In partnership with
Fall 2022 Grant Competition
Are you a small business on a mission to positively impact your local community? Apply now for a chance to win. Over $20,000 in cash and prizes.
Applications are closed. Please check back on Oct 10 to see the semi-finalists.
Here's what you could win
1st Place
The winner is selected by judges at the Finale and gets much needed cash from ODP!
Fan Favorite
This entrepreneur wins the most audience votes and takes home money for their biz.
Finalists Prize Package
Includes a $50 credit at MOO, a headset, video camera & more tech accessories from Dell.


  • You have a team of two or more employees.
  • At least 1+ years in business and generating revenue.
  • Planning to expand or grow in the next 6 months.
  • Dedicated to improving local community or other businesses.

Application deadline: Friday, September 30
Apply and upload video
Answer business questions and upload a 1 min brand video. Workshops and resources are available if you need video help.
Friday, Sep 30
Application and video deadline
Semi-Finalists announced
Vetted by sponsors and Excelerate America’s team, applicants will be narrowed down to 20 Semi-Finalists.
Friday, Oct 7
Semi-Finalists announced
Eight Finalists announced
Through an open-to-the-public voting process, 8 Finalists will compete and pitch at the Grant Competition Finale Event.
Monday, Oct 17
Finalists announced
Time to pitch your business
If you make it to the Finale, you’ll pitch your business to a panel of judges in front of a live virtual audience. Good luck!
Thursday, Nov 3
Grant Competition Finale Event
How to enhance your chances
We’re here to support and guide you through the process. Workshops and presentations will be available leading up to the Finale Event.
Workshop: Branding & Storytelling
Learn how to create a brand video that tells your story in 1 minute and upload it to your Grant application.
Expert Panel: Asking for Money 101
Learn tips about the best practices for pitching and applying for small business grants and loans.
Funding Resources & Reads
Access worksheets, checklists, advice, and more to get your financials and funding in order.
Office Hours & Mentor Sessions
Applicants can meet with mentors and finalists will attend sessions to refine pitching for the Finale Event.
Hear from previous finalists
Take a look at the brilliant businesses from the Spring 2022 competition.
Sabrina Thompson
Girl In Space
“What a great learning experience. It was my first pitch competition, so I didn’t know what to expect. Having a mentor was very helpful!” 
Jason Mercado
Sweet Mission
“Thank you for allowing me to participate as a finalist. It was a complete honor and a great learning experience for me.”
Marianna Sachse
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my story! It really helped me refine and strengthen the pitch.” 
Thank you to our sponsors
They share our commitment to help small business entrepreneurs grow and thrive.
More about the Grant Competition
Excelerate America is excited to host a new Grant Competition in partnership with ODP Business Solutions that showcases small business entrepreneurs working tirelessly to bring their dreams to life while also positively impacting their local communities. Eight finalists will share their stories and virtually pitch to a panel of judges on Thursday, November 3, 2022.

For this Grant Competition, a business brand video must be submitted with every application in order to be considered as one of the 20 Semi-Finalists. Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible through guided brand video workshops and resources throughout the application period. Businesses are also asked to provide a clear and comprehensive description of their businesses in the official application.

The Semi-Finalists selection process consists of vetting by sponsors and the Excelerate America leadership team. These reviewers will narrow down applicants to the top 20 Semi-Finalists.

The Finalists selection process consists of an open-to-the-public voting process. The eight businesses with the most votes as of 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, October 16, 2022 will go on to compete and pitch at the Grant Competition Finale Event. Our eight Finalists will each receive a prize package from sponsors valued at $500.

Our Finale Event will take place virtually within the Excelerate America Collective Discord Server. It will be broadcast and live streamed on YouTube. A panel of judges will select one Grand Prize Winner based upon a specific rubric and to-be-determined criteria. The Finalist with the most online votes will be awarded Fan Favorite.

⁠By submitting an application to the Competition, each Entrant acknowledges that Sponsors may collect and use the submitted information for purposes of the Excelerate America purchasing programs.

This Grant Competition is open to all eligible businesses.

⁠Have any questions? Contact us