YBI awarded $50,000 to build partnerships

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown Business Incubator has won a $50,000 prize in Stage 1 of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund competition, a program that supports a national innovation ecosystem.

The money, according to YBI, will be used to build partnerships to support the launch, growth and scale of STEM- and research and development-focused small businesses.

The award reflects YBI’s years of work to build the local additive manufacturing ecosystem, YBI chief executive Barb Ewing said.

“The strong partnerships between YBI, America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and Youngstown State University’s Excellence Training Center helped secure this initial win and puts us in a great position to go after Stage 2 funding. This will be the next step in making Youngstown the epicenter of additive manufacturing in North America,” Ewing said.

Stage one winners were selected through a multi-tier review process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation and strategic planning inside and outside of the U.S. government. Applications and pitch videos were reviewed by expert judges submitted by the finalists.

YBI now will compete for an additional $50,000 to $150,000 later this summer.

Stage 2 prizes will support the Growth Accelerator Partnerships to further develop innovation ecosystems to fast-track building and scaling small businesses focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as research and development.



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