Delaware has a long tradition of entrepreneurship and can-do spirit, enabled by a solid network of investors and business-development organizations.
Delaware SBDC (Small Business Development Center) partners with the Technology Transfer Center at the University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships to help the state’s entrepreneurial, technology and business community achieve new heights of economic development. In particular, SBDC can supply expertise in technology transfer, commercialization, market analysis and intellectual-property protection. In collaboration with the Pennsylvania SBDC, Delaware SBDC has created a Delaware Valley Resource Map that points the way to other helpful organizations.
Formed to promote entrepreneurialism in the state, First State Innovation (FSI) helps tech startups and other small businesses find capital, talent and funding. FSI also provides commercialization assistance and access to its own investor group, the FSI Angel Network.
State government offers additional assistance to entrepreneurs. The Delaware Department of State Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism collaborates with businesses to help them with the resources they need and provide contact with legislators. Export Delaware, an office within the Delaware Department of State, was created to help Delaware businesses find new customers overseas, connect with seasoned export professionals and identify grants to cover export-related expenses.
Economic development in the state is led by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP), a public-private partnership that taps private-sector expertise and state resources to grow Delaware’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.
For businesses that need to navigate the government-contracting process, Delaware PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center) is the premier resource.
At the local level, the Kent Economic Partnership, Sussex Economic Development Action Committee and New Castle County Office of Economic Development provide new and existing businesses in their area with the resources they need to thrive.
Delaware has a robust network of investors providing startup capital, including Angel Investment Network Mid-Atlantic, Delaware Crossing Investor Group and First State Angels. Companies in search of funding also benefit from the proximity of Philadelphia’s investor community. In one recent example, Delaware Crossing Investor Group teamed with Philadelphia-based Robin Hood Ventures to raise a $540,000 seed round for New Castle-based ThruPore Technologies.
Angel Investment Network Mid-Atlantic
The regional branch of the Angel Investment Network that services Delaware and neighboring states. The network provides a platform to connect with and pitch ideas to potential investors in the area.
Delaware Crossing Investor Group
A network of former and current executives and entrepreneurs who back companies with investment capital and provide guidance to entrepreneurs in the greater Philadelphia area.
Delaware Department of State Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism
The state’s business-development arm connects small businesses and entrepreneurs with resources to help them start, grow and succeed. It also works to attract new businesses to Delaware and help them get established here.
Delaware Prosperity Partnership
This public-private partnership leads economic-development efforts for the state, tapping into private-sector expertise along with state resources.
Delaware PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center)
PTAC connects businesses with the information and resources they need to navigate the complex government-contracting process. Its services are provided at little or no charge.
Delaware SBDC (Small Business Development Center)
The Delaware SBDC is part of the University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (see p. 135). Both organizations are guided by a mission to develop the university and state’s entrepreneurial, technology and business community.
Export Delaware provides First State companies with the resources they need to expand into overseas markets. That includes organizing overseas trips to meet potential customers.
First State Angels
A Delaware-based network of accredited investors looking to fund startup and early-stage projects in the state. Provides startup capital as well as guidance to ensure sustainability and business growth.
First State Innovation
First State Innovation focuses on increasing Delaware’s entrepreneurial capacity by helping tech-based and early-stage businesses find seed capital, alternative funding, skilled staff and other resources.
Kent Economic Partnership
The partnership works to attract new businesses to the area, while ensuring that established companies continue to thrive.
New Castle County Office of Economic Development
The office’s main priority is to help new, developing and existing businesses grow and contribute to the local economy. That includes helping local and national companies navigate government regulations and the permitting process.
SCORE provides free, confidential, face-to-face interactions with certified business mentors.
Sussex County Economic Development
Led by Director of Economic Development William Pfaff, this
agency is dedicated to advancing business in 25 Sussex towns, including its renowned beach resorts.
Sussex Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC)
Located within eight hours of a third of the eastern U.S. population, Sussex County offers an array of opportunities for businesses. SEDAC is committed to helping businesses get established, expand and continue to thrive.
U.S. Small Business Administration – Delaware District Office
All the resources of the SBA — including loans and grants — are at your fingertips, located in the heart of Wilmington.
University of Delaware Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships
The office’s mission is to guide entrepreneurs from ideas to the marketplace, facilitating patent applications and other steps in setting up a business.
University of Delaware Startup Launchpad
The university’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics created this program to provide training to entrepreneurs with innovative business models, especially tech-focused ones. The program teaches startup methods in workshops led by UD instructors.
Wilmington Economic Development Corporation/Delaware Community Development Corporation
These organizations provide financing for growth and expansion to businesses in Wilmington and all of Delaware, respectively.
World Trade Center Delaware
The Delaware branch of the World Trade Centers Association is a nonprofit that helps Delaware companies succeed in the global marketplace in every sector — from agriculture to tech to defense.