The US Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is excited to announce the 2015 RIS Program Competition, which includes $10 MM to support two unique grant opportunities this year:

  1. i6 Challenge: The i6 Challenge is a national competition based on national models for startup creation, innovation, and commercialization with the most impact. In an effort to promote and support inclusion, EDA expects to award up to $2.5 million of the total $8 million to projects that provide services to rural areas, and applicants that create specific outreach plans to populations and communities that are underrepresented in innovation and entrepreneurship and that propose specific, quantitative metrics to measure the effectiveness of those plans will receive special consideration.
  2. Seed Fund Support: These cluster grants provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that are offered to innovation-based, growth-oriented start-up companies in exchange for equity. Funds must include job creation in their consideration for issuing capital, and funds that reach out to underrepresented communities and populations and measure the effectiveness of that outreach will receive special consideration.

The EDA is excited to provide a few opportunities in the coming weeks to get you more information and answer any questions you may have:

Tuesday, August 18: White House Rural Council and USDA co-hosted webinar (RIS rural component). The White House Rural Council, US Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship invite you to attend the 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program Opportunities for Rural Communities Webinar.


Date:        Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Time:       2:30 p.m. EDT
Host(s):    White House Rural Council
US Department of Agriculture
US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration


New to the program this year, up to $2.5 MM of the i6 competition funds will be awarded to rural organizations focused on expanding capabilities for entrepreneurs. Special considerations will be given to applicants prioritizing populations and communities that are underrepresented in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Join us August 18th at 2:30 pm EDT. This webinar will outline the parameters of each competition, discuss tips on the application process, and provide general guidance on ways to build a competitive proposal. After the formal presentation, OIE will open the session for Q&A. Please submit any questions you have ahead of time via email to oie@eda.gov, using the subject line, “Questions for Rural Webinar.”

To register for the Webinar click here: cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/

In addition to the webinar on the 18th of August there are two other opportunities to learn more about the funding on August 12th and 13th:

  • Wednesday, August 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET: EDA Twitter Chat featuring Brad Feld, hosted by @US_EDA and OIE Director @ChiefMuse (use #RISP15 to ask questions)
  • Thursday, August 13 at 4:00 p.m. ET: SSTI hosted webinar (general RIS)
    to register for this webinar click here: ssti.memberclicks.net/

For more information on the funding and the EDA follow this link: http://www.eda.gov/oie/ris/


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