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UE Center for Innovation & Change and Circular Venture Lab Win Stage One of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

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The newly established Indiana Center for Emerging Technologies was awarded $50,000 in prize money for equitable access to entrepreneurship support

EVANSVILLE, IND. (04/23/2024) Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the Indiana Center for Emerging Technologies (ICET) as a Stage One winner for the 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). The ICET is a collaboration between Evansville, Indiana’s Circular Venture Lab and the University of Evansville’s Center for Innovation and Change (CIC). The ICET will receive a $50,000 cash prize for its impactful and inclusive approach to nurturing a collaborative innovation ecosystem that will advance small business research and development (R&D) from ideas to the market.

By fostering connections between entrepreneurs, mentors, partners, philanthropies, corporations, investors, and other shared resources, GAFC 2024 catalyzes strategic ecosystem partnerships to build community and organizational capacity for the successful launch, growth, and scale of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-based entrepreneurs. This opportunity will include funding for ChangeLab interns from UE and within the Evansville Promise Neighborhood, providing young people the resources needed to grow their entrepreneurial mindset.

Logan Jenkins, Executive Director of Circular Venture Lab, states, “The ICET empowers Indiana’s talent to research, evaluate, and validate the market potential of emerging technologies. The Center will catalyze a new economic development model, where technology innovations are researched and applied. Students, industry leaders, and academia will collaborate to build new ventures and create spinoffs. Early validation of the concept through GAFC 2024 significantly bolsters our chances for success regionally and across Indiana.”

Erin Lewis, the Executive Director of UE’s Center for Innovation & Change remarked, “This collaboration between the CIC and Circular Venture Lab has now received its third federal award in five months; two from the U.S. Department of Energy, and now a third from the U.S. Small Business Administration. We’re incredibly excited about that investment in our vision for inclusive access to entrepreneurial support, and look forward to sharing progress in the coming months.”

Two Stages

SBA welcomed Stage One submissions from a broad range of organizations with a collaborative vision to nurture a national ecosystem for equitable access to entrepreneurship. Winners of Stage One were selected through a multi-tier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation, and strategic planning both inside and out of the federal government.

Stage Two offers an additional $50,000 to $150,000 in cash prizes for Growth Accelerator Partnerships.

To learn more about Stage Two opportunities and to access the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Guidelines, please visit https://www.americasseedfund.us/accelerators.

About the Indiana Center for Emerging Technologies (ICET):

From inequity and climate change, to supporting national defense and community-driven economic prosperity, the real opportunity is now to build up innovation ecosystems and the ICET is eager to deepen its collaborative impact in National Defense and Economic Security. The ICET is a collaboration between Evansville, Indiana’s nonprofit 501(c)(3) Circular Venture Lab and the University of Evansville’s Center for Innovation and Change. The concept includes a centralized network and facility in Evansville to support our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, which serves multiple purposes:

Collaboration Hub

The Indiana Center for Emerging Technologies (ICET) is a resource for industry leaders to explore collaborations between academia, government research agencies, and Indiana manufacturers.

Talent Attraction

The facility will attract new entrepreneurs and new industries, spur the creation of new startups and spinoffs, and help retain our current entrepreneurial talent.

Industry Showcase

The ICET allows our regional technological capabilities and strengths to be showcased in a physical space, serving a multitude of economic development purposes. More details and ways to contact the team can be found at the Center’s website.

The University of Evansville is a private, comprehensive university located in the southwestern region of Indiana. Established in 1854, UE is recognized across the globe for its rich tradition of innovative, academic excellence and vibrant campus community of changemakers.

Home of the Purple Aces, UE offers over 75 majors, 17 Division I sports, and a unique study abroad experience at Harlaxton, the University’s very own Victorian manor located in the countryside of England. For more information, please visit evansville.edu.