Press Release Details

XLerateHealth Wins Stage One of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition


Award will fund expanding Growth Accelerator Partnerships in the Southeast IDeA States in an effort to “Bridge the Gap to the Innovation Economy for Rural & Underserved Communities”

XLerateHealth (XLH) a nationally recognized healthcare accelerator headquartered in Louisville, KY, is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Stage One winner of the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). With this Stage One award, XLerateHealth will support the launch, growth, and scale-up of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses, with a particular focus on “underserved communities” including rural communities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Winners of Stage One awards were selected through a multi-tier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation, and strategic planning both inside and out of the federal government. Applications and pitch videos were reviewed by expert judges submitted by the finalists.

XLerateHealth’s award-winning model will amplify the impact and success of Growth Accelerator Partnerships and will work to foster and facilitate a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high growth small businesses. The SBA noted that “This year’s Competition has brought together organizations, entities, groups, and individuals beyond geographic boundaries to support innovators and innovation needed to confront the challenges of today.”

“We are excited about this opportunity to create an 'Ecosystem Focused Accelerator Model' for rural and minority communities in the Southeast,” said Jackie Willmot, CEO & Co-founder of XLerateHealth. “This region has a significantly large proportion of its population distributed across rural/remote settings and has over 30 HBCUs. Our goal is to expand our partnerships withHBCUs and organizations located in or focused on rural populations --in an effort to catalyze an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in this region.”

XLerateHealth will work during Stage One, to develop collaborative relationships to compete for a Stage Two award later this summer. HBCU and Rural Organizational Partners (e.g., Academic Institutions, Land Grant Universities, Community Colleges and Technical Schools, Community Rural Health Offices, Chambers of Commerce, etc.) located in the Southeast “XLerator Network” region (Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and West Virginia) who are interested in partnering on this initiative – can indicate their interest by using the SBA’s GAFC Contact Form.

For more information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, please visit

About XLerateHealth

XLerateHealth’s (XLH) mission is to cultivate and grow impactful healthcare innovation in the Midwest, Southeast and other areas of the country where great innovation often goes unrecognized and underfunded. Founded in 2012, XLH supports the development of healthcare innovation through its healthcare accelerator, which helps start-up founders commercialize their business and attract funding. XLerateHealth also leads the efforts to build and operate the XLerator Network, an NIH-funded partnership with Academic Lead University of Kentucky along with 24 other academic institutions in the Southeast. The objective of this work is to increase the commercialization of promising life science and healthcare innovations in the NIH-designated Southeast Institutional Development Award (IDeA) states.

Find out more about XLH by visiting XLH is on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter @XlerateHealth.

Source: XLerateHealth