In an effort to promote a team oriented form of entrepreneurship, the US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross today announced that 40 organizations including non-profits and institutions of higher education, will receive $21 million in funds to create an expand a new network. This Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program was a competition in which 230 applicants joined in what said to be a Seed Fund Support Program. There are blog posts set up – i6 Challenge and Seed Fund to increase awareness. The system is nationwide and includes states such as Idaho, Utah, Nevada and other smaller states in the west.
There will be another RIS competition on February 1st, 2019 when the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is scheduled to be published on grants.gov. The public is encouraged to start thinking right away to plug into this program to become a participant as it is of course open ended and will be expanding in the future. In the initial offering, there were awardees in defense commercialization projects, a global food systems technology accelerator and a healthcare initiative. Note that there is a community-oriented, rural-focused proof-of-concept center led by a series of colleges and other institutions. Another was an angel investor system that will be implemented in one state, with a view to expand in the future.
Clearly this initiative is grass-roots and by the looks of it, is building a web of connections that will utilize small colleges in rural areas, connecting them to networks with universities across the nation, bringing together entrepreneurs around the country across many industrial sectors and ecosystems.
More on these types of initiatives in the future on our platform.