received one of seven Regional Innovation Cluster contracts from the Small Business Administration
to grow its flexible electronics cluster FlexMatters
. The four-year, $385,000 contract will allow NorTech to train and assist small companies in the FlexMatters cluster in attracting larger market leaders as customers through its Anchor Customer Engagement (ACE) Academy.
“One of the really important things about this contract is it gives us recognition on a federal basis,” says NorTech vice president Byron Clayton. “Being nationally recognized as an emerging cluster helps us bring more federal funding to the region.”
This is the fourth time the FlexMatters cluster has been recognized on a national level. The ACE Academy will help give the region an upper hand in terms of both jobs and securing the first customers for new technologies.
“It’s designed to help small, emerging businesses capture the first significant customers,” says Clayton of the academy. “It helps them be prepared so if they do get that opportunity to present themselves, they put their best foot forward. The goal is to go away with something concrete.”
Success of these businesses translates into more jobs in the region. “It really helps small businesses grow and create high paying jobs in growth industries,” says Clayton. “We’re already seeing success, and we’re just getting started.”
The SBA award is for one year, with a four year renewal option.
Source: Byron Clayton
Writer: Karin Connelly