Governor Carney, Division of Small Business Award EDGE Grants to 10 Delaware Companies

Deadline for Spring 2020 EDGE Grants is February 28, 2020

WILMINGTON, Del. – A bio-based materials company, a maker of wearable medical sensors, and a bakery-café were among the 10 Delaware small businesses recognized Thursday as awardees of the second round of EDGE Grants from the state Division of Small Business.

Governor John Carney, Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, and Division of Small Business Director Damian DeStefano announced the companies at an event Thursday at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington.

“It is incredible to see what the innovative entrepreneurs in this state are accomplishing,” said Governor 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 Secretary of State Jeff 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, 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 on December 18 and 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 Division Director Damian 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. Visit www.delbiz.com for eligibility requirements and to download the application. The deadline to apply is February 28, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

 

EDGE Round Two Recipients:

STEM class

2M LLC (Wilmington)
This company makes an extremely 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.

 

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.

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Delaware Dept. of Labor, Vo-Techs Host Adult Education Apprenticeship Open House for National Apprenticeship Week

WILMINGTON, DE – The Delaware Department of Labor will be celebrating the Fifth Annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) with three open house events, one in each county throughout the state from 6 – 7 pm to showcase the value of apprenticeship in the community.

Secretary Cerron Cade from The Delaware Department of Labor will be attending Adult Education Apprenticeship Open House for legislators, employers, school leadership officials to engage with apprentices, educators, and one another to learn more about Delaware’s commitment to apprenticeships in various trades.

“Apprenticeship programs can provide paths into the middle class for Delaware workers and their families,” said Governor John Carney. “Delaware businesses that participate in apprenticeship programs help develop a strong local workforce and strengthen our economy. Thank you to the Delaware Department of Labor for highlighting the importance of apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week, and to all of the trades and businesses that offer these important training programs.”

 Learn how these “earn-while-you-learn” training programs make a difference in each county. There will be a mix of tours and recognition of achievement, and what is needed to expand apprenticeship in Delaware. Light refreshments will be served at each location.

 

EVENT DATES, LOCATIONS, AND TIMES

Tuesday, Nov 12th – New Castle County
Delcastle Technical High School
6:00 P.M.- 7:00 P.M.
1417 Newport Rd
Wilmington, DE 19804 

Wednesday, Nov. 13th – Sussex County
Sussex Technical High School
6:00 P.M.- 7:00 P.M.
17099 County Seat Hwy
Georgetown, DE 19947

Thursday, November 14th – Kent County
POLYTECH High School
6:00 P.M.- 7:00 P.M.
823 Walnut Shade Road
Woodside, DE 19980

 

 “The benefits of registered apprenticeship are substantial for Delaware job seekers and job creators.
This “earn and learn” model enables employers to fill open jobs, improve productivity and profitability, and reduce turnover while providing the Delaware workforce with pathways to start new careers and acquire the skills necessary for good jobs,” said Secretary of Labor, Cerron Cade.  

 

Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Employment & Training, Office of Apprenticeship

Visit de.gov/apprenticeship or contact apprenticeship@delaware.gov and 302-761-8328 to learn more about the Delaware Apprenticeship Programs.

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a nationwide celebration that offers leaders in business, labor, education, and other critical partners a chance to express their support apprenticeships. NAW also allows apprenticeship partners to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices in their community. The events highlight the benefits of preparing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of job creators across diverse industries. For more information, visit http://apprenticeship.gov/NAW.

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Delaware Innovation Space unveils new $6M growth space for startups

The Delaware Innovation Space (DISI), Wilmington DE, formally opened a new $6M lab space for early stage science companies at an event with over 120 attendees last Friday, September 13th.  Federal, Academic, Business & Delaware State leaders in attendance spoke about the importance of startup companies for today’s economy along with the importance of supportive state and federal policies that provide resources needed to lift startups from formation & proof of concept to becoming growth businesses.   

DISI CEO & President, Bill Provine kicked off the event by expressing excitement in the completion of enhancements to DISI. “We have transformed a building originally built for one company, the DuPont Merck joint venture, and have created what you see here today – a highly interactive, collaborative, and supportive environment for many startup companies,”  said Provine.  According to Provine, the renovation enhances the ability of DISI to grow and scale these companies, potentially into the next large scale employers like a DuPont, Agilent, Gore, or Incyte.  In particular, he spoke to building “companies that will last for generations and ultimately employ thousands of employees and will be future cornerstones of our community.” 

Assistant Secretary of US Dept of Commerce and head of Economic Development Administration (EDA), Dr. John Fleming spoke about the importance of driving growth of local economies and job creation. “What has lifted mankind the most over time has been innovation and increased productivity, and America does that best,” Fleming said enthusiastically, “and this is the best of America.” The EDA provided $3M in funding to create the new private lab pods & collaboration spaces to give early-stage science companies with the tools and capabilities to startup and scale-up into successful businesses. 

U.S. Senator, Tom Carper spoke to the importance of adaptable startups in today’s world in saying “the world has changed, and we have to be able to be nimble and to change as well. And, this building and the folks that are in here and starting businesses and growing here are the face of change.”  Delaware Governor, John Carney echoed Carper’s comments by proclaiming that “new discoveries, new jobs, and new businesses are more likely to spin out of a facility like this than to be driven by some of our bigger corporate citizens in our state.”  According to Provine, since launching 2 years ago, DISI programs have actively supported over 30 companies, which enabled the growth or retention of over 240 jobs with an average salary of over $100,000 per year, and client startup companies have raised over $120 million dollars in private investment to date. 

 University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis spoke to the importance of entrepreneurship to UD, specifically that it is one of the five priorities of the university. “We take the position very seriously that we have to help transform our economy towards a knowledge based economy and what we’re doing is clearly going in this direction,” said Assanis.  He quickly highlighted two recent success startup success stories, starting with W7 Energy.  W7 is a company focusing on developing advanced fuel cell materials to create price parity with traditional gasoline engines, the company was just awarded over $4 million via Department of Energy’s ARPA-E grant program.  He also spoke about MCET Technologies, a new spin-out from UD which just won a DuPont sponsored competition for free space at DISI for a year.  Assanis spoke that DISI is “going to help our entrepreneurs become more creative, become more successful, and we’re happy to have our students come to the incubator and work with the companies and create a wonderful eco system within our state.” 

 Alexa Dembek, DuPont’s Chief Technology and Sustainability spoke to a critical component of DuPont’s innovation strategy: collaborating with startups. “The reason that’s important today is because we know to stay relevant, we have to rely on partnerships and collaborations in a very different way than we were comfortable with before in the past,” said Dembek.  She continued by mentioning several key decisions she made when accepting the role, specifically in ending a culture of “not invented here”  Dembek explained further, “it’s super important because with that mindset, that means that entrepreneurism, that means collaboration with the state, that means collaboration with the University of Delaware is essential for all of us to win and especially to win in our hometown of Delaware.” 

 During the ceremony, Provine & Assanis highlighted DISI’s FastPass competition, where startups can be awarded up to 1 year of free space at DISI combined with access to DISI’s business building programs & with a $5000 credit for supplies. Currently, DISI is seeking companies that are affiliated with the University of Delaware, either by leveraging technologies developed at UD or consisting of leadership teams with current facility, staff, students or alumni.  Assanis boasted “Don’t underestimate the mighty 150 square feet of incubator space that we’re providing, believe me, here people turn their dreams into reality.” 


Governor Carney Launches Delaware One Stop to Help Entrepreneurs Start, Operate, and Grow Businesses

Online portal to streamline business licensing, registration, employer requirements

NEWARK, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday officially launched a new online tool to help streamline documentation and reporting requirements for new businesses. The new Delaware One Stop, available at onestop.delaware.gov, allows businesses to interact with core state agencies whether they are starting out or ready to grow.

Delaware One Stop is a convenient, centralized transactional platform created to help business owners work through the necessary steps to begin operation in Delaware. Using one website, businesses can apply and pay for a Delaware business license, make required filings with the Department of Labor, and create formation documents for a legal entity with the Division of Corporations.

“One of the things we hear all the time from small businesses is how hard it can be to figure out what you need from the state in order to open your doors. We know that entrepreneurs just want to take care of those things quickly and get to work, but state government doesn’t always make it easy,” said Governor John Carney. “Today we’re taking a big step in that direction and bringing many of those functions together on a single portal – Delaware One Stop.”

One Stop is the product of a collaborative effort among multiple state agencies and real-world entrepreneurs that allows users to access many services via a single login. This offers a clear road map to ensure continuous engagement between businesses and various state agencies.

“We want to make it easier for businesses to succeed in Delaware,” said Secretary of Finance Rick Geisenberger. “With the new Delaware One Stop portal, we’re partnering among multiple state agencies to leverage technology that makes registering a business seamless, faster, and more efficient.”

The core functions of the new site include business license registration via the Division of Revenue, hiring reporting through the Division of Unemployment Insurance, and coverage verification with the Office of Workers’ Compensation. 

“We’re excited about the launching of Delaware’s new One Stop portal,” said Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade. “Leveraging technology to create better efficiencies in business creation and compliance only continues to reinforce Delaware’s position as a premier destination for businesses, entrepreneurs, and their workers.”

New to One Stop is a step-by-step guide to creating business entity formation documents for submission to the Division of Corporations, helping users on the path to organizing a Delaware corporation, partnership, or LLC.

“Delaware’s world-leading corporate franchise isn’t just for the Fortune 500; our home-grown small businesses have the same access to the services of the Division of Corporations when it comes to forming their own legal entities,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “One Stop will absolutely change the way Delaware entrepreneurs think about dealing with state government.”

The new site is a significant rebuild of the original One Stop portal, launched in 2005. Designed and built by vendor Breakline Digital in cooperation with the Delaware Government Information Center (GIC) and the Department of Technology and Information (DTI), the modern design prioritizes user experience and revolves around an account dashboard that tracks and saves progress. The new One Stop is hosted in cloud-based architecture built on the trusted Salesforce platform.

“The Delaware Business One Stop portal is the initial iteration of our new unified citizen engagement platform,” said Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins. “We’re striving for all citizens and businesses to have access — anywhere, anytime and from any device — to an array of secure digital government services through a single point of entry. We couldn’t be more proud of this initiative to ease the process of doing business in Delaware.”

One Stop also features an integrated survey that takes the pulse of users who seem stuck on one screen for an extended period of time, allowing for real-time feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Before launch, members of the business community tested One Stop for its real-world usability.

“The new streamlined process brings an efficient solution to form a new business in Delaware. The State Chamber applauds the Governor’s initiative to make the new One Stop website a reality,” said Mike Quaranta, president of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, which assisted with reviewing and testing the One Stop site prior to launch.

Delaware One Stop Tips

  • The Division of Revenue Business License is $75 per year and is pro-rated (renew by the end of December for the next calendar year).
  • You can print a temporary business license from the One Stop; you will receive your official copy in the mail in about a month if all looks good.
  • After you register your business, you will need to pay gross receipts tax.
  • Businesses that hire employees need to register with Department of Labor – with both the Division of Unemployment Insurance and the Division of Worker’s Compensation. You can do this from One Stop under “Report Hiring” as soon as you know you’ll have employees.
  • Other licenses, such as professional licenses, environmental permits, and local/county licenses, are not yet included in the One Stop system. You need to apply for these separately.


DNREC announces finalized Coastal Zone Conversion Permit regulations, which become effective Sept. 11

DOVER – Final amendments to the Regulations Governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone, approved Aug. 26 by the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board (CZICB), have been published in the September Register of Regulations and become effective Sept. 11, 2019, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today.

HB190, signed into law by Governor John Carney on Aug. 2, 2017, authorized the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to issue permits for construction and operation of new heavy industry uses at 14 existing heavy industry use sites within the state’s Coastal Zone. Like standard Coastal Zone permits, conversion permits require an assessment of the environmental and economic impacts of the proposed conversion.

To begin the process of developing regulations, DNREC Secretary Garvin convened a Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC), comprising various stakeholder groups and chaired by retired Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland. The committee provided recommendations on a number of issues, including a Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storms Plan, an Environmental Remediation and Stabilization Plan, and evidence of financial assurance. DNREC then held public workshops to gather input on developing regulations for issuing permits.

The committee’s work and recommendations were presented at open houses, where public comments were received. Comments also were submitted to DNREC during a public comment period. The Secretary’s draft regulations and amendments were also presented to the CZICB for approval, as mandated by the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act.

“From the start of the process, DNREC has been committed to developing the regulations governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act Conversion Permit, consistent with the law, in a transparent manner that facilitated and encouraged public input and involvement,” Secretary Garvin said. “The new regulations incorporate recommendations from the RAC, technical experts, and the public that were received throughout the process.”

The regulations provide for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits to return industrial sites to active or more productive use while ensuring the protection of natural resources.

The new Regulations Governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone can be found online at Delaware’s Register of Regulations.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 229

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