RALEIGH — Several groups from North Carolina have been named as winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). RIoT and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University are among the organizations recognized for their efforts in the “Domestic Manufacturing and Production” category. Eva Garland Consulting has been recognized in the “Sustainability and Biotechnology” category.

The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition is an annual award recognizing organizations from across the nation that foster innovation ecosystems to advance small business research and development. The competition runs in two stages, with Stage One winners each awarded $50,000, and the opportunity to further compete in Stage Two. Stage Two begins in June, with winners eligible for an additional award ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. The Stage Two winners will be announced in September.

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The competition is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, seeking to strengthen ties with innovative firms nationwide. The awards help provide support for undercapitalized markets and encourage equitable access. Eva Garland Consulting, for example, is working to support women applying for major federal grants including the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

According to the press release, Eva Garland Consulting’s CEO, Dr. Eva Garland, commented, “We are excited to pilot a program that will increase access to NSF SBIR/STTR resources for women entrepreneurs. Our exceptionally talented team and our deep relationships with ecosystem partners puts us in a unique position to advance the representation of women in the NSF SBIR/STTR program.”

In the “Domestic Manufacturing and Production” category, RIoT is seeking to support Smart agriculture startups. RIoT is led by Executive Director and frequent TechWire contributor, Tom Snyder.

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More details on the competition, including other Stage One winners and Stage Two information can be found at https://www.americasseedfund.us/.