Fifteen small businesses in Delaware just got a boost from state gov.
The EDGE Grant — that’s Encouraging Development, Growth & Expansion — was launched by the Delaware Division of Small Businesses in 2019. Its goal is to support companies that have been in operation for less than five years and have 10 or fewer full-time employees via a matching grant to help them grow. The impact is meant to stay local: To qualify, these companies must also do at least 51% of their business in Delaware.
The state matches $3 for per $1 (including non-government grant funding) spent by small businesses, up to $100,000 for STEM startups and $25,000 for non-STEM entrepreneurs. Past awardees include clean energy startup Versogen, battery tech company 2M and vet messaging app Fur Baby Tracker.
The awardees of the program’s fourth round were announced Thursday by Gov. John Carney and Division of Small Business Director Jordan Schulties at an event at Middletown’s CrossFit Petram, one of this year’s grant recipients. For 2021, the state increased the number of grants available for non-STEM companies to 10, up from an initial limit of 10 EDGE Grants in all.
“Each round of the EDGE Grants competition demonstrates some of our state’s most innovative and influential new small businesses, and this round was no exception,” Schulties said in a statement. “The winners in this latest round include the most diverse pool of small businesses we have ever had for the competition. All of the STEM awardees and seven out of 10 entrepreneur awardees are minority or woman-owned businesses. Our division is proud to support these worthy small businesses and help them succeed in their efforts.”
Here are this round’s awardees, along with business descriptions provided by the Division of Small Business:
STEM class (up to $100,000)
- TheraV (Newark) — TheraV works to transform and innovate post-amputation therapy and rehabilitation through the creation of drug-free solutions that improve the quality of life of amputees. TheraV’s leading product, TheraV ELIX, is a drug-free wearable device that applies customized mechanical stimulation to overcome phantom limb pain. TheraV will use the EDGE grant funds for product development and manufacturing, website development, office space and conference travel.
- CM Materials (Wilmington) — CM Materials is a seed-stage advanced materials company paving a more efficient future of electromagnetic components such as transformers, inductors, chokes, and filters. With the funds from the EDGE grant, the company will be able to demonstrate key performance improvements in devices for end-users which will accelerate the commercialization and market adaptation of CM Materials and increase the brand value.
- Elyte Energy (Wilmington) — Elyte Energy uses patent-protected hydrogen technology to build a highly efficient power supply for generators and other fixed and portable devices. The EDGE grant will be used for laboratory space and equipment to develop a commercial prototype of its hydrogen-based system to power recreational vehicles.
- Gaskiya Diagnostics (Wilmington) — Gaskiya Diagnostics offers low-cost, paper-based and easy-to-use diagnostic tests for disease detection in aquaculture worldwide. The company will use its grant for research and development of its diagnostic aquaculture test, laboratory space and equipment and other services including a validated prototype to offer investors.
- Kindwell (Wilmington) — Kindwell is a group of scientists, engineers and business executives dedicated to the improvement of chemical analysis to positively impact climate change, environmental justice and air quality. The company is using highly innovative and impactful technology to create compact gas chromatography devices and multi-pollutant monitors to measure organic and inorganic chemicals in the air. Kindwell will use its grant to make engineering and software upgrades to their devices and on marketing and commercialization of their products.
Entrepreneur class (up to $25,000)
- How Do You Brew (Smyrna) — How Do You Brew is a retailer of supplies for home brewers currently based in Newark. The company will use EDGE funding to build and market a new retail space in Smyrna that will double as a warehouse and distribution center for the growing business, expanding their reach into Kent and Sussex counties.
- Key to Life Juice Bar (Dover) — The Key to Life Juice Bar strives to promote and educate young people and members of the minority community on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and the benefits of healthy eating. EDGE grant funds will be used for three months of rent at a location in downtown Dover, build-out needs, marketing and ingredients.
- Lean On Me Caregiving (Dover) — Lean On Me Caregiving is a non-medical in-home care agency that services the entire state of Delaware. Services include, but are not limited to, personal care and hygiene, companionship, socialization, homemaking and organization, nutrition and hydration assistance, mental stimulation, dementia care and medication reminders. EDGE funding will be used to develop an advanced educational employee training program on a web-based platform and to purchase equipment needed for the program.
- CrossFit Petram (Middletown) — CrossFit Petram is a brick-and-mortar gym strategically located in the heart of the MOT community, right on Main Street in downtown Middletown. Grant funds will be used to design & construct two showers inside the gym, purchase and install an infrared sauna and purchase new athlete recovery tools including compression boots and handheld massage guns.
- One Way Insurance Group (Seaford) — One Way Insurance Group is a multilingual independent insurance agency specializing in auto, home, business and life and employee benefits. The company will use its EDGE grant to purchase a van and convert it into a mobile office to reach more clients and provide financial literacy to the communities it serves.
- ONTrac (Middletown) — ONTrac is a self-improvement content publishing and accountability platform that aims to improve goal achievement outcomes by empowering self-improvement content creators and other accountability partners to create content utilizing their innovative, proprietary new content medium called SMARTracs. Securing the EDGE Grant will allow ONTrac to differentiate itself from its competitors by launching a pilot opportunity with a well-known coach and social media influencer.
- Pop In Artisan Pops (Middletown) — Pop In Artisan Pops is a manufacturer of custom frozen treats with a small fleet of vintage ice cream tricycles used at events. To grow their business, they need the ability to accommodate larger catering events, provide broader delivery options and expand distribution reach. They will use the EDGE grant funds to purchase a cargo van to expand their catering business.
- Sweets & Treats (Dover) — Sweets & Treats is a dessert shop located in Dover’s historic downtown development district. The shop offers gourmet desserts and custom cakes and has served over 30,000 customers since opening in May 2019. EDGE grant funds will be used to expand the shop’s menu, purchase kitchen equipment and renovate the shop in order to add indoor seating.
- The Berry Patch (Lincoln) — The family of Rodney and Yolonda Messick, including their sons Joshua and Jacob, are diversifying their grain farm operation to incorporate a U-Pick Berry Farm. The Berry Patch will utilize a growing system that is ideal for easy picking and handicap accessibility. The family plans to begin operating in the fall of 2022 and will use EDGE grant funds to purchase an IBEX strawberry growing system, which protects plants from frost, mold and pests, by using raised single containers and coconut husks as growing matter.
- The Center for Grief and Trauma Therapy (Newark) — The Center for Grief and Trauma Therapy provides mental health services for those experiencing grief or trauma. The business will use grant funds for technology upgrades, including improved internet access for its clinicians and staff to provide telehealth and in-person therapy, and additional marketing efforts.
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