IN THE NEWS
Forbes | Sorenson Impact, written in partnership with Matt Dunne | 4/16/2020
Across the country, communities large and small, urban and rural, are feeling the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, rural communities could be more vulnerable to the long-term economic impacts of this crisis. Their economies are built around small businesses, have older workforces, and are highly dependent on industries likely to be disproportionately impacted by current events. The evolving repercussions of COVID-19 have made it clearer than ever: we need to intentionally empower rural communities to design sustainable digital economies that can support distributed workforces and catalyze technology startups. This is how we can ensure the recovery builds a geographically inclusive economy.
STAT | Andrew Joseph | 4/16/2020
As the coronavirus crisis careens toward smaller towns and rural areas, a new data project highlights a stark, looming reality: This pandemic could take a crushing toll on rural areas that are less prepared than many of their urban counterparts.
The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman | 4/14/2020
Hopefully, when Congress gets done allocating several trillion dollars simply to keep the economy afloat, we will be able to have another discussion: What should we invest in so we don’t just burden young Americans with a mountain of new debt, but also arm them with the tools to grow out of it and still prosper in the 21st century?
STAT | Andrew Joseph | 4/11/2020
As Covid-19 spills beyond major metropolitan areas, federal, state, and local officials across the country are scrambling to prepare for an onslaught of cases in smaller communities. The dashboard below uses a host of factors — everything from the relative age of the population to the number of nearby hospital beds and staff — to determine which counties are best prepared for an outbreak and which might need more help.
The Hill | Matt Dunne | 3/30/2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the consequences of America’s “digital divide” on full display. Elderly Americans are forced to travel long distances and risk infection at hospitals — or even go without care — because the lack of rural broadband prevents deployment of telehealth.
Press Release | 2/27/2020
Springfield, VT —The CORI Innovation Fund (CIF) today announced an investment in Voi, Inc, a leader in the use of AI-driven digital technology to provide behavioral healthcare solutions with a focus on detection of and care for those at risk of suicide. This is the second investment made by CIF, a qualified Opportunity Zone fund which invests in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and revenue generation in small towns across America.
Press Release | 1/21/2020
Hartland, VT — The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is excited to announce that it has been selected to join the portfolio of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. CORI’s selection comes as part of DRK’s mission to support the next generation of world-changing social entrepreneurs.
Yahoo Finance | 1/14/2020
MONTROSE, Colo., Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Global leader in connecting and enabling coworking, Proximity Space, Inc., announced today new funding from the CORI Innovation Fund, a qualified opportunity zone fund that invests in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and revenue generation in rural communities.
January 14, 2020
Hartland, VT — CORI Innovation Fund (CIF) closed on its first investment: Proximity Space, Inc., a fast-growing software business based in Montrose, CO that creates technology for managing coworking spaces. The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) launched the CORI Innovation Fund initiative in September 2019 and is excited that Proximity is its first investment. Proximity has demonstrated impressive business growth
PRESS RELEASE | 1/10/20
Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI) today announced that 10 communities from across the country have been chosen in a highly competitive process to participate in the 2020 Rural Innovation Initiative, a technical assistance program supporting rural communities working to create digital economy jobs with an innovation hub strategy.
The 2020 Rural Innovation Initiative participants are:
PRESS RELEASE | 12/10/19
Today, at The Opportunity Project Demo Day and Summit at the U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland, the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) launched the Rural Opportunity Map, a suite of data visualization and mapping tools to help local leaders, national policymakers, investors, and donors see the potential in rural America. The tool contains hundreds of datasets curated to give insights into tech- and innovation-based economic development strategies and opportunities.
PRESS RELEASE | 9/25/19
The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) today announced it will establish the CORI Innovation Fund (CIF), a qualified opportunity zone fund, to invest in the growth of technology-enabled businesses across the United States.
DANIEL OBERHAUS | WIRED | 8/12/19
...In 2016, Dunne founded the nonprofit Center on Rural Innovation, which last year launched the Rural Innovation Initiative to create a network of “hubs” that provide a workplace for remote employees and help train locals in digital skills. Dunne believes his initiative can succeed where other programs have failed by creating a national network where workers trained through the program can connect with one another, and allowing employers to tap into a readymade pool of skilled tech workers.
PRESS RELEASE | 7/31/19
Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), today congratulated three communities on securing i6 Challenge grants via the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies program.
Magnolia Reporter | 7/26/19
As the nature of working life continues to shift away from manual labor and local manufacturing, creating a digital ecosystem will likely prove key to revitalizing rural areas.
This was Matt Dunne’s message to those at the 2019 Breakthrough Solutions conference, held in late June in Little Rock. Dunne, founder and executive director of the Center on Rural Innovation, based in Hartland, VT, delivered a presentation titled “Stemming the Tide: Creating Digital Ecosystems in Rural Areas.”
PRESS RELEASE | 6/27/19
The Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC), the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) and Flatiron School, a global school that specializes in teaching tech skills such as Software Engineering, Data Science and UX/UI Design, today announced a collaboration aimed at helping residents of Springfield and the surrounding area learn new skills that open up digital economy employment opportunities. Instead of paying tuition up front, eligible students can access Flatiron School Income Share Agreements (ISAs), and make payments only after securing an annual income of at least $40,000 (calculated as monthly gross income of at least $3,333.34) upon leaving Flatiron School.
CAREY L. BIRON | Reuters | 5/8/19
Fed up with moving house, free of work constraints and finished with big cities, Kate Yanov took a whole new approach to finding a new family home.
She let it find her.
Under an innovative program, Oklahoma’s second city was actively looking for people just like Yanov to move to Tulsa, seeking residents who would stay at least a year and bring their remote jobs with them.
BILL O'BRIEN | Record Eagle | 4/29/19
By most any measure, the launch of the 20Fathoms technology and entrepreneurship incubator in Downtown Traverse City is a tremendous success.
With 50 members participating and hosting almost two dozen start-up operations since opening last July, 20Fathoms Executive Director Andy Cole said the incubator has vastly exceeded its early forecasts and in less than a year is more than 95 percent self-sufficient.
AMY MILSHTEIN | Oregon Business | 4/22/19
The aha moment, according to Shawn Irvine, struck during an ag-tech meetup in Indy Commons.
A storefront coworking space in downtown Independence, Indy Commons regularly hosts after-hours get-togethers like this. Representatives from government, tech associations and business gather with locals to network, chitchat and hope for the creative collision that sparks the next big idea.
PEGGY LOWE | Marketplace | 4/18/19
A small city in Kansas is determined to prove The Onion wrong.
Folks in Emporia, Kansas, weren’t laughing when the satirical paper named it “best town to escape from” in 2017. In fact, the “brain drain” from rural areas has been a problem across the country for decades. Since 2000, Emporia's population has declined more than 7 percent. It's now home to 24,724 people.
AUDREY CARO | Polk County Itemizer-Observer | 3/5/19
Independence is one of nine communities selected to participate in a rural innovation program. Shawn Irvine, economic development director, spent two days mid-February with representatives from the Center on Rural Innovation, who visited Independence from the East Coast.
TOM KRAMER | Up North Live | 2/20/19
Is northern Michigan becoming a high-tech mecca? Maybe. It certainly gaining a reputation for being a good place for entrepreneurs to set-up home base. And now there’s a new incubator in Traverse City. The incubator has been operating for about seven months and already the success stories are mounting.
RACHEL FERGUS | Republican Eagle | 2/19/19
Red Wing Ignite's successes have landed the incubator a spot in the Rural Innovation Initiative. The Center for Rural Innovation and the Rural Innovation Strategies launched the new program with the intent of supporting rural communities working to create digital economy jobs with an innovation hub strategy.
LUKE MATHESON | Pine Bluff Commercial | 2/13/19
Go Forward Pine Bluff has been selected to participate in a new program that supports rural communities that are working to create jobs related to the digital economy. According to a news release, the initiative is made possible via a cooperative agreement between Rural Innovation Strategies Inc. and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
MARK URBAN | Record Eagle | 2/13/19
Selection as one of nine participants in the 2019 Rural Innovation Initiative is no guarantee of operational funding for 20Fathoms. But the Traverse City technology and entrepreneurship has an advantage as it pursues up to $750,000 in funding opportunities from the United States Economic Development Administration, according to 20Fathoms Executive Director Andy Cole. The funding must be matched by the organization.
DALE ELLIS | Arkansas Democrat Gazette | 2/10/19
Go Forward Pine Bluff took another step forward last week with the announcement that it is among nine cities nationally to be selected to receive technical assistance in applying for up to $750,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration through its i6 Challenge grant program.
PRESS RELEASE | 2/5/19
The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) and its sister organization, Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), today announced the first cohort of communities selected to participate in the Rural Innovation Initiative, a new program supporting rural communities working to create digital economy jobs with an innovation hub strategy. The program is made possible via a cooperative agreement between RISI and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
AIMEE PICCHI | CBS News Money Watch | 1/21/19
Rural America is no longer where many young college graduates want to settle, with some fleeing for urban centers like New York or San Francisco. Aside from the glamour of living in those locations, there may be another culprit for the rural "brain drain" that's occurring across the U.S.: student loan debt.
JOE MILLIKEN | VERMONT JOURNAL | 9/21/2018
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott and Congressman Peter Welch visited Springfield Tuesday, Sept. 18 to join the Springfield Regional Development Corporation and the Center on Rural Innovation in announcing the raising of $1 million for the development of a new economy initiative called The Black River Innovation Campus. The new facility will offer computer science training, digital job training, and an entrepreneur center to help create and cultivate new, innovative jobs for the region.
BY MATTHEW DUNNE | THE HILL | 02/15/18 12:00 PM EST
Buried deep in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 is an interesting prospect for struggling communities. A new program, which calls for governors to establish Opportunity Zones in their states, is meant to encourage private investment in low-income regions across the country.
BY MATTHEW DUNNE | THE HILL | 12/12/17 11:00 AM EST
A forthcoming decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to eliminate net neutrality will instantly undermine a decade's worth of public investment in rural broadband — at the exact moment rural America is ready to realize the economic potential of the digital age.
MELANIE PLENDA | SENTINELSOURCE.COM | 12/11/2017
Did you ever wonder what would have happened if Rapunzel, trapped in that tall tower in the middle of rural nowhere all those years, used her ingenuity and available resources to fashion her hair into some kind of ladder to get herself out? What would have happened if she didn’t wait for a prince to come in, lend a hand and take her far away to find her fortune?
BY ANNA HENSEL | VENTUREBEAT | 11/9/2017 5:20 AM
It’s no secret that while Silicon Valley is gaining jobs, rural America is losing them. A September report from the Economic Innovation Group found that nearly 90 percent of the ZIP codes in the U.S. that qualify as “economically distressed” have fewer than 50,000 people.
BY MATT DUNNE | WIRED | 06/28/17 06:35 AM
Until recently, if you happened to have a medical emergency while driving through Townshend, Vermont, a hamlet of just more than 1,000 people in the southern, rural area of the state, it would do no good to pull out your iPhone. You would have no signal. "The irony was not lost on us that someone next door to the hospital couldn't dial 911 on their cell phone," says Roger Allbee, CEO of the local hospital, Grace Cottage.
STAFF REPORT | VALLEY NEWS | 12/11/2017
The Springfield, Vt. School District is launching a computer science program for middle and high school students, the first of its kind in Vermont, Superintendent Zach McLaughlin announced in a news release last week. The program will start rolling out in January, and is slated to fully materialize in the 2018-2019 school year.