Dirigo Labs selected to receive $150K from National Small Business Administration Catalyst Grant Competition

WATERVILLE — After successfully securing a $50,000 cash prize in May from the Small Business Development Administration Catalyst Phase I, Dirigo Labs was selected as a Phase II SBA Catalyst grantee to encourage ecosystem development throughout the state of Maine for rural and underserved entrepreneurs.

In addition to the creation of partnerships with educational institutions and business support services, the $150,000 in Phase II funding would be influential in improving Maine’s Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Research pipeline through Dirigo Labs’ accelerator program.

The SBIR and STTR programs, mandated as small business set-asides by Congress, play a pivotal role in driving scientific excellence and technology innovation by channeling Federal research funds toward crucial U.S. priorities and associated startups. These highly competitive initiatives are designed to compel domestic small businesses to actively participate in Federal Research and Development with a focus on potential commercialization. This strategy not only stimulates high-tech innovation, but also instills an entrepreneurial drive, addressing specific research needs critical to fortifying the local and national economy, according to a news release from Sabrina Jandreau with Dirigo Labs.

Dirigo Labs was one of 40 winners selected in Phase I, and one of 35 in Phase II. The creation of the Growth Acceleration Partnership symbolizes a collaborative effort to support Maine-based entrepreneurs with federal funding while empowering collective impact throughout Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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