Fostering real solutions through cross-country collaboration

Launched in 2019, the Rural Innovation Network is a nationwide community of change agents and local leaders working to advance the economic future of small-town America. They have shown ongoing dedication and commitment to advancing the economic future of their community through CORI’s Rural Innovation Initiative, a technical assistance program empowering rural communities as they execute on their ecosystem strategies.

Through the Rural Innovation Network, we connect our members with other rural leaders and advocates working on similar development initiatives at different stages of economic development. We provide access to diverse national resources ranging from access to capital opportunities to national tech job training partnerships. By creating a national network of tech economy ecosystems for our members to access, we are able to accelerate their learning and amplify their work on the ground.


Rural Innovation Network communities

Maps are best viewed on desktop

Network offerings

Network members receive ongoing support, guidance and mentorship from our entire CORI team. They have access to our economic expertise, data and mapping tools, accelerating programming, working groups, and national resources and partnerships to draw from as they advance their tech economy strategies.

Rural economic development expertise

  • Access to expertise on the CORI team
  • Proven models and best practices developed by other rural communities
  • Case studies and research on successful rural ecosystems
  • Custom data and mapping tools to understand local economic dynamics

National partnerships and resources

  • Access to capital opportunities through the CORI Innovation Fund (CIF)
  • World-class national tech job training partners and programs
  • Pro-bono legal support for local tech entrepreneurs
  • Capacity building and professional development opportunities
  • Local, regional, and national press coverage, speaking engagements and marketing support

Nationwide network and community

  • A private online community for network members to exchange ideas and share challenges along with best practices
  • A national network of similarly interested rural tech ecosystem builders
  • A research and development arena to pilot new initiatives and programs
  • Various working groups collaborating on topics from virtual events to attracting remote workers

Meet our communities

Today, these local leaders are focused on educating and training local residents in tech skills (especially those traditionally excluded from the tech industry), employing them in new economy jobs, and empowering them to launch startups that will drive a prosperous 21st-century economy. Diverse in geography, economic origin, and demographics, these communities represent the full spectrum of rural America.

Join the Rural Innovation Network

Communities in the Rural Innovation Network have gone through the Rural Innovation Initiative  process and demonstrated ongoing commitment to their work before they are invited to join the Network. If you would like to be part of our growing community, please visit our Rural Innovation Initiative page to learn more, or contact us about our ongoing informational webinars.

In the meantime, if you are interested in supporting our efforts to serve rural communities across the country, please share more information with us about your community. This data will be used to better inform our efforts and support our current and future Network members.