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May 30, 2023
Emily Bell - (405) 593-8013

UAS Cluster Initiative Receives Stage One 2023 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Award

Oklahoma City, OK - The UAS Cluster Initiative (UASCI), a program of Development Capital Networks, LLC, has received one of 40 Stage One Awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Winners receive an initial prize of $50,000 and are eligible to compete for an additional $50,000 to $150,000 later this summer.

By supporting connections across diverse networks, 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.

UASCI will work with ecosystem partners to bring opportunities to traditionally underserved tribal nations. Through the creation of the Tribal Emerging Aerospace Growth Accelerator (TEAGA), tribal nations can create a cohesive strategy to capitalize on the rapidly growing emerging aerospace industry. By forging new alliances across industry, academia, and small business support organizations, the partnership can build bridges for tribal members to participate in new and exciting ways.

“We’re thrilled to be able to continue the important work of strengthening the emerging aerospace ecosystem in Oklahoma by working closely with our existing partners and forging new partnerships to ensure that entrepreneurial and business opportunities are available to all”, said UAS Cluster Initiative Executive Director Craig Mahaney.

The Cluster, which began in 2015, facilitates access to critical resources for young companies in the unmanned aerial systems and advanced air mobility industry, helping them promote their products to potential customers, license technologies and access financing. The enormous growth of the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) industry presents unprecedented opportunities for small businesses across the U.S. and in states like Oklahoma to grow and create new jobs, while attracting investment and driving technology to meet industry needs.

UASCI is a program of Development Capital Networks (DCN), headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK. DCN is a specialized firm that seeds the growth of entrepreneurs by attracting technology, capital, and talent to help communities build innovation economies. UASCI is funded by private industry and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

UASCI is seeking tribal and entrepreneurial support partners to help catalyze this important work. If you’d like to be involved, please contact Emily Bell at .


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit