KU Biotech Center Wins SBA Grant

The University of Kansas announced this morning that its Bioscience & Technology Business Center had earned a $50,000 grant from the Small Business Administration to support the center’s mission as a business accelerator and economic engine for northeast Kansas. 

It’s the third time in the past four years that the center has won funding through the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund competition, which focuses on regions where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the center was just one of 20 winners nationally–and the only one from the Midwest.

“This was a competitive process, and for us to be named a recipient of this funding from the SBA is a tremendous honor as well as validation of the BTBC and our role as an engine of economic growth,” G.R. Underwood, president and chief operating officer of the BTBC, said in a news release. “We’re clearly succeeding in our mission to grow the technology and bioscience industries in northeast Kansas in a way that creates quality jobs and economic growth.”

Underwood said the center would apply that grant toward its efforts to promote high-scale, high-potential startups.

Winners were selected through a two-tier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, investing and business plans both inside and out of the federal government. The finalist expert judges reviewed the applications and pitch videos submitted by the finalists. 

The BTBC at KU comprises three facilities–two in Lawrence and one at KU Medical Center–which collectively house 44 corporate client companies, the center said. They range from KU startups to midsize companies to Fortune 500 companies, and combined have more than 250 employees and a $14 million payroll.