YBI Wins Stage 2 of SBA’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The U.S. Small Business Administration on Thursday announced the Youngstown Business Incubator as a Stage 2 winner of the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund competition. 

YBI will receive a $150,000 cash prize for its Appalachian Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem to build strategic partnerships to support the launch, growth and scale of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses.

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 advanced manufacturing within Appalachia and other underserved communities, a news release states.

“The strong partnerships between YBI, America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute and Youngstown State University helped secure our initial win and put us in a great position to go after Stage 2 funding,” said Barb Ewing, CEO of the YBI.

Program activities include promoting Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research grants to both university partners and small businesses; encouraging capital investment in early-stage advanced manufacturing companies; raising awareness of advanced manufacturing technologies within regional manufacturers; creating opportunities for entrepreneurship; and supporting diversity and inclusion in manufacturing.

“YSU is proud of its partnership with YBI,” said Jackie Ruller, director of YSU’s Excellence Training Center. “With this initiative, we can continue to build programming to support entrepreneurship and commercialization activities with our faculty and staff.”

Winners of Stage 2 were selected through a multitier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation and strategic planning both inside and outside the federal government.

“With the recognition and connections that this award brings, AAME will be the next step in making Youngstown the epicenter of additive manufacturing in North America,” said John Wilczynski, executive director of America Makes.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.