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Our Mission

Advancing economic prosperity in rural America through the creation of inclusive digital economy ecosystems that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation.

About us

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.

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.

Our approach

Building digital economies in rural America: a more equitable economic future for small towns across the country

Right now, 13% 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 13% 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.

To do this work, we’ve developed a comprehensive approach to digital economic development and identified the Foundational Elements, Necessary Infrastructure and Direct Drivers communities need to build thriving digital economy ecosystems: