LTU’s Centrepolis Accelerator wins grant for startups under SBA prize program to support hardtech innovation

SOUTHFIELD—The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University has been named one of the winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One.

Winners receive an initial prize of $50,000 and are eligible to compete for an additional $50,000 to $150,000 later this summer.

“SBA’s Catalyze winners join SBA’s extensive network of support organizations who build thriving startup ecosystems to ensure the next generation of science and technology-based innovations develop into thriving businesses,” said SBA Administrator Casillas Guzman. “We know these investments will advance American competitiveness and help us build an economy that works for everyone.”

The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition aims to foster a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high growth small businesses. Stage One prizes go directly to 40 organizations that have developed strategies to speed the launch, growth, and scale of STEM/R&D-focused small businesses through inclusive approaches.

“Since our launch in 2018, the Centrepolis Accelerator has launched over 50 new products, resulting in the creation of hundreds of jobs and over $36 million of contracted business to Michigan’s supply chain,” said Accelerator Executive Director Dan Radomski. “This grant will help us assist even more companies across  the state and help them develop their products and manufacture in Michigan .”

Since its launch in 2014, SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition has awarded 387 prizes totaling over $19 million to 284 winners across 52 states and territories. This year’s competition introduced a multi-stage approach with Stage One focused on catalyzing an ecosystem around a particular theme.  Stage One applicants represented 45 U.S. states and territories; 70 percent were first-time applicants.

The grants focused on four business development areas: national security and global competitiveness; domestic manufacturing and production; climate and renewable energy; and underserved communities. The Centrepolis Accelerator received its grant in the domestic manufacturing category. It was one of only two grants received by Michigan organizations; the other went in the underserved communities cateogry to the Chelsea-based business development consulting firm BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting LLC.

Stage One winners will now proceed to Stage Two of the competition, where they will work to create partnerships with organizations, groups, and employers to support innovative products and services that will address challenges like climate change, national security, and community-driven economic prosperity. SBA has created several opportunities to support networking with Stage One winners: A contact directory, at; a series of online partner pitch sessions on May 30 and 31 and June 1 and 2, with signup at; and an in-person event June 21 at the America’s Seed Fund SBIR/STTR Spring Conference that occurs concurrent with TechConnect World Conference in Washington, D.C. For event registration visit:

For more information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, visit

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) leads programs that provide the high-growth small business community with access to two things: financial capital and R&D funds to develop commercially viable innovations. Our work is underpinned by public-private partnerships that help small businesses on their trajectory from idea to IPO. Learn more at

The Centrepolis Accelerator, housed in Lawrence Technological University’s Enterprise Center in Southfield, is 6,300 square feet of business assistance for physical product developers and manufacturing companies, a unique niche among accelerators in Michigan. Clients include climatech, manufacturing startups, and existing companies looking to move up to the next level in product innovation. Services include product design, engineering, and prototyping, as well as business planning services, office space, co-working space, workshops, mentors and events.

For more information, contact the Accelerator at (248) 204-2452 or visit

Lawrence Technological University,, is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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