The Fort Wayne-based Northeast Indiana Innovation Center has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA says the funding aims to help underrepresented entrepreneurs, such as minorities, women-owned and rural-based businesses, develop their small, high-tech firms.

Twenty-four recipients nationwide will split the $3 million in total funding with the maximum award being $125,000.

The SBA says the grant money is allocated through its Federal and State Technology Partnership Program. The objective of FAST is to improve outcomes by providing seed money for innovative business owners who run small research-and-development firms. "They focus on the needs of next-generation high-tech firms and support them through the entire cycle from ideation to commercialization,” said Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton. 

SBA says the program provides one-year funding to organizations to execute state/regional programs that support potential SBIR applicants and awardees. 

According to the NIIC website, the organization has been supporting entrepreneurs in northeast Indiana for 16 years by helping to launch products and help get funding.