 funding,” said Barb Ewing, YBI’s CEO. “This will be the next step in making Youngstown the epicenter of additive manufacturing in North America.”

Winners of Stage One were selected through a multitier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation and strategic planning, both inside and out of the federal government. Applications and pitch videos were reviewed by expert judges submitted by the finalists. 

YBI will now compete for an additional $50,000 to $150,000 later this summer. From inequity and climate change, to supporting national defense and community-driven economic prosperity, the real opportunity is now to build up innovation ecosystems.

Organizations that were not selected in Stage One, as well as diverse local, regional and national entities from any sector or location, are eligible to connect with Stage One winners to develop partnerships in a bid for Stage Two prizes. 

More information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition is available HERE.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.