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By Nikki Cabus

Growth Accelerator Fund Competition – Seaworthy Collective among 40 national winners to receive $50k

Read Time 4 Minutes

The SBA announced Seaworthy Collective as a Stage One winner for the national 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

Seaworthy Collective is one of forty organizations who will receive a $50,000 cash prize to build strategic partnerships that will support the launch, growth, and scale of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses across the country.

Seaworthy Collective (501c3) is a Miami-based BlueTech (ocean innovation) entrepreneur support organization and community. Their mission is to enable access and inclusion in innovation for ocean and climate impact. Seaworthy Collective envisions oceans of opportunity without barriers, where everyone can contribute to solutions making positive change for our blue planet. The nonprofit empowers Sea Change Makers – supporting early-stage and aspiring entrepreneurs across diverse backgrounds and impact areas globally – who drive innovation for 71% of the planet (our ocean) to regenerate 100% of the planet.

“SBA’s Catalyze winners join SBA’s extensive network of support organizations who build thriving startup ecosystems to ensure the next generation of science and technology-based innovations develop into thriving businesses,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “At a time when the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in American R&D, manufacturing and future growth industries, our Catalyst partners will help ensure entrepreneurs from all backgrounds can leverage opportunities. We know these investments will advance American competitiveness and help us build an economy that works for everyone.”

Seaworthy Collective’s award-winning model will amplify the impact and success of Growth Accelerator Partnerships and will work to foster and facilitate a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high growth small businesses. This year’s Competition has brought together organizations, entities, groups, and individuals beyond geographic boundaries to support innovators and innovation needed to confront the challenges of today.   

“This investment from the U.S. Small Business Administration reinforces Seaworthy Collective’s vision for accessible and inclusive ecosystem development enabling greater participation in the blue economy both locally in South Florida as well as nationally, ” stated Seaworthy Collective Founder & CEO, Daniel Kleinman.

“Winning the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition doubles down on the federal government’s recognition and support of Seaworthy’s work breaking down barriers for current and aspiring founders from diverse backgrounds in BlueTech and ClimateTech. With the SBA’s support, we’re excited to grow our ecosystem partnerships; intentionally expanding our reach to further mobilize the untapped talent, ideas, and potential of many more “Sea Change Makers” taking the entrepreneurial leap to pursue their passions for ocean and climate impact.” 

Since its launch in 2014, the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition has awarded 387 prizes totaling over $19 million to 284 unique winners across 52 states and U.S. territories. This year’s competition introduced a multi-stage approach with Stage One focused on catalyzing an ecosystem around a particular theme.  Stage One applicants represented 45 U.S. states and territories, with 70 percent as first-time applicants to the Competition.

This year’s 40 Stage One prize winners come from 30 states, including D.C. and Puerto Rico. Sixty-five percent of winners are first time applicants and 50 percent of the winning organizations specifically support rural entrepreneurs. This year’s competition focused on four theme areas with 25 percent of Stage One winners focused on National Security & Global Competitiveness, 27.5 percent on Domestic Manufacturing & Production, 10 percent on Climate & Renewable Energy, and 37.5 percent on Underserved Communities. Geographically, 17.5 percent of winners aim serve at the local/sub-state region, 42.5 percent statewide, 20 percent regionally (multiple states), and 20 percent nationwide.

Winners of Stage One “Catalyze” winners 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. Applications and pitch videos were reviewed by expert judges submitted by the finalists.   

Seaworthy Collective will now compete for an additional $50,000 to $150,000 later this summer. 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 Seaworthy Collective is eager to make an impact.   

Stage Two cash prizes will support the “Growth Accelerator Partnerships” to further develop strong innovation ecosystems to fast-track building and scaling of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses. Organizations who were not selected in Stage One, as well as diverse local, regional, and national entities from any sector or location are eligible to connect with Stage One winners to develop partnerships in a bid for Stage Two prizes.   

SBA will host a Pitch Sessions to support networking with Stage One winners and Seaworthy Collective will take part on June 1st, 2023 at 2:00 PM EST. For organizations interested in networking to join a potential “Growth Accelerator Partnership”, sign up for one or more of the virtual Partner Pitch Sessions at The Partner Pitch Sessions are free and open to the public.

By Nancy Dahlberg

SBA National SBIR Road Tour coming to South Florida

Read Time 2 Minutes

Want to connect with the government’s largest source of grant funding for innovative early-stage small businesses in technology or the sciences? Here’s your chance.

The Small Business Administration’s National SBIR Road Tour is coming to Miami, and you’re invited to attend. Representatives of 12 federal agencies that award SBIR/STTR grants will be on hand.

The tour is being hosted by U Innovation at the University of Miami on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. It will connect entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding — the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The SBIR and STTR programs, which focus on next-generation research and development, provide more than $3 billion in early-stage funding to small businesses each year and execute more than 5,000 new awards annually.

If you’re an entrepreneur, researcher or a small business in fields such as advanced technology, life sciences, energy or aerospace, don’t miss this opportunity.


Program managers from 12 participating federal agencies will conduct one-on-one meetings, take part in targeted panels, discuss technology areas, and share insights into how the agencies make funding decisions. After registering, attendees will be contacted via email about scheduling one-on-one meetings with agency representatives.


  • 7:00 a.m. – Registration, networking, continental breakfast
  • 8:00 – Introductions
  • 8:15 – SBIR/STTR overview
  • 8:45 – Five-minute reverse pitches from agencies
  • 9:45 – SBA and federal agency talks and panels
  • 12:30 – Lunch (provided with registration)
  • 1:30 – Opportunity zones and your company: How and why to take advantage of opportunity zones to spur investment into your company

Simultaneous one-on-one meetings will occur from 8:00 to 12:30 with agency representatives.

Federal agencies confirmed to attend: Department of Health and Human Services – National Institutes of Health (NIH);  National Science Foundation (NSF); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Department of Energy (DOE); Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Department of Transportation (DOT); Department of Defense – Air Force (USAF); Department of Defense – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Department of Defense – Missile Defense Agency (MDA); Department of Defense – Navy (DON); Department of Defense – Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA); Department of Defense – Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

For more information, visit

Growth Accelerator Fund Competition – Seaworthy Collective among 40 national winners to receive $50k
SBA National SBIR Road Tour coming to South Florida