$1.5 Million EDA Grant to Delaware Innovation Space to Launch Hard Science Startup Accelerator

WILMINGTON, Del. Today, Delaware Governor John Carney, U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) announced a $1.5 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to Delaware Innovation Space to create a Hard Science Startup Accelerator. The grant was awarded through the national Build to Scale (B2S) competition run by the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) at EDA.

Delaware Innovation Space is a nonprofit incubator and accelerator at the Experimental Station where scientists, business leaders, community members, investors, and service providers in the industrial biotech, advanced materials, chemical ingredients, renewable energy, nutrition and healthcare fields can build business concepts together and accelerate the path to commercialization. It is the result of a public-private partnership between the State of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware. This grant award will provide mentorship and training to entrepreneurs to help them develop and grow their business.

Delaware Innovation Space was awarded the top amount of $1.5 million in the competition placing it in the top 10 percent of more than 600 applications that were submitted from across the United States.

“We want innovators and entrepreneurs to start in Delaware, stay in Delaware, and grow in Delaware,” said Governor John Carney. “The accelerator program funded by this grant will assist emerging science-based startups to grow and thrive right here in Delaware. The world has changed. We have to continue being nimble and supporting our entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’ve already seen success out of the Delaware Innovation Space from companies like Prelude Therapeutics, and I look forward to seeing the Delaware companies that this program will launch and grow.”

“The lack of physical lab space with expert business mentorship and training is a road block to the ultimate success of emerging entrepreneurs in the hard sciences,” said Bill Provine, Delaware Innovation Space President & CEO. The Hard Science Startup Accelerator will provide science entrepreneurs with access to structured programs and a customized learning experience that will improve their business concepts and plans, making them more attractive to investors. This combined with the physical assets of the Delaware Innovation Space which includes a more than 130,000-square-foot physical and virtual collaboration ecosystem will assist and equip scalable startups with the tools and expert insights that they need to transform the markets in which they operate.”  

“The Delaware Innovation Space was born out of Delaware’s long history of scientific innovation. As we push through this pandemic, the Innovation Space will continue to be an important part of research and discovery – and economy recovery,” said Senator Carper, ranking member on the Environment and Public Works committee in the U.S. Senate, which has jurisdiction over EDA. “The Delaware Innovation Space will leverage this federal investment and use the resources of the University of Delaware and DuPont to mentor entrepreneurs through its Hard Science Startup Accelerator. We must continue to find ways to grow our economy for the long-term, and this grant will help foster that innovation.”

 “The Hard Science Startup Accelerator program aims to help startup companies and science entrepreneurs be competitive in today’s global economy,” said Senator Coons. “The Delaware Innovation Space has helped companies like Yushan Yan’s W7 Energy to spin out of the University of Delaware their fuel cell technology, and this $1.5-million grant will continue advancing innovation and economic development with other startups in the First State. This federal funding, combined with investments from other partners, helps make sure that Delaware – the birthplace of Nylon, Kevlar, Teflon, and Oliver Evans’ Automated Flour Mill – can provide capital-intensive wet lab space and world-class mentorship well into the future to many more promising technologies.”

“In the midst of our national period of economic hardship, we must continue to help our emerging entrepreneurs innovate and succeed,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “The Delaware Innovation Space represents the best kind of partnership that we must continue to utilize and leverage. I’m excited to see how this federal investment will help catalyze some truly exciting results.”

The Hard Science Startup Accelerator will be offered at no-charge to startup companies and the application window for the first cohort class along with other supporting programs will open in late 2020; with the first cohort class beginning work in 2021.



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.

Delaware Angel Investor Tax Credit Applications Now Available

Refundable tax credit to encourage job creation, innovation

WILMINGTON, Del. – Qualified investors and high-tech small businesses can now make use of Delaware’s newest program aimed at encouraging job creation and innovation.

The Delaware Division of Small Business began Thursday accepting certification applications for the Angel Investor Tax Credit (AITC) at www.business.delaware.gov/incentives.

“We are excited to have the Angel Investor program up and running,” said Governor John Carney. “Now the state’s most cutting-edge small businesses can connect with much needed sources of capital investment. The influx of funds Angel Investor will create will help these companies and Delaware’s new economy to grow.”

Once a business or investor has submitted a certification application, the Division begins its review process. In January, certified companies and investors will be able to submit credit allocation requests.

“Angel Investor is a great way for the state to spur economic development and another useful tool for our Division as we work to help small businesses succeed in Delaware,” said Damian DeStefano, Director of the Division of Small Business.

The AITC is a refundable tax credit worth up to 25 percent of the investment in a qualified, Delaware-based company. Those businesses must pay decent wages, employ fewer than 25 people and engage in innovation in one of several areas as its primary business activity. More information on investor and business qualifications is also available at www.business.delaware.gov/incentives.

“Delaware’s new angel investor tax credit is a win/win for high-tech and science start-ups as well as investors. Delaware is home to some of the nation’s most innovative start-ups and now with Delaware’s new Angel Investor Tax Credit, science and high-tech entrepreneurs have even more incentive to choose Delaware to grow their businesses,” said Kurt Foreman, President and CEO of Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

“Growing entrepreneurial startups is a key success factor for the growth of the life sciences industry in Delaware,” said Helen Stimson, President and CEO of Delaware BioScience Association. “Having an Angel Investor Tax Credit program improves our competitiveness for entrepreneurial retention. Coupling the program with our unique technical grant writing support from the SBDC, and Delaware’s very attractive R&D tax credit program creates a strong value proposition for why startups should stay in Delaware.”


Related news:
Governor Carney Signs Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act

Governor Carney Signs Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act

New law establishes a refundable tax credit for qualified investors in Delaware small businesses

NEWARK, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday signed into law House Bill 170, the Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act, at the Delaware Technology Park at the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus.

The Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act establishes a refundable tax credit for qualified investors in Delaware small businesses to spur job creation and innovation. The law establishes guidelines for awarding a tax credit worth up to 25 percent of the investment in a qualified, Delaware-based small business. Businesses receiving the investment must pay decent wages, employ fewer than 25 employees, and engage in innovation in one of several areas as its primary business activity.

“We should do everything we can to support Delaware’s innovators and entrepreneurs who are leading Delaware’s new economy, and this law will help connect our most talented entrepreneurs with the resources they need to be successful,” said Governor Carney. “Delaware is already a hub of innovation, and this tax credit will help to encourage investments in innovative, Delaware-based small businesses.”



Governor Carney called for passage of the Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act in his 2018 State of the State Address. The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by Representative Michael Ramone, Representative Bryon Short, Representative Melanie George Smith, and Representative Dave Wilson. Senate sponsors included Senate President Pro Tem David McBride and Senator Cathy Cloutier.

“As a prime sponsor of the Angel Investor Act, I know that by enacting this legislation we are taking a significant step in helping to strengthen Delaware’s economic development climate,” said Representative Michael Ramone. “Getting to this point today was certainly a collaborative effort by legislators, the Governor, and the small business community, and one that I believe will result in definite job growth in Delaware.”

“By encouraging investment in technology startups, Delaware is making another strategic move to enhance its economic competitiveness. It is painstaking and difficult work to advance a startup and this new program will provide an infusion of capital to businesses at a critical time,” said Representative Bryon Short. “These resources will foster innovation in our state and support entrepreneurs growing their businesses.”

“We believe that keeping innovation created in Delaware in the state is a key component of future success for the life sciences industry,” said Helen Stimson, President and CEO of Delaware BioScience Association. “We are delighted to have this new Angel Investor Tax Credit program to entice investors to support our startup companies. This benefit coupled with Delaware’s attractive R&D tax credit program provides key benefits needed to keep our innovators in the state.”

“As a longtime advocate and mentor of early stage technology-based businesses, the Angel Investor Tax Credit should be a stimulus for new investors to support entrepreneurs in Delaware,” said Michael Bowman, Associate Director of the University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships, and President of the Delaware Technology Park.


Details about the Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act:

The Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act establishes guidelines for awarding a tax credit worth up to 25 percent of the investment in a qualified, Delaware-based small business. Businesses receiving the investment must pay decent wages, employ fewer than 25 employees, and engage in innovation in one of several areas as its primary business activity. By statute, the Delaware Division of Small Business will have until November 1, 2018 to create and publish an application for small businesses looking to participate in the program in calendar year 2019.

Qualified business activities include:

  • Using proprietary technology to add value to a product, process, or service in a qualified high-technology field.
  • Researching or developing a proprietary product, process, or service in a qualified high-technology field.
  • Researching, developing, or producing a proprietary product, process, or service in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, wildlife preservation, environmental science, financial technology, or transportation.
  • Researching, developing, or producing a new proprietary technology for use in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, financial technology, or transportation.

Book Club for Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

4 people in a book clubThe Delaware Libraries Inspiration Space announces a new initiative to enable small business owners to expand their knowledge with the latest ideas from the business world’s thought leaders. A Book Club for Entrepreneurs will launch at the Lewes Public Library on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at noon.

Small business owners will have the opportunity to learn about the latest concepts in entrepreneurship from books and each other. In addition to discussing the content of the selected book, participants can share their relevant experiences with the group and explore related ideas.

The book club will be self-managed and will select the best day and time for future meetings. Each member will have the opportunity to select a book and lead the monthly meeting. The selected books will be made available in a variety of formats through the Delaware Library Catalog.

Like all Delaware library programs, participation is free.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/bizbookclubjan9lewes. The January book selection and other details will be provided to registrants via email.