The Division of Small Business awards EDGE Grants through a competitive selection process. STEM-based companies can receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses. Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) businesses can get up to $50,000. The funds are provided as a $3 (state) to $1 (business) match. And the Division can provide up to 10 grants per application round (5 STEM/5 Entrepreneur).
Who Is Eligible*
Qualified applications must:
Have been in operation less than 5 years
Employ 10 people or fewer
Be majority located in Delaware
Have not received a previous Strat Fund grant
Applications will be judged by a panel of experts on:
Business need case
Competitive advantage gained
Business viability and likelihood of permanence
MWVBE status of business owner
Business location (DDD and/or Opportunity Zone)
Job creation/revenue growth
Grant funding must be used to expand a business’s viability and sustainability, specifically:
Contact one of the Division’s Regional Business Managers for assistance with your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a company apply if it is not based in Delaware?
A non-Delaware company may apply on the condition that it would relocate at least 51% of its business (employees and real property) to Delaware if awarded a grant. That relocation would need to take place before any funds would be disbursed.
What grants, if previously received, disqualify a company from receiving an EDGE Grant?
A company is not eligible for an EDGE Grant if it has received any money through the Delaware Strategic Fund. This includes money from DTIP (SBIR/STTR). In very rare circumstances, a business may be eligible for an EDGE Grant if the project involved is significantly different from the one that received previous funds. Contact a Regional Business Manager to talk about your specific situation.
What level of confidentiality is provided to applications?
In accordance with state Freedom of Information Act policy, applicants may request confidentiality on items whose disclosure they feel would likely cause them competitive harm or endanger a trade secret.
Can a 501(c)(3) apply?
The grants are primarily intended to assist people building private, for-profit companies. That said, there may be a special circumstance in which a 501(c)(3) would be eligible. Contact one of the Division’s Regional Business Managers to discuss your organization’s eligibility before applying.
Can I apply for a grant if I have not yet formed my business?
Yes, you would apply as a sole proprietorship.
What can count as part of the grantee’s match?
Cash, equipment or any non-state/local-government grants may be included as part of the match provided they are sufficiently tied to the project for which the company is seeking EDGE funding.
Are there any formatting guidelines for the proposal?
Refer to the Tips Sheet for font type and page limit, etc.
For the purpose of eligibility, how are part-time employees counted toward the limit of 10 employees?
Part-time employees count as ½ employees for the purposes of the limit. Full-time employees count as 1. Any employee working fewer than 10 hours per week or fewer than four months per year does not count toward the employee limit.
What is the timeline for the approval process?
Finalist are announced approximately six to eight weeks after an application round closes with the grantees chosen in the following weeks.
The Delaware Division of Small Business, part of the Delaware Department of State, is a service-focused agency committed to supporting businesses starting and growing in Delaware. Small businesses can reach out to the Division for assistance in connecting to the resources and advice to succeed. The Division is a champion for Delaware small businesses and is here to help take companies to the next level.