GPEC and BioAccel awarded federal grants to fuel AZ innovation

Federal grant money is headed for Phoenix to help fuel the startup scene. Today, the U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced that BioAccel and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) were two of the first 26 recipients to receive a portion of the $10 million grant from the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.
According to a statement by the Department of Commerce, “The RIS program, which is being run by the Department’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, and Science and Research Park Development Grants.”
BioAccel was a recipient of the i6 Challenge, a national competition that makes small, targeted, high-impact investments to support startup creation, innovation, and commercialization. They received $499,764 for the Southwest Proof of Concept Commercialization Center.
GPEC, in partnership with several region-wide organizations, was a recipient of Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, a grant designed to provide technical assistance funding to support the feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds. They were awarded $221,467 from the EDA which will be met with private in-kind funds, providing nearly $300,000 for the Greater Phoenix region to design and implement a seed capital fund, according to GPEC.
Related: Phoenix Startup Week ignites the Valley
Chris Camacho, president and CEO of GPEC stated, “This grant will allow the region to support innovative companies in order to scale up their enterprises by improving and expanding access to seed capital, which aligns perfectly with our overall entrepreneurial ecosystem strategy.”
“Access to capital is a fundamental pillar in growing any economy,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO, Arizona Technology Council. “Having local organizations such as BioAccel and GPEC receive EDA grants is a huge boost to Arizona’s innovation potential and our ability to compete.”
Read about the startups in Arizona here.
For the full list of recipients from the Department of Commerce, click here.