Florida High Tech Corridor Collaboration Wins National Prize To Elevate Underserved Women-Owned Businesses (Florida High Tech Corridor)

Florida High Tech Corridor Collaboration Wins National Prize To Elevate Underserved Women-Owned Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration selected a multi-institutional collaboration led by the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) among eight winners of its first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst Competition, established this year to recognize model partnerships addressing the gaps for underrepresented entrepreneurs nationwide.

With its $150,000 prize, The Corridor team aims to elevate the role of underrepresented women-owned businesses across the 23-county region’s innovation ecosystem by enhancing the inclusivity and participation of women entrepreneurs in the SBIR program.

Four university-based entrepreneur support organizations across the state are partnering with The Corridor to establish a structured network of mentors and role models, equip women entrepreneurs to develop competitive SBIR grant applications and streamline commercialization pathways for their resulting STEM innovations. Available data shows just 13% of SBIR grant recipients nationally are women – a statistic The Corridor team eventually hopes to change through this intentional partnership approach.

Among the winners is UF Innovate | Pathways program, the Collaboratory for Inclusive Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida (UF). Formerly the Collaboratory for Women Innovators seeks to inspire, educate and empower minority and women entrepreneurs to attain leadership in all phases of the innovation lifecycle. It aims to overcome the diversity parity by supporting participants at various stages of personal and professional development with a varied portfolio of resources, from structured programming to mentorship and more.

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