The list of 2023 Build to Scale grant recipients has been released, and the science entrepreneurship-focused Delaware Innovation Space made the cut.
Wilmington’s Innovation Space is one of 60 organizations, and the only one in Delaware, to receive a Build to Scale grant from the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. Recipients represented 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The annual Build to Scale program distributes millions in funding — this year, $53 million — to organizations that support tech entrepreneurs and encourage innovation. The program offers two types of grants: Venture Challenge and Capital Challenge. The Innovation Space won a Capital Challenge grant, which is aimed at increasing access to capital in regions where there is a limited supply of equity-based funding and a demonstrated opportunity to invest in innovative, technology-centric businesses.
The $750,000 federal grant will support staffing the Innovation Space’s First Fund Investment Program in the areas of expanding outreach, deepening due diligence and providing the program’s companies with even more support for growth.
First Fund helps science startups grow by providing resources, lab space and up to $200,000 in funding. and Gaskiya Diagnostics are among the startups in the region that have benefitted from the program.
“EDA is proud to partner with this year’s ‘Build to Scale’ grantees as they fuel regional innovation hubs and technology-based economic development strategies throughout the US,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo said in a written statement. “Investing in scalable startups and expanding access [to] entrepreneurial capital will yield good-paying jobs, economic resiliency, and equitable growth in communities throughout America.”
The funding announcement comes just weeks after Delaware nabbed part of a regional EDA Tech Hubs designation.