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2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and SBIR Catalyst

Grants to USA Individuals, For-Profits, and
Nonprofits to Support Small Businesses

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - SBIR-STTR America's Seed Fund

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/02/21 4:00 EDT


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Grants to USA individuals, for-profits, and nonprofit organizations to support small businesses. Funding is intended to support STEM entrepreneurs and build partnerships to reach underserved communities. Applicants must actively seek to serve individuals from underserved and diverse communities, including, but not limited to women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, or other target entrepreneurs identified by applicants (ie. rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.).

The SBA seeks proposals from the nation’s innovation-focused entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) that outline programs to speed the launch, growth, and scale of deep-tech small businesses across the country. Applicants should submit a 12-slide deck and a 90-second video, addressing the relevant elements of one of the following tracks:

  • Track 1 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) - Prizes for efforts to provide focused assistance to STEM/R&D entrepreneurs, including support for company formation as well as awareness and education of SBIR/STTR programs. Contestants must focus their proposed efforts on one of the following groups: women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, or other target entrepreneurs identified by applicants (ie. rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.).
  • Track 2 SBIR Catalyst - Prizes to scale collaborative partnerships, strengthen ties between stakeholders (including public, private, non-profit, and academic partners) in support of SBIR/STTR applicants and awardees.  SBIR Catalyst winners will help fulfill the SBA’s mission of addressing current gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous obstacles, including for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) entrepreneurs who disproportionately drive the creation of jobs and contribute towards economic recovery. By addressing the capital gap many ESOs face, SBA’s prizes will assist critical activities around the country – new collaborations, targeted programs, and support services for early-stage startups to increase the likelihood of STEM/R&D entrepreneurs to not only take off, but de-risk their work for follow-on investors.

More about the Tracks can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 196639

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Eighty-four (84) prizes for accelerator or incubator programs, and seven (7) prizes to launch regional collaborations

Estimated Size of Grant:

Track 1 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) - Prizes of $50,000

Track 2 SBIR Catalyst—Prizes of $150,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This Competition is open only to:
a) Citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of their submission of an entry (or teams of such individuals);
b) Private entities, such as corporations or other organizations, both for profit and nonprofit, that are incorporated or organized in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Individuals submitting on behalf of corporations, nonprofits, or other organizations or groups of individuals (such as an academic class or other team) must meet the eligibility requirements for individual Contestants. An individual cannot belong to more than one team per track submitting an entry in this Competition.

SBA employees and contractors are not eligible, nor are Federal entities or Federal employees acting within the scope of their employment. Individuals or organizations that are currently suspended or debarred by the federal government are not eligible for this Competition.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join a pre-application webinar June 2nd at 2pm EDT

Register at

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates:
a) Submission Period: May 26, 2021 4:00 PM EDT to July 2, 2021 4:00 PM EDT.
b) Screening, Vetting and Judging Period: July - August 2021.
c) Winners Announced: Late-August 2021.

Only one application will be accepted per organization.

Watch the pre-application webinar recording here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submission Portal:
- Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Track:
- SBIR Catalyst Track:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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