Innovation Space Awarded $750,000 Grant from U.S. Department of Commerce

 EDA’s Build to Scale Capital Challenge invests in accelerator’s “First Fund program

Wilmington, Del. —  The Innovation Space™ has been selected for a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant that will provide $750,000 in support for First Fund, the Wilmington-based innovation ecosystem’s signature seed stage investment program for early-stage science startups. Innovation Space is one of just 20 organizations in the country chosen for an EDA Capital Challenge grant and received the top tier of funding awarded.

“The Capital Challenge grant is a testament to the quality of our programs and the criticality of seed investment to power economic development,” said Bill Provine, Founder and CEO of Innovation Space™. “We are proud to have been chosen for this funding and gratified by EDA’s recognition of our model to support entrepreneurs who will bring us the next big discoveries in life sciences, cleantech and advanced materials. We look forward to expanding the mentorship we provide through our investment program and creating even more connections for our portfolio companies with investors nationwide.” 

Funding will be dedicated to increasing staffing for Innovation Space’s First Fund program, which will enhance the ability to expand geographic reach, attract private co-investors, and deepen the support the Innovation Space can provide to science entrepreneurs.

First Fund is Innovation Space’s most competitive and comprehensive startup support program, including state-of-the-art lab space, capital funding and access to an international network of mentors, experts, and investors.    

“The support from our congressional delegation has been a critical component to securing funding such as this EDA grant, which helps us deliver on our mission to transform science-based startups into industry leading companies. We are grateful to Senator Chris Coons, Senator Tom Carper and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester for their support,” said Provine.

In just six years since its inception in 2017, Innovation Space™ has supported and enabled more than 100 startups through their growth journeys in which these companies have raised more than $1 billion in investments.

Across the Mid-Atlantic and throughout the country, Innovation Space has invested in dynamic startups in the fields of health care, advanced materials, diagnostics, therapeutics, nutrition, chemical ingredients, industrial and agricultural biotechnology, clean technology and renewables. Innovation Space clients are working to advance science and improve lives from cancer treatments to climate change solutions and nearly everything in between. 


About the Innovation Space ( The Innovation Space™ is a not-for-profit innovation ecosystem and is a virtual and physical home for leading science entrepreneurs.  The Innovation Space™ works to “transform science and technology startups into industry leading companies.” Located on the historic Experimental Station campus in Wilmington, Delaware, the Innovation Space™ is comprised of 130,000 ft2 of state of the art lab and office space with access to cutting edge equipment alongside a suite of entrepreneurship programs and opportunities supporting startup growth. Register for more information and updates to learn more about all the Innovation Space™ programs and funding opportunities. 

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