SBA Gems, a new software application for smartphones and tablets that lets small-business owners and entrepreneurs quickly and efficiently find loans, grants and other useful resources, took first-place honors in a nationwide app-development competition sponsored by the Small Business Administration. The Android app also won developer Somesh Kumar a $5,000 first-place prize.
The SBA's "Apps for Entrepreneurs Challenge," was a competition for software developers to build new and useful free tools for small businesses that entrepreneurs can access through their smartphones or tablets to search federal, state and local databases for vital information. Seven winners were named.
The three second-place winners, which received $3,000 each, were CapitalList, which finds federal databases for licenses, awards, proposals and websites; Small Business Toolbox, which locates small-business programs and SBA offices; and SBA Loan Search App, which finds loans, venture capital and tax-incentive programs.
Energy SBA, which finds property rights, oil and gas leases and solar energy potential, was one of three third-place ($2,000) winners. It was joined by SB Alert, which scouts out contracting opportunities and provides push notification, and Everything for the Entrepreneur, which finds Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) solicitations.
The winning apps and other contest submissions can be downloaded at the SBA's "Apps for Entrepreneurs" site.
These new mobile apps complement SBA's mobile application created for iPhone in partnership with Palo Alto Software, the agency said. Users can employ the SBA app to find local Small Business Administration-affiliated advisers and get free one-on-one help with starting and growing their businesses.
"Smartphones and tablets are increasingly the vehicles through which Americans access information," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "This is certainly true of many entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Greater mobility fits with SBA's new focus and is among the steps we are taking to do a better job of connecting entrepreneurs and small-business owners with the tools to help them start or grow their businesses and create jobs."