WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that four business accelerators in New Mexico, Native Entrepreneur In Residence, IGNITE Community Accelerator, Creative Startups and ABQid have been selected as winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The four accelerators were among 68 winners selected nationwide, and each will receive a $50,000 prize from the SBA to boost their economic impact and support job creation and the growth of startup businesses.
"Small businesses create jobs and drive our economy, and business accelerators like these help to expand support networks for small businesses, bring entrepreneurs and innovators together and connect them to the resources that fuel job creation and growth. Native Entrepreneur In Residence, IGNITE Community Accelerator, Creative Startups and ABQid are among the best that our state has to offer," Udall said. "Starting a business can be challenging, but from resources geared toward Native-owned startups, to online tools for startups expanding globally, New Mexico's business accelerators are helping innovators in our communities and around the world connect with other entrepreneurs, get their businesses off the ground faster and stay in business. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I'll keep fighting for resources for programs like the SBA's Growth Accelerator Fund Competition that help our small businesses grow and create jobs, and strengthen our communities."
"Small businesses are the engine of our state's economy and I'm committed to ensuring that they can grow and thrive," Heinrich said. "The key to creating new jobs in our state is bringing creative minds together and fostering good ideas, and Native Entrepreneur In Residence, IGNITE Community Accelerator, Creative Startups and ABQid are doing just that. These innovative business accelerators are boosting our economy by building powerful networks that connect startups with investors, resources, and opportunities to learn and grow. I will continue to support New Mexico entrepreneurs by helping them acquire the tools they need to succeed in a 21st century economy."
The SBA launched the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014 to build America's small business support network and help entrepreneurs and innovators connect with local and federal resources that support small business growth and job creation. The competition draws attention to geographical regions where gaps exist in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and seeks to support the development of accelerators run by women and other underrepresented groups, and located in areas where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital. For the first time this year, the SBA partnered with the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide prizes to accelerators that assist entrepreneurs with submitting proposals for the Small Business Innovation and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.