Small Business Administration Awards Competition Funding to AWIS’ Accelerator

Nov 5, 2019Press Release


Maria Ibañez

Small Business Administration Awards Competition Funding to AWIS’ Accelerator

AWIS was presented a Growth Accelerators Fund Competition award from the Small Business Administration for its STEM to Market entrepreneur and investor program. AWIS’ STEM to Market program is one of 60 top-tier accelerators and incubators selected from a highly qualified pool of candidates across 39 states and territories to receive the $50,000 prize. The Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition provides operational funding to awardees 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).

“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 in the SBA press release. “This includes entrepreneurs located in Opportunity Zones – where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”

AWIS’ award-winning STEM to Market project advances STEM women entrepreneurs, cultivates intentional and inclusive investors, and develops connections across STEM entrepreneurship ecosystems. Entrepreneurs receive customized commercialization training and support; access mentoring and advising from successful entrepreneurs, investors, funders, and market experts; and develop strong connections to the investment community. The prize money will support a national-level cohort of STEM to Market: The AWIS Accelerator in 2020.

“We are honored to be among the 2019 group of entrepreneurship support programs focused on advancing entrepreneurs who are women, people of color, and from opportunity zones,” said AWIS Chief Research Officer Dr. Heather Metcalf. “The funding allows us to scale the success of our three regional accelerator cohorts to serve a national and diverse group of talented women in STEM entrepreneurship.” Applications are slated to open in January 2020.

The Small Business Administration will host the 2020 Accelerator Summit with the 60 awardees and other stakeholders to provide increased communication and collaboration among awardees.

Sign up to receive more information about the STEM to Market project and other AWIS announcements at Join the wait list and be the first to know when the SBA National-Level Cohort application period opens at



About AWIS: Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. In addition to scholarships, AWIS provides career resources, professional development, as well as networking, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities to build leadership skills. To learn more, visit and @AWISNational.


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