Entrepreneurial Development Center of Cedar Rapids wins $50,000 to help STEM entrepreneurs

Curtis Nelson

Entrepreneurial Development Center
Curtis Nelson Entrepreneurial Development Center

The Entrepreneurial Development Center received $50,000 after being named one of 60 recipients of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2019 Growth Accelerator Fund competition.

The Cedar Rapids-based business accelerator and other award recipients will use the money to support start-ups and entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations, the center announced Thursday.

The winners, which received a total of $3 million across 39 states and territories, will focus at least 60 percent of their Competition-related work to entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups.

These include women, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, those whose home or business is located in a state with a lower number of Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer awards or in an Opportunity Zone.

Entrepreneurial Development Center President and CEO Curtis Nelson said in a news release his center will use the funds to support its work with biotech and energy tech entrepreneurs.

“Our team has extensive experience with SBIR/STTR grant applications, solid relationships with experienced SBIR grant writers and access to state of Iowa grant application supporting capital,” Nelson said.

“Our team and entrepreneur members have been a part of securing 29 different SBIR/STTR grants for roughly $16 million over the past 15 years and we look forward to deploying the wealth of commercialization experience our entire team has acquired to this program.”

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