We are so honored to announce that Makervillage is one of 88 winners nationwide of the annual Growth Accelerator competition of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award comes with a $50,000 cash prize.

Makervillage will match the awarded funds over the next year with memberships, event revenue and sponsorships.

We have big plans for the award funds, which we will use to create two jobs to manage programming and events, technical resources, and support fundraising efforts. This will allow us to nurture more entrepreneurs across the region.

We believe that artisans and creatives are a kind of manufacturer who will increasingly contribute to our regional economy as the market continues to shift towards handcrafted products, software-driven automation, and web-based distribution channels.

Co-founder, Tricia Steele

The SBA received more than 400 applications for the award. Submissions were judged by a panel of experts in entrepreneurship and investment. Our community of artisan and creative entrepreneurs is one of two Georgia-based business accelerators to win the award, and the only one outside of Atlanta.

Watch our submission video

We are grateful to our talented members who helped us create this in less than a week, including:

Music composed by Justin Boyd, 7hills Makerspace member
Voiceover audio production by Manning Burns, Stereotrash Records
Video production by Hillery Sawyer, Speakcheesy & SAI Digital
Camerawork by Pablo Stewart-Harris, 7hills Makerspace member


A big thanks the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission and Georgia Tech, whose Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative gave us official support (and a leg up!) in the SBA competition.

Northwest Georgia has already been successful in implementing several of the goals in our manufacturing strategy,” said Leigh Hopkins of Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute. “The receipt of this SBA grant helps the region meet several of those metrics included in our research and innovation goals.

Click here for a full list of winners and their video submissions.