We believe in rural America
We are capacity builders, advocates, connectors, and champions. We empower rural community leaders working to create thriving digital economies that support tech-based entrepreneurship and job creation in the places they call home. Through a comprehensive approach to digital economic development, we help these leaders prove what’s possible in rural America. We do this through:
Digital economy strategies
Helping communities identify local assets, opportunities, gaps, and challenges that factor into building thriving digital economies.
A rural community of practice
Growing a national network of committed rural leaders who are working to advance the economic future of small-town America. This is our Rural Innovation Network.
Rural mapping tools and data
Building rural mapping tools and assembling data to ground the work of our partners and supporters.
Investment in rural entrepreneurs
Making direct investments in early-stage rural technology startups through our seed fund, the CORI Innovation Fund (CIF).
Future of work
Developing a digital workforce in rural America through training programs that identify and support workers of all backgrounds and experiences.
Advocating for rural places to get connected to the last mile, knowing fiber internet is the lifeblood of the digital economy, online learning, telehealth, and innovation.
Stories from across rural America
Our Rural Innovation Network is home to innovators and committed change agents working to advance the economic future of small-town America. Here are some of their stories:
By the numbers
Communities in our Rural Innovation Network have raised more than $18.5 million in federal funding and matching dollars through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s highly competitive Build to Scale Venture Challenge Grant program.
While 15% of America’s workforce lives in rural America, only 5% of tech jobs are in rural areas. By 2030, we want rural America to have 15% of the nation’s digital economy jobs, distributed to match the gender and race demographics of each region.
Use the next/previous buttons to view a series of network testimonials.
Developing vibrant digital economies in rural areas is more important now than ever, and rural communities can only be truly successful by working in collaboration with each other. The Rural Innovation Network is a great asset as we continue to learn from other communities around the nation.
Dia Ghosh, Ada Jobs Foundation
Being able to use my experience to design and launch an innovation hub— a learning and support center for entrepreneurs and digital skills, has been challenging and exhausting, but absolutely fulfilling! It’s exciting to be a member of the team working to implement the plan to revitalize Pine Bluff.
Mildred Franco, The Generator
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our rural community. This is why we are so happy to be partnering with the Rural Innovation Network on our entrepreneurship and small business development activities throughout Durango and our region.
Steve Elias, Fort Lewis College
Join our movement of rural advocates and supporters
You can help us empower the local change agents and entrepreneurs driving innovation in the small towns and communities they call home.
Get resources from our experts
From readiness assessments and community toolkits to interactive maps, data visualization tools, reports, and dashboards, we develop resources that help rural change agents advance their economic development efforts. We support policymakers, investors, nonprofits, academics, and journalists looking to better understand and share what’s happening in small towns and communities across the country.