Startup Junkie winner in SBA competition, set to launch ‘2.7.0’

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 103 views 

Fayetteville-based Startup Junkie Consulting was awarded $50,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration in a national growth accelerator fund competition. The company plans to use the funds to help launch this fall a “2.7.0” growth accelerator competition.

Startup Junkie was the only organization in Arkansas to receive funding as top winners in the competition, and was among 80 winners from 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

More than 40 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from the public and private sector worked with the SBA to review more than 400 applications and established a pool of 180 qualified finalists. The second panel of judges evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos and selected the 80 winners.

Brett Amerine, chief operating officer for Startup Junkie, said his company is now in the process of receiving and reviewing applications to launch and grow business startups by women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs.

“We will provide valuable content, valuable connections, office space and increased access to capital investment to seven companies over a two-month period with zero boundaries,” Amerine said Monday (Aug. 10), explaining the thinking by the 2.7.0 moniker.

Startup businesses may apply to participate in the 2.7.0 program that will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 12, Amerine said. (Link here to apply.)

The SBA said in accepting prize money, the accelerators also committed to quarterly reporting for one year. They are required to report metrics, such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained, according to an SBA news release announcing the winners. The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where are gaps in the entrepreneurial landscape. 

The Growth Accelerator Fund is a network which connects startups to each other and federal government resources, according to the SBA news release. In 2014, the SBA announced 50 winners were made up of about 1,500 companies that have raised $600 million and employed nearly, 5,000 people. The 2015 winners are expected to exceed those numbers.

The funding Startup Junkie will receive from the SBA will cover about half of the program costs, according to Haley Cleous, assistant consultant at Startup Junkie.

“SBA is continuing to make advances in supporting unique organizations that help the start-up community grow, become commercially viable, and have a real and sustained economic impact,” SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a statement,

She said the hope with the SBA funding is wide-spread outreach to entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country that provide innovators and disruptors a place to flourish.

The winning accelerators serve entrepreneurs in a broad set of industries and sectors – from manufacturing and tech start-ups, to farming and biotech – with many focused on creating a diverse and inclusive small business community.

Other winning accelerators were Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.