RELEASE 09-27-2019: Peninsula Technology Incubator Receives SBA Grant to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Peninsula Technology Incubator Receives SBA Grant to Support Women Entrepreneurs

September 27, 2019
NIA Release: 2019-15

HAMPTON, Va. – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the Peninsula Technology Incubator (PTI) REaKTOR Business Technology Innovation Center as one of 60 nationwide winners of its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). In 2012, the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) worked with the city of Hampton’s Industrial Development Commission to establish the incubator in order to create a program dedicated to economic development driven by entrepreneurship. “We are grateful for the recognition that this grant provides to our award-winning REaKTOR Business Technology Innovation Center. We are also very pleased that this grant will allow us to encourage more women to start and grow businesses, particularly in the high-tech aerospace field,” said Dr. Doug Stanley, President and Executive Director of NIA.

Historically, over two-thirds of the companies involved with PTI were owned by women and minorities.  As part of the continuing evolution of PTI, NIA has branded its incubator program the REaKTOR Business Technology Innovation Center (RBTIC) with a primary focus on unmanned aviation systems.  The program has been quite successful, however none of the new businesses are owned by women.  With the $50,000 award, REaKTOR will develop several women-focused programs.  Daniel Morris, Executive Director of RBTIC, said, “We cannot be more excited about the opportunity to reach out to entrepreneurial women in technology and guide them through developing high potential growth companies from their technology.”

GAFC applicants submitted a brief presentation and an optional two-minute video outlining the organization’s overall approach, experience working with targeted entrepreneur groups, and key metrics to be used to evaluate success.  The awards are designed to infuse a winning accelerator or incubator with additional operating capital to provide focused assistance to entrepreneurs.

Morris has plans for co-hosting education and hands-on workshops designed specifically to guide women through the unique and challenging path of growing their own businesses.  He will expand REaKTOR’s current mentor base of successful female entrepreneurs and businesswomen, reaching out to NIA member universities and government partners, such as NASA.  Programs will be tailored to better fit the needs of women by utilizing tools such as Allay WCM, a flexible childcare app developed by one of the PTI incubator alumni and by providing proposal and technical assistance for women seeking research grants.

For more information about the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, visit: and

For more information about REaKTOR Business Technology Innovation Center, visit:

About the National Institute of Aerospace:

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) is an independent non-profit research, graduate education, and outreach institute located in Hampton, Virginia.

NIA is a national leader in aerospace and aviation research and collaborates with NASA, the FAA, and other government agencies and laboratories, universities, and industry to conduct research and technology development in space exploration, aeronautics and science.

For more information about the National Institute of Aerospace, visit:

Dr. Douglas Stanley
National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Virginia

Daniel Morris
Peninsula Technology Incubator t/a REaKTOR Business Technology Innovation Center