(Photo by Holly Quinn)
It’s a big day for the Delaware startup and small business community: After months of proposals, reviews and pitches, the Delaware Division of Small Business (DDSB) has announced the recipients of the inaugural EDGE Grants for small businesses.
Ten businesses, including an agriculture technology company, a CBD oil extraction company and a casual soul food restaurant, will receive funding from the state in the form of a $3 match per $1 spent by the company — up to $50,000 for non-STEM entrepreneurs and $100,000 for STEM startups. Funds will be matched for various growth necessities, including advertising, marketing analysis, construction or renovation, equipment, web design, lab space and rent.
The $100,000 STEM Class recipients are:
- Avkin (New Castle) — A woman-owned medical simulation equipment company
- EZY Venture (Harrington) — A woman-owned CBD oil extraction company (and as a company based in Kent County, it will also receive a bonus $10,000 grant from the county)
- Napigen (Wilmington) — Based at the Delaware Innovation Space, this company is developing a hybrid, non-GMO wheat variety that is intended to ease the world’s grain shortage.
- Neurothera (Newark) — A non-pharmaceutical medical therapy company that uses light to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s that affect the brain
- W7Energy (Wilmington) — Based at the Delaware Innovation Space, this company has developed a new polymer that can be used in the production of zero-emission fuel cells for electric vehicles.
The $50,000 Entrepreneur Class recipients are:
- BBD MidAtlantic (Greenville) — The woman-owned company managing hair salon Blo Dry Bar
- entreDonovan Wholesale (Wilmington) — A woman-owned fashion business that uses 3D technology to create custom apparel for women
- Grey Fox Capital (Wilmington) — A veteran-owned firm that raises money for investment in Delaware Opportunity Zones
- Impact Graphix and Signs (Seaford) — A woman-owned commercial sign and awning installation business
- Tomeka’s Homestyle Eatery (Dover) — A Black woman-owned soul food restaurant (and as a company based in Kent County, it will also receive a bonus $5,000 grant from the county)
One of the goals expressed by Gov. John Carney, who announced the winners with DDSB Director Damian DeStefano, is to support businesses like eateries, innovative retailers and salons that help attract and retain young talent to the state, in addition to STEM businesses with the potential to become major employers.
“Businesses like brewpubs and restaurants are just as important,” he said.
Applications for the second round of EDGE Grants are currently being accepted, with a deadline of Friday, Oct. 11, at 11:50 p.m. Click here to apply.
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