Venture Hive, an accelerator, incubator and entrepreneurial education company in downtown Miami, was one of 50 winners of the inaugural nationwide Growth Accelerator Fund competition, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced Thursday. Venture Hive was selected after reviewing more than 800 applications. The 50 recipients represent 31 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and come from a broad set of industries and sectors - from manufacturing to tech startups to farming as well as a focus on a diversified range of demographic groups.
"We’ve seen the enormous success of the accelerator model in communities like Silicon Valley. We believe we can export this type of sophisticated support structure across the country to help startups become commercially viable and create jobs more quickly," said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. "I want SBA to stand for 'Smart, Bold and Accessible' and these accelerators encompass all three of these goals.”
Winners were selected by a panel of seven judges who are experts in entrepreneurship, investing and business plans both inside and out of the federal government. The judges reviewed the applications and pitch videos submitted by the 100 finalists in the competition.
Each organization will receive a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA. In accepting these funds, the accelerators will also be committing to quarterly reporting for one year. This will allow the SBA to create a useful database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.
“It’s rewarding to see a local business accelerator win an award in SBA’s first Growth Accelerator Fund competition,” said SBA South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero. “Miami’s Venture Hive is working hard to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem based on sound educational principles."
The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The SBA is going to honor the winners at a Fly-In day in Washington, D.C. in November during National Entrepreneurship Month, in partnership with the Global Accelerator Network.
Venture Hive's accelerator serves selected tech startups in the tourism/hospitality, healthcare, creative and logistics sectors, all industries Miami-Dade is strong in.
In May, Venture Hive was selected to host the country’s first Microsoft Innovation Center, and it just wrapped up a virtual accelerator for entrepreneurs in Africa, Venture Hive founder Susan Amat said. More information is available on venturehive.co