DOVER — The Delaware Division of Small Business on Tuesday recognized 10 small businesses as winners in the latest round of the Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion Grant Competition.
Awardees include a company looking to develop residential electric vehicle chargers, one constructing improved hand/arm prosthetics, another building a mobility device for getting into bed and one seeking to purchase computers and streaming equipment for its esports events.
Gov. John Carney, deputy secretary of state Kristopher Knight and the division’s director Regina Mitchell announced the winners at Harbeson’s Delaware Dynamix, one of the recipients.
“Building a strong economy starts with supporting our small business community,” said Gov. Carney in a news release announcing the awards. “The EDGE grant program provides young businesses with much-needed capital assistance that they may not have access to otherwise. I’m excited to see how this round of EDGE grant recipients use(s) this funding to grow their business.”
Businesses that are less than 7 years old and employ no more than 10 full-time workers (or full-time equivalents) are eligible to apply for the grants. After an internal review, 16 finalists are selected to pitch their proposals to an outside panel of experts.
Ten businesses are selected, with five STEM-based companies each receiving up to $100,000 for eligible expenses and five Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) winning up to $50,000.
EDGE is a matching-grant program, meaning the Division of Small Business matches a winning business’s investment on a 3-to-1 basis. The company can spend the funds on expenses to improve its long-term chances of success, such as a marketing campaign to acquire more customers or purchasing a piece of equipment that can increase production capacity.
Including this round, $5.6 million has been awarded to 90 small businesses since EDGE was launched in 2019, in industries ranging from wearable medical devices to farming to restaurants.
This is the eighth round of EDGE funding. Approximately 115 businesses applied for September 2023, and 16 finalists gave presentations in November. From those, the following recipients were selected:
The first EDGE competition for 2024 began accepting applications Feb. 1. They will be accepted until March 1 at 4:30 p.m. Visit de.gov/edge for information.