Last August, the Department of Commerce announced it would be giving out $10 million in funding through its i6 Challenge program and Seed Fund Support Grants. Today, it unveiled the 25 awardees through the two programs -- both part of the Economic Development Administration's Regional Innovation Strategies -- designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the United States.
“As the driving force behind the Administration’s focus on entrepreneurship, the Department of Commerce is committed to helping set the conditions for innovators and entrepreneurs to test new ideas, take risks, find financing and customers, and ultimately thrive,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The Regional Innovation Strategies program is critical to ensuring that entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market.”
The i6 Challenge is a national competition that makes small, targeted, high-impact investments to support startup creation, innovation, and help turn technology into jobs. The funding supports the development and expansion of new and existing Proof-of-Concept and Commercialization Centers, which help innovators fine tune and scale their innovations to bring new products and services to the market.
The total amount of funding for the i6 Challenge under this RIS round is $8 million. Grantees include:
Seed Fund Support Grants
Seed Fund Support grants provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that provide equity-based investments in early-stage, innovation-based, startups that have high growth potential but that often struggle to secure funding early in their lifecycles.
The total amount of funding for the Seed Fund Support competition under RIS is $2 million. Grantees include:
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