Tacoma biotech accelerator wins $50,000 in national competition

A Tacoma technology group is one of 68 enterprises nationwide to share a Growth Accelerator Fund Competition prize pool of $3.4 million awarded “to boost the economic impact of accelerators.”

The Wedge in Tacoma was one of only two such accelerators in the state to receive a $50,000 prize. Several national agencies sponsored the competition under the umbrella of the Small Business Administration.

The Wedge Accelerator is projected to open at 2304 Jefferson Ave. in the Brewery District near University of Washington Tacoma in early winter. The funding “will help support the consolidation of research assets in the local area into a shared lab space. It is also projected that the planned Wedge Biotech Accelerator will serve as a space where high school and college students can work to develop lab skills,” according to the city of Tacoma.

“This investment in Tacoma by the SBA will enhance our approach to biotech research and ultimately move ideas to market," said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland in a news release Thursday. “Partners such as Joint-Base Lewis McChord and MultiCare will help us leverage patient data to accelerate our work in areas including water quality, health care and clinical trials and more.”

“Local organizations like The Wedge and WIN for Life Sciences Entrepreneur Mentoring Program (in Seattle) meet specific and critical needs

in our local entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said SBA Seattle District Director Nancy Porzio in a release this week.

The purpose of the competition, according to the release, “is to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

In accepting the prize, accelerators will be required to report metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained.

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535