San Diego Business Journal

Two San Diego business accelerators were each awarded $50,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The two winners, the Rosie Network and Stella Labs, will put the cash prize toward programs supporting local startups and entrepreneurs.

The Rosie Network, founded by Stephanie Brown, provides a listing of veteran-owned businesses and builds programs to help military spouses start their own businesses. Brown started the company while her husband, a Navy Admiral, was deployed.

“As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran who went on to become a business owner in California, I believe in the American Dream of small business ownership,” Brown said in a news release. “The Rosie Network has been serving our active duty, veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs for almost a decade. This grant demonstrates the SBA's commitment to those who serve in uniform and allows us to continue to empower the next generation of military business owners with no cost training, resources and mentorship.”

Mah started Hera Labs — now known as Stella Labs — to support women-owned businesses. The accelerator has since grown to support two programs in Solana Beach and National City.

“Both The Rosie Network and Stella Labs have provided inspiration and exceptional resources to San Diego’s small business community for many years,” SBA San Diego District Director Ruben Garcia said in a news release. “SBA’s San Diego District Office has partnered with them on various projects over the years and look forward to strengthening our relationships.”

A total of 60 programs across the U.S. were selected as winners for the SBA’s competition, receiving a total of $3 million in awards.