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From gaming to green energy, here are the winners of the 7th round of EDGE grants

Ten small businesses from all three Delaware counties were awarded a matching grant worth $50-$100K.

Futures First Gaming's three cofounders (center). (Courtesy Futures First Gaming)

EDGE is back.

The ten winners of the seventh round of The Delaware Division of Small Business’ Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion (EDGE) grant competition were announced on Tuesday during a ceremony at Delaware Dynamix in Lewes.

About 115 Delaware startups and young small businesses with ten or fewer employees applied to compete in September; that number was whittled down to 16 for the final pitch round. In the end, five STEM-based companies will each receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses while five so-called Entrepreneur Class (or non-STEM) businesses will each receive up to $50,000 for similar costs.

For each EDGE winner, The Delaware Division of Small Business matches a winning company’s investment on a three-to-one basis.

This year’s pool of applicants, which included eventual winners in greentech, gaming, orthodontia and manufacturing, was especially competitive, according to Division of Small Business Director Regina Mitchell.

“The EDGE competition allows our division to do what it was created to do – help small businesses start and grow,” Mitchell said in an announcement. “The quality of the fall applications was so strong, it made it more challenging to select the finalists. Each EDGE round continues to show progress in terms of the quality of submissions.”

The winners are:

STEM Class

  • Marins Med: This Georgetown-based, woman-owned prosthetics innovations company plans to use the funds to complete the final stage of research and development on its Pro Hensor product, as well as to purchase equipment and marketing.
  • OmniPotential Energy Partners: Wilmington-HQed OmniPotential Energy Partners is working toward bringing Curbstar curbside electric vehicle chargers to people who live in neighborhoods with street parking, along with those in multi-family units with lot parking.
  • RunDNA: Wilmington’s RunDNA uses cameras and tech to analyze the running gait of athletes at all levels with its flagship Helix 3D running gait analysis device.
  • Sindri Materials Corp.: Sindri Materials is a Wilmington-based manufacturer and product development company that delivers large-area, ultra-high quality graphene (carbon) materials and products to market.
  • Studio Charter: Studio Charter aims to make video production accessible to everyone by providing 10’x15’ virtual studios that can be installed in offices, homes and schools. Clients so far have included ChristianaCare and The Mill.

Entrepreneur Class

  • Baybird Orthodontics: This Smyrna-based, minority women-owned business offers a range of orthodontic treatments. The funding will be used to purchase a 3D printing system to allow the company to provide in-house, 3D-printed dental aligners.
  • Delaware Dynamix: Located in Harbeson, in the Milton, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach area, Delaware Dynamics focuses on gymnastics instruction and activities for youth. Its offerings include a Little Ninja program aimed at young boys and gymnastics and trampoline programming for children with special needs — all for an area that lacked convenient access to such programs.
  • Futures First Gaming (FFG): Based in Wilmington and Middletown, FFG is a STEM.org-accredited company that combines esports, community and accredited educational opportunities. Its partners include A.I. du Pont High School, Wilmington University and Delaware College of Art and Design.
  • The Hive on Loockerman: The Hive in Dover is a minority-owned, member-based business and event center offering hourly space rentals and business services including corporate event planning, marketing and brand development.
  • The LeGrand Company: Hockessin-based The LeGrand Company’s Bed Ledge is a leave-in-place adaptive mobility product to help people with decreased strength, coordination or balance safely lift their legs into bed.

The seventh round brings the overall EDGE grant award total to $5.6 million across 90 Delaware small businesses since 2019.

Applications for the eighth round opened on Feb. 1 and will be accepted until Friday, March 1 at 4:30 p.m.

Apply here

Companies: OmniPotential Energy Partners / Futures First Gaming / State of Delaware / The Mill
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