EDGE (Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion) grows Delaware’s economy by providing funding to promising early-stage businesses to level the playing field against larger, more established competitors.
The business can spend the money on expenses that help improve the company’s long-term chances of success, such as a marketing campaign to help acquire more customers or purchasing a needed piece of equipment that can increase production capacity.
Since EDGE launched in 2019, more than $2 million has been awarded to 35 promising Delaware small businesses in industries ranging from wearable technology to agribusiness to craft brewing.
EDGE Round 4 is now open for applications! Visit the EDGE webpage for more information and to apply.
1440 Film Co. is a full-service video production company located in Wilmington that specializes in commercials, documentaries, and branded content. The company will use grant funding to purchase a cargo van and various grip filmmaking equipment in order to continue delivering high-quality work that is creative, engaging, and makes an impact on its clients.
Aqua Science LLC is a biotechnology start-up that supplies high-quality testing solutions for the water quality testing market, including biosensor-based products, lab services, or complementary products sourced from others. The company created a BioLight product line used for toxicity testing of water and soil by municipalities, industrial companies, and utilities who demand high-quality results and adherence to regulation. They will use the grant funding to develop a luminometer to be used with the BioLight kits.
When Jon Talkington and JR Walker opened the Brimming Horn Meadery in Milton, Delaware in 2017 they had no idea how quickly their niche corner of the market would grow. Fast forward to 2021 and now the meadery is yet again expanding their horizons into the food truck industry. With their newly acquired EDGE funding, Jon and JR will be opening a Viking-themed food truck to complement their meads and serve their hungry clientele.
Curative Sciences is an early-stage life science start-up developing a comprehensive treatment platform for Oral Mucositis, tissue swelling in the mouth often caused by cancer treatment. The platform includes light-based therapy as well as oral care products for the management of intermediate to long-term oral side effects of cancer therapy. The grant will allow Curative Sciences to develop the next generation of their light-based therapy device.
This veteran-owned company acquires tools and equipment on a consignment basis and offers them for sale at fair market prices from a brick-and-mortar industrial facility in Newark. The company will use its grant to lease, build out, and open a second location in or near Newark, and equip their existing location with an integrated system to receive, inspect, clean, and repair tools more efficiently.
Founded in late 2019 by Kwaku Temeng, Desikant Technologies created technology that incorporates electronics into protective gear to actively exchange warm, humid interior air with cooler, drier ambient air. The company’s current project is developing and testing a cooling vest that surgeons can wear to prevent heat exhaustion during long surgeries. Desikant will use its grant to add new capabilities (intelligent, automatic operation) to its technology toolkit and pave the way for developing products for demanding, high value, and profitable applications.
Making Seaford a better place, one storefront at a time is exactly what Craig de Mariana Aleman and his family are all about. With their EDGE funding, Doña Maria will be expanding their restaurant outside and offering hand-dipped ice cream services to locals. While dining outside, customers will also be able to enjoy a beautiful new mural that Craig will commission, highlighting a local artist.
Elite Feet is a local, family-owned and operated retail specialty running store that sells high quality footwear and apparel for the entire family. The company will use grant funds to create a mobile retail store in a climate-controlled trailer. The mobile trailer will allow customers to be fitted for and purchase athletic shoes while attending races or other events, increasing the company’s profits and return on investment.
Jami Jackson has grown her once small online boutique shop to a brick-and-mortar storefront in Harbeson, Delaware where her clients receive excellent customer service and one-of-a-kind pieces. With her EDGE funding, Jackson plans on investing in new inventory to grow sales, with hopes to bring on a new employee who can help her better serve her patrons in Delaware and the 29 other states that she ships to currently.
Founder Eugene Delle Donne launched Grail Sports LLC during the summer of 2018 with aspirations to penetrate the sports media world. After evolving from specializing in online blogging and podcasts, in January 2021, Grail Sports entered into a lease agreement to acquire a 24,000 square foot gymnasium to create an elite training facility for youth programs called the Grail Sports Complex. EDGE grant funding will be used to renovate the lower level of the sports complex to allow Grail Sports the opportunity to offer indoor training in multiple sports.
Always looking to solve problems, Newark’s Kasai Guthrie will be utilizing his EDGE funding to enable young adults to learn how to responsibly manage money and eventually hopes to transform his clients into entrepreneurs. Neggster, Guthrie’s new banking app, will teach its users how to better oversee their funds and to guide them to a more prosperous future.
Vickie George, co-founder of Paragon Life and Fitness, believes that engaging in exercise should not be just for the elite or the able-bodied, and inclusiveness should have a place in the fitness industry. Paragon Life and Fitness plans to use its EDGE grant funding to open a fitness facility for adults and people with physical disabilities that will include wheelchair/dual accessible equipment.
This company was established to commercialize technology to help mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The grant will make it possible for Resonate Forward to develop a manufacturable prototype and design for their RMband device that mitigates tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In addition, grant funds will also be used to help the company secure research/office space at the University of Delaware’s STAR campus.
Charles “Cheeks” Kelchner and his business partners are passionate about great things – specifically, street tacos served from their food truck, Taco Jardin, located at the Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna. Chef Cheeks will be utilizing his newly obtained EDGE funding to purchase another food truck to take his fare on the road throughout Kent County.
Tempest Risk Management provides world class business continuity and disaster recovery solutions to businesses and communities enabling them to survive and thrive. EDGE grant funding will be used to build and launch the Tempest Risk Management Portal giving Delaware’s small and medium business owners instant access to critical resources when they are needed during a business emergency or disruption.
This company purchases and renovates single-family homes in Wilmington which it leases to nonprofits and governmental entities to house families in need of housing and supportive services. It will use the grant to purchase and renovate additional homes.
This company makes an extremely fast-charging and safe battery, which can enable a less than 10-minute charge for E-mobility applications, such as enabling an electric vehicle to go 200 miles on a 10-minute charge. 2M will use the grant to scale up production to meet customer demand.
This company is focused on commercializing binder-free carbon nanotube sheets made using its proprietary processes. The sheets are superior filtration/separation membranes and electromagnetic interference shielding material for a host of industries including bioprocessing, defense, consumer electronics and automotive. The company will use its grant to acquire additional lab equipment and for marketing.
This company is developing sustainable products from biomass, such as that which is produced in beer manufacturing. It will use the grant to scale up its chemical process, increase production capacity and attract larger commercial customers.
This company developed a way of integrating sensors into textiles that can be used to monitor a patient during physical rehabilitation. It will use the grant to scale up manufacturing to increase production and expand applications.
This company developed a hydrogel-based system that allows the body to absorb pharmaceuticals more efficiently. It will use its grant for critical equipment for R&D services for pharmaceutical companies and to conduct toxicology studies.
This woman-owned business operates a successful blow out-bar in Greenville called Blo Blow Dry Bar. It will use the grant to move to a larger space which will enable it to expand its staff and serve more customers.
This woman-owned business installs commercial signs and awnings in southern Delaware and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It will use the grant to purchase a second bucket truck to better meet demand for the company’s services.
This minority- and woman-owned business plans to open a home-style, soul food restaurant in downtown Dover. The owner already sells her food at the city’s weekly farmers market. She will use the grant to help build a commercial kitchen in the building she plans to use for her restaurant.
This woman-owned business develops medical simulation equipment to train healthcare professionals. It will use the grant accelerate its efforts to market its products to hospital systems across the U.S.
This woman-owned business processes industrial hemp and extracts CBD oil. It will use its grant to purchase the equipment it needs to extract and process the oil at scale, helping it to meet the growing demand for this product.
The company is developing a hybrid, non-GMO variety of wheat which may help ease the world’s shortage of the grain. It will use the grant for achieving two milestones critical for launching seed production.
The company uses light (photobiomodulation) to treat diseases and injuries affecting the brain. It will use the grant to complete a preliminary study to investigate the technology as a possible treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
This spin-out company from the University of Delaware is using a new class of hydroxide exchange membranes to power zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles. It will use the grant to rent larger laboratory space and market to potential new customers.
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.