PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Prince William County, one of Virginia’s largest and fastest growing counties, recently welcomed the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at its Prince William Science Accelerator in Innovation Park.
The SBA presented a $50,000 check to the County as a grant award to the Prince William Science Accelerator, being one of only two Northern Virginia winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration agency’s 3rd annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.
The Prince William Science Accelerator stood out amongst more than 830 applications nationwide and was recognized primarily for its efforts in driving America’s science and technology start-up ecosystem. More than 100 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, start-up, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector judged the competition.
Speaking during the Ceremony, Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors said, “From strong partnerships comes innovation. The growth of entrepreneurial innovation is vital to the economic health of our community and our nation, so accelerating opportunities is a priority. The U.S. Small Business Administration and Prince William County recognize this challenge.”
“Together, we are taking the ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’ to the next level by creating new synergies and stronger collaboration to stimulate greater resources that support small business job creation and growth,” added Stewart.
“Promoting entrepreneurship is core to the President’s national innovation strategy,” said SBA Richmond District Director, Carl Knoblock. “We are excited to have so many Accelerators in the region empowering and engaging organizations with the sole purpose of helping start-ups create economic growth, innovation, and ultimately, inspire and empower a diverse community of great American companies.”
“We’re delighted to receive this award today and even more delighted that Prince William County is being recognized as an innovative hub for the life sciences industry throughout the Greater Washington metropolitan region,” said Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “These funds open new doors to new businesses, which translates into creating more jobs in Prince William County.”
“The Prince William Science Accelerator is a great example of what a successful public-private partnership can accomplish,” said Christopher E. Martino, Acting County Executive. “One of our core economic development strategies is to accelerate commercialization and job creation in the life sciences in Prince William County. This award supports this goal and allows us to continue to build on the momentum that we have already established, while minimizing the fiscal impact to County resources.”
Prince William County prides itself on being home to the first and only public-private, commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia, which is uniquely located within Innovation Park, anchored by the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus. The Prince William Science Accelerator was created to provide the catalyst for a growing life sciences industry cluster. The SBA grant will strengthen the Accelerator’s graduation program so each startup can successfully exit and function independently in the small business economy, which is achieved by addressing two key issues for scientists: resource constraints; and speed-to-market.
The Prince William Science Accelerator’s success to date includes six tenants occupying eight out of nine labs. Current tenants include: ISOThrive; Ceres Nanosciences; Virongy; Systaaq Diagnostic Products; Celetrix and Serpin Pharma.