Our mission

The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization partnering with rural leaders across the country to build digital economies that support scalable entrepreneurship and lead to more tech jobs in rural America.

CORI is committed to advancing economic prosperity in rural America through a comprehensive range of expertise, programs, and partnerships that ensure all Americans, regardless of geography, are able to participate in our 21st-century digital economy.

Established in 2017, CORI is at the heart of a dynamic social enterprise focused on closing the rural opportunity gap. To maximize all possible resources to address this critical problem, the organization partners with a taxable nonprofit, Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), and a seed fund, CORI Innovation Fund (CIF), focused on early-stage technology companies located in rural areas.

Revitalizing rural America requires new economic development approaches tailored for the 21st century.

Our vision for the future

We are committed to creating a more equitable economic future for rural America.

Right now, 15% of America’s workforce lives in rural America but only 5% of the nation’s tech employment is 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.

We will achieve this goal by building the capacity of rural communities through technical assistance as they develop thriving digital economies, creating a nationwide community of practice for rural leaders to come together and learn, delivering data-driven tools to provide insights to community leaders, ensuring early stage investment flows to rural entrepreneurs, and publishing research on the successful models and practices that rural communities are building.

It’s our time — time to collaborate so that the whole of rural America can become greater than the sum of its parts, to become a force for innovation that investors and markets can no longer ignore.

Because with creativity and relentless optimism we can forge a bright and prosperous future.