FoundersForge, a local nonprofit focused on supporting entrepreneurship in the region, has been selected as one of only two organizations in Tennessee to receive $ 50,000 in funding through the Growth Accelerator Fund competition of the US Small Business Association.
The SBA provides funds to accelerate and incubate projects involving targeted assistance across the country to STEM / R&D entrepreneurs from under-represented groups including women, people of color, rural participants and veterans.
Of the 84 national winners of the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund competition, FoundersForge and Chattanooga’s CoLab accepted the award to launch various programs in the Appalachian region.
âI am proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and the SBIR Catalyst Award,â said Isabella Casillas Guzman, Director of the SBA.
âThis year’s cohort of recipients underscores our commitment to fairness. Our award winners have innovative plans to support underserved entrepreneurs, including women, people of color, and people from underrepresented geographies.
FoundersForge plans to use these funds to develop a program to continue the support they currently provide to start-up entrepreneurs.
This new program, The Foundry Growth Accelerator, will help startups continue to grow after launch and prepare for potential funding. This program is also focused on diversity and inclusion in our region, with a strong emphasis on supporting rural entrepreneurs.
âFoundersForge is very pleased to be one of only two Tennessee organizations in the country to receive this award,â said David Nelson, director of FoundersForge. âWe are also excited to expand the programming we offer to startups at a later stage to help businesses in our region succeed and grow.
“By providing high impact programming at every step of the entrepreneurial journey, FoundersForge will provide the support our startups need to be successful.”