Carney, Division of Small Business award EDGE Grants to 10 Delaware companies
A bio-based materials company, a maker of wearable medical sensors and a bakery-café were among the 10 Delaware small businesses recognized as awardees of the second round of EDGE Grants from the state Division of Small Business.
Gov. John Carney, Secretary of State Jeff Bullock and Division of Small Business Director Damian DeStefano announced the companies at an event Jan. 16 at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington.
“It is incredible to see what the innovative entrepreneurs in this state are accomplishing,” said Carney. “Their companies span a wide range of industries, but the one thing the owners share is the drive and determination necessary to start then grow their businesses. I am glad the state is able to support their work through initiatives like the EDGE Grant program.”
EDGE Grants provide a 3-to-1 match for each dollar an eligible business spends on qualified expenses that improve the company’s long-term chances of success, from market analysis to website design to acquiring essential equipment.
The state awarded grants this round to 10 companies, listed below. Five STEM Class companies are receiving a total of $495,000, and five Entrepreneur Class businesses are receiving a total of $216,000.
“EDGE Grants are helping to level the playing field for promising Delaware small companies as they compete with more established, larger businesses,” said Bullock. “And this program is just one of the many ways the Division of Small Business, since it was created under the Department of State three years ago, has made a strong, positive impact on the state’s economy by assisting hardworking business owners.”
EDGE launched in May 2019, and the first grant round took place over the summer. In the second round, which opened in September, almost 100 businesses applied for funding.
Sixteen finalists — eight STEM Class and eight Entrepreneur Class — gave public presentations before a panel of expert judges Dec. 18-19 at Delaware Tech in Dover, after which five winners in each category were chosen.
“Several companies that applied in the first round but were not successful in winning a grant took advantage of the opportunity to work with the Division’s business resource managers to strengthen their applications for this time around,” said DeStefano. “That is what this program is about. The grant funding is incredibly important to those who win, but EDGE also provides a way for all applicants learn how to improve their businesses.”
The Division of Small Business is currently accepting applications for the spring 2020 round of EDGE Grants. For eligibility requirements and the application, visit delbiz.com. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Feb. 28.
EDGE Round Two recipients, STEM class:
— 2M LLC, Wilmington: This company makes a fast-charging and safe battery, which can enable a less than 10-minute charge for E-mobility applications, such as enabling an electric vehicle to go 200 miles on a 10-minute charge. 2M will use the grant to scale up production to meet customer demand.
— 4th Phase Water Technologies, Wilmington: This company is focused on commercializing binder-free carbon nanotube sheets made using its proprietary processes. The sheets are superior filtration/separation membranes and electromagnetic interference shielding material for a host of industries including bioprocessing, defense, consumer electronics and automotive. The company will use its grant to acquire additional lab equipment and for marketing.
— Lignolix, Wilmington: This company is developing sustainable products from biomass, such as that which is produced in beer manufacturing. It will use the grant to scale up its chemical process, increase production capacity and attract larger commercial customers.
— MCET Technologies, Wilmington: This company developed a way of integrating sensors into textiles that can be used to monitor a patient during physical rehabilitation. It will use the grant to scale up manufacturing to increase production and expand applications.
— Veramorph Materials, Wilmington: This company developed a hydrogel-based system that allows the body to absorb pharmaceuticals more efficiently. It will use its grant for critical equipment for R&D services for pharmaceutical companies and to conduct toxicology studies.
EDGE Round Two recipients, Entrepreneur class:
— Best Music Coach, Dover: This company offers online music lessons for voice and various instruments including guitar and piano. It will use its grant to upgrade its online platform and add online learning materials.
— Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop, Milford: This bakery-café will use the grant to upgrade its equipment and market its new services and a second Milford location scheduled to open later this year.
— Fur Baby Tracker, Wilmington: This woman-owned company will use its grant to roll out the mobile app it developed that lets pet parents track the progress of their cat or dog’s treatment during a stay at a veterinary hospital.
— Volunteer Brewing Company, Middletown: This family-owned craft brewing company located in downtown Middletown will use its grant to purchase new brewing and fermentation equipment to expand production.
— WilmInvest, Wilmington: This company purchases and renovates single-family homes in Wilmington which it leases to nonprofits and governmental entities to house families in need of housing and supportive services. It will use the grant to purchase and renovate additional homes.
For more, visit business.delaware.gov/edge-grants.