SBA: Launch of Inaugural America’s Seed Fund Expo Competition for Small Businesses, Startups, and Inventors Announced

Applications will be accepted until April 22, 2022

Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced the launch of America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo 2022, a new initiative aimed at identifying innovative startups and supporting them with resources to help them scale, grow, and thrive. This competition comes in the midst of a historic economic recovery and record growth in new business applications as American entrepreneurs continue to start and grow their businesses and startups.

“Every day, in communities across America, entrepreneurs are advancing innovative solutions to our nation’s most pressing challenges. The SBA is committed to helping ensure that those good ideas from everywhere and anywhere connect to federally-supported ecosystems and partners to commercialize and grow into resilient American businesses,” said Administrator Guzman. “With the launch of SBA’s first America’s Seed Fund Expo, we will showcase exceptional entrepreneurs who have leveraged federal R&D funding in key industries and highlight the resources to advance these game-changing innovations right here in America.”

America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo 2022 will:

  • Provide broad exposure for innovative small business startups to nationwide innovation networks and local ecosystems across America;
  • Provide a platform for connecting innovative startups with networks that can enable these companies to scale, grow, and thrive;
  • Raise public awareness of the opportunity to commercialize critical innovation necessary for continued American competitiveness in the global marketplace; and
  • Showcase American entrepreneurial ventures at the forefront of AgTech, Climate & Energy, National Security, and Supply Chain Resiliency that are building a better America through innovation and choosing to manufacture their products at home in the U.S.

“The giants of future industries so often start as small business startups with big ideas. We know the public and private sectors must work together to nurture these small businesses with big ideas over many years so they may sustain and grow. America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo will lift up big ideas and provide a platform for our national innovation community to support the businesses of tomorrow,” said Associate Administrator DeVries.

How to Apply 

The SBA is now seeking applications for companies to present at the inaugural competition, providing a new and notable opportunity for entrepreneurs that have developed technology through the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs to raise their profiles and grow their networks — a critical element for small business startup success. Competition rules, requirements, and additional information can be found at sbir.gov/startupexpo.

Submission period: Now – April 22, 2022

Winners to Be Announced: May 2022

Attend the Expo

Members of the innovation and venture capital community, SBA resource partners, media, and other entrepreneur support organizations are also invited and encouraged to attend. The Startup Expo will be virtual and held on May 25 at 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT. The Expo is open to the public, and individuals can sign-up to attend at https://bit.ly/SeedFundExpoRSVP.

Background on America’s Seed Fund

Also known as “America’s Seed Fund,” the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs’ mission is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy. These programs represent the nation’s largest source of early-stage research and development funding for small businesses. SBA coordinates the programs, collaborating with 11 federal agencies, who collectively support more than $4 billion a year in federal research and development funding.

Through these highly competitive grant programs, domestic small businesses with the potential for commercialization are encouraged to engage in federal Research and Development (R&D); these programs are an important resource for a wide range of researchers, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and startups working on big ideas. The program’s goals are to:

  • Stimulate technological innovation;
  • Meet federal research and development needs;
  • Foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women and socially or economically disadvantaged persons; and
  • Increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development funding.

 About the U.S. Small Business Administration 

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

About SBA Office of Investment and Innovation

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) leads programs that provide the high-growth small business community with access to two things: financial capital and R&D funds to develop commercially viable innovations. Our work is underpinned by public-private partnerships that help small businesses on their trajectory from idea to IPO. Learn more at www.sba.gov.

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