Startup302 Funding Competition Extends Entry Deadline, Now Offering Over $260,000 in Grant-based Prizes
February 12, 2021 –
It’s not too late to enter Startup302. Organizers for the funding competition, which is focusing on underrepresented founders and their entrepreneurial ventures, have extended the application deadline to Feb. 22. Applicants who submitted before the original deadline may revise their entries and resubmit by the new deadline.
“As applications continue to be submitted, we are excited to extend the opportunity for innovative startups with underrepresented founders to apply to compete for a still-growing prize pool,” said Noah Olson, who is the Delaware Prosperity Partnership Innovation support manager and a member of the Startup302 Steering Committee.
Startup302 – open to scalable, high-growth startups with a tech or scientific focus – is offering more than $260,000 in grant-based prizes funded by local public- and private-sector sponsors. Some prizes have geographic restrictions in that only Delaware-based companies may compete for them. But many of the prizes are open to companies based anywhere that have an interest in the Delaware ecosystem.
Innovation thrives when diverse perspectives are fostered and included. As a result, Startup302 aims to support and continue to grow a diverse and inclusive startup community in Delaware by focusing on founders from demographics that the venture capital industry, as a whole, has underinvested in relative to those demographics’ percent of overall United States population. For example, only 1 percent of all venture capital-funded founders are Black, less than half of 1 percent are Latinx and only 8 percent are women of any demographic group.
“Startup302 is highlighting these underrepresented founders to tackle such funding inequities and strengthen the regional startup community,” Olson said. “For this reason, applicants must have at least one woman, Black, Latinx or Native American founding team member.”
Reviewers will screen all completed applications, and eligible companies will advance to the interview round that will take place in mid-March. Finalists will be selected from the interviews and then compete for awards in a pitching round on April 29.
All currently announced Startup302 awards are grant-based and will be awarded to winners upon the completion of the final round of pitches. There is no need for competitors to apply for the individual awards because applicants who advance from the screening round will be notified about their eligibility for each award. The prizes and their sponsors include:
In addition to DPP, the Startup302 Steering Committee has been organized with support from the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship Program, the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, Delaware State University’s College of Business, First Founders leader Garry Johnson III, local venture capitalist Pedro Moore, Delaware Innovation Space and the Delaware Small Business Development Center.