$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, Delaware Prosperity Partnership to Host Conversations on Economic Development

Public events scheduled in all three counties to discuss Delaware’s economy, economic development

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) announced community conversations on economic development efforts scheduled in all three counties. Governor Carney, co-chair of the DPP, will join DPP President, W. Kurt Foreman, as well as DPP staff and board members, to provide an update on the public-private partnership that leads economic development for the state.

The Delaware Prosperity Partnership is responsible for attracting, growing and retaining businesses; building a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and supporting private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent in the state of Delaware. The state jointly funds the partnership’s operations with private business.

Governor Carney worked closely with members of the General Assembly to approve the concept and funding for the public-private entity. In August 2017, Governor Carney signed House Bill 226, creating the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and the Division of Small Business within the Delaware Department of State.

Governor Carney signed Executive Order #1 on his first full day in office to create the Economic Development Working Group to explore a new economic development strategy. Governor Carney’s economic development plan was built on recommendations from the Economic Development Working Group. Strategically partnering with the private sector on economic growth was a key recommendation of the Governor’s Action Plan for Delaware.

DPP Community Conversations on Economic Development

Each event is open to members of the public and press.

Tuesday, February 19 – GEORGETOWN

WHO: Governor John Carney
  W. Kurt Foreman, President, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Rob Rider, CEO, O.A. Newton and Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  Ed Kee, Former Secretary of Agriculture and Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Representative Bill Bush, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Senator Ernesto Lopez
  State Senator David Wilson
  State Representative Daniel Short


WHEN: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  5:30 p.m.


WHERE: Delaware Technical Community College
  Jack Owens Campus
  21179 College Drive
  Georgetown, DE 19947


Wednesday, March 20 – DOVER

WHO: Governor John Carney
  W. Kurt Foreman, President, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  State Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Senator Colin Bonini
  State Senator Dave Lawson
  State Representative Kevin Henlsey


WHEN: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
  6:00 p.m.


WHERE: Delaware Technical Community College
  Charles L. Terry Campus, Jr.
  100 Campus Drive
  Dover, DE 19904


Tuesday, April 2 – WILMINGTON

WHO: Governor John Carney
  W. Kurt Foreman, President, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  State Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Senator Anthony Delcollo
  State Representative Krista Griffith
  State Representative Gerald Brady
  State Representative Paul Baumbach
  State Representative Nnamdi Chukwuocha
  State Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker


WHEN: Tuesday, April 2, 2019
  6:00 p.m.


WHERE: Arsht Hall – University of Delaware
  2700 Pennsylvania Ave
  Wilmington, DE 19806


Delaware Announces Innovative Cybersecurity Partnership for Young Women

Girls Go CyberStart offers online cybersecurity training, prizes for Delaware young women in grades 9-12

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney and Delaware’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) James Collins announced on Monday an innovative cybersecurity training partnership between the SANS Institute and the State of Delaware that provides young women in high school interested in a cybersecurity career the opportunity to discover their aptitude and learn basic cybersecurity skills through a no-cost online game of discovery called Girls Go CyberStart.

“The importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated and I encourage young women in Delaware high schools to take advantage of this opportunity to explore career options in this vital field,” said Governor Carney. “Delaware needs a pipeline of talent and a strong workforce to remain competitive in the innovation economy. We are excited to continue our partnership with the SANS Institute.”

Last summer, Delaware was one of seven states to partner with the SANS Institute to pilot CyberStart, a program designed to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals while identifying talented youth. The program enabled 3,300 students in seven states to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity. However, only five percent of the students who participated in CyberStart’s first round were young women. In Delaware, 359 students enrolled in the practice round.

Delaware partnered with the SANS Institute on this initiative to give more talented young women in Delaware high schools an opportunity to explore a career in cybersecurity. The Delaware Department of Technology and Information is partnering with the Department of Education and a variety of organizations, including the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, to support and encourage as many young women as possible in high school today to register to participate in this exceptional opportunity.

“We applaud the SANS Institute for recognizing the importance and value of a diversified workforce and for working to provide creative opportunities for young women to learn more about careers in cybersecurity,” said CIO James Collins. “Girls Go CyberStart is a fun way for young women to test their skills to find out if they a talent or interest in becoming a cybersecurity professional at no cost. This is a fantastic opportunity and we encourage all our high school-age, young women to take advantage of it!”

Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Anne T. Hogan noted, “Girls are natural-born scientists, which is why we introduce Girl Scouts of every age to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to help them see how they can improve the world. At Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, we have been on the forefront of STEM programming for young woman, and are very excited to bring Girls Go CyberStart Challenge to our high school-age Girl Scouts. This program will allow girls to learn by doing, develop important problem solving and leadership skills, and take the lead on their futures.”

Registration will begin on January 29, 2018 and end on February 16, 2018. The first 10,000 young women in high school who have registered by the deadline can play the game online from February 20 through February 25. More details about the program can be found at GirlsGoCyberStart.com.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school in Delaware who excel in the Girls Go CyberStart game will have the opportunity to win computers and other prizes as well as a trip, with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference.

Each player starts as a “cyber protection agent” responsible for protecting an important operational base. The student chooses and solves challenges, earning points along the way. A cyber protection agent field manual provides answers to questions that may arise, and hints are available to help when players get stuck. When the player has solved a sufficient number of challenges at one level, a new level opens up and new challenges appear – for a total of 10 levels.

Young women in Delaware high schools will participate alongside students from Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and American Samoa.

When asked why SANS is partnering with Delaware in Girls Go CyberStart program, SANS Director of Research Alan Paller said, “Because the nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals, and we have evidence that CyberStart improves the quality and preparation of people entering the cybersecurity field. Further, the two best cyber intrusion analysts I have ever met were named Vicki and Judy, but women are woefully underrepresented in the technical side of cybersecurity. By opening CyberStart to thousands of high school girls we hope to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”




For more information about cybersecurity and Girls Go CyberStart, visit digiknow.dti.delaware.gov or GirlsGoCyberStart.com.

Related news:
Delaware Honored for Cyber Security Innovation
Governor Carney Launches “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge at Secure Delaware 2017
Governor Carney Signs Legislation Extending Cybersecurity Protections for Delawareans
Governor Carney, Chief Information Officer Announce Innovative Cybersecurity Partnership for Students

A New Grow Delaware Fund is Announced to Mirror the Success of the Grow Wilmington Fund in Helping Small Businesses Succeed

The two funds are designed to spur job growth in Delaware

Community and business leaders came together today to celebrate the success of a small business initiative which began in Wilmington a few years ago and to announce a complimentary effort that will support small businesses and job growth throughout Delaware.

Facilitated by West End Neighborhood House, The Longwood Foundation, Discover Bank, Department of State Division of Small Business Development and Tourism and the National Development Council, the Grow Delaware Fund was unveiled today at a ceremony in Wilmington. The Grow Delaware Fund, which seeks to replicate the success of the Grow Wilmington Fund, is a unique partnership that will provide $5 million to support loans to small businesses in Delaware that are seeking to strengthen their operations and grow jobs. The new initiative will offer flexible financing to Delaware-based businesses through long-term fixed rate financing designed to minimize monthly principal and interest payments maximizing a business’ ability to grow. This will allow Delaware businesses to both add and retain jobs.

The Grow Wilmington Fund, established in 2014, is a partnership between Wilmington Office of Economic Development, Discover Bank, Cozen O’Connor and the National Development Council, an SBA 7(a) lender and community development financial institution. It began with $1 million in seed money from Wilmington’s Urban Development Action Grant Corporation (UDAG), a quasi-governmental non-profit development corporation, wholly-owned by the city of Wilmington.  UDAG’s investment leveraged $3 million of private funds to establish a $4 million fund that offers low-interest, long-term loans to small businesses currently operating in Wilmington or looking to relocate to the city.  The fund can be used to acquire real estate, perform leasehold improvements and obtain working capital.  Since its inception the fund has loaned in excess of $3.2 million to support four small businesses which were able to create 17 new and retain 52 existing jobs.

Among the business that have benefitted from the Grow Wilmington Fund are Short Order Production House (formerly, The Kitchen) which used the fund to open its offices at the Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Wilmington) Railroad Station and Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center, which used the Grow Wilmington Fund to move from its former location just outside of the city limits to its new location near the intersection of Concord Avenue and Broom Street. Owner Paul Campanella hosted today’s Grow Delaware announcement ceremony at his new Wilmington location at 1005 West 27th Street which is scheduled to open in November. Campanella said he wanted an opportunity to thank everyone for the assistance his business received from Wilmington’s small business initiative.

Grow Delaware Fund loans range from $150,000 to $4,000,000. The amount a business can borrower is subject to underwriting guidelines and loan fund availability. Once obtained, loan funds may be used for:

  • Working Capital – to be repaid over 10 years
  • Machinery and Equipment – to be repaid over 10 years
  • Real estate acquisitions/renovation of owner-occupied businesses – to be repaid over 25 years
  • Tenant improvements – to be repaid over the life of the lease
  • Refinancing existing debts

Together, the Grow Wilmington and Grow Delaware Funds will leverage over $11 million to assist economic development and job creation.

“This is how we want to see economic development function in Delaware,” said Governor John Carney. “It takes a model that worked well at the local level and expands it statewide, helping businesses to grow and proposer from Claymont to Delmar. Small businesses are a cornerstone element of Delaware’s overall economic strength, and I look forward to seeing the new successes that will come out of assistance from the Grow Delaware Fund.”

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today thanked Governor Carney, Discover Bank and Longwood Foundation for their $1.5 million commitment to the small business community in Wilmington via the Grow Delaware Fund. “Wilmington is excited to be able to share its successes with a growth fund with small businesses and municipalities throughout the state. In Delaware, we get more done because we work together and freely share programs and ideas that can be leveraged for the greater good.”

“As amazing as it may sound, the Small Business Administration tells us that small businesses account for 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States, and employ over 56 million people. Therefore, the importance of providing growth capital to small businesses is critically important to the economies of Delaware and the nation. NDC is proud to be a partner in the innovative Grow Delaware Fund, which will provide reasonably priced loan capital to growing small businesses throughout the State of Delaware,” said Daniel Marsh, President and CEO of NDC.”

“Discover has been deeply committed to supporting the greater Delaware community for more than 25 years. As we have grown to become one of the leading direct banks, we have remained focused on supporting and promoting job growth in the communities in which our employees live and work,” said James J. Roszkowski, president of Discover Bank. “Whether it’s through innovative financial programs like the Grow Delaware Fund or the thousands of volunteer hours, Discover is focused on making a positive difference in communities around the country.”

Deepa Singh, program manager for the Grow Delaware Fund highlighted the fund’s state-wide approach: “The program’s outreach efforts have helped to catalyze the growth of a network of existing public/private/non-profit resources working collaboratively to support Delaware small businesses. Small businesses in all three counties have started the application process with the Grow Delaware Fund.” Ms. Singh will be available throughout the state to meet with businesses and promote the program.

The Grow Delaware Fund is the latest initiative to support the expansion of businesses in Delaware. Earlier this year, West End kicked off the Launcher Entrepreneurship program. Launcher was created to educate aspiring entrepreneurs on the fundamentals of starting their own businesses and help existing businesses expand. West End’s program is based on four primary components, which include: (1) business training, including classroom instruction and one-on-one mentoring focused on the basic elements of starting a business; (2) business support, such as topic-specific workshops taught by local experts; (3) loans/access to credit, provided by a local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI); (4) business incubators – shared office and workspace to reduce costs and facilitate collaboration.

About Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center, host of today’s news conference
Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center Service was founded in 1986. The locally-based and family-owned company employs 29 people – 25 full time and four part-time—at two locations. Later this month, Campanella’s will move from its current Augustine Cut-Off location to a new Wilmington facility at 1005 West 27th Street behind the Fulton Paper Company. The company’s other location is Paul Campanella’s Pike Creek Automotive at 2379 Limestone Road in Pike Creek. Campanella’s provides customers with high quality automotive services and superior customer service which has won it numerous awards from the Better Business Bureau and the Delaware Business Times. Its reputation has helped build long-term relationships with customers. The mission of the Paul Campanella Auto & Tire Center mission is to be the best provider of quality automotive products and services, while leading the industry in innovative processes.

Visit Delaware Releases New Mobile Application for National American Beer Day

Newport, Del.– Discovering Delaware went digital to celebrate National American Beer Day as the Delaware Tourism Office (Visit Delaware) unveiled Delaware on Tap, the new smartphone application version of the state’s popular Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail.

The office showcased the app, which is available for free download in the App Store and from Google Play, at Bellefonte Brewing Company Friday morning along with Gov. John Carney and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, State Sen. Anthony Delcollo and Neil Shea, CEO of Bellefonte.

“Delaware’s more than $3-billion tourism industry is a key driver of the state’s economy, and our thriving craft beverage industry is an important element of that,” said Governor Carney. “Finding new and innovative ways to draw Delawareans and visitors into these small businesses helps to ensure the industry’s growth continues.”

“Craft beverage makers are some of our Delaware’s hardest working entrepreneurs,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “An application like this is one of the many inventive ways state government can create a climate and community that helps them succeed.”

Delaware on Tap guides visitors and residents through completing the trail. After a user creates an account, the app uses geo-location to allow them to “check in” at a site.

Once they have checked in at any ten craft beverage makers on the trail, the user will receive a prize from the Delaware Tourism Office – a commemorative glass beer mug. Plus, the first 100 people to complete the trail via the app will get a growler cooler bag.

“As the craft beverage industry evolves, so does the Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail,” said Liz Keller, Delaware Tourism Director. “Visitors wanted a smartphone-friendly way to take the trail. We made it happen. Delaware on Tap follows the tourism office’s philosophy of listening to consumers and providing them what they need to enhance their visit to the state.”

The app provides travelers with the opportunity to find what’s nearby, upcoming events, suggestions for places to dine or stay, deals and transportation offerings, including tours and Uber. An in-app photo booth lets users put fun frames and filters on photos they take along the trail and then helps them post the fun shots on social media using #DEonTap.

“We work hard to attract potential customers and get information to them,” said Neil Shea, CEO of Bellefonte Brewing Company. “We’re appreciative of the Delaware Tourism Office’s efforts to assist us and Delaware’s entire craft beverage community with that mission. We frequently see visitors who stop in as a part of taking the Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail, and the new app will help even more beer lovers find us.”

“I am extremely encouraged to see Delaware proactively promoting one of the First State’s fastest growing and most popular industries,” said Sen. Anthony Delcollo, R-Marshallton. “We must continue highlighting the successes of our local businesses that create jobs and opportunity in our state, and that’s what Delaware on Tap accomplishes for this industry.”

The trail started in 2010 with 12 locations, all breweries and wineries. At the time it was called the Delaware Wine & Ale Trail. Since then the trail has grown to include more than two dozen businesses – breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries and meaderies. The trail passport has racked up 7,200 downloads in seven years – a rate of three downloads every day.

The Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail is one of the Visit Delaware’s five Trails of Discovery. Each gives tourists a unique and thematic way to see the state. The other four trails are: history, outdoor, geocaching and culinary.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., part of the Delaware Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.