The Build to Scale Venture Challenge

This year, the Economic Development Administration’s Build to Scale Venture Challenge will award approximately $32 million in funding to rural communities, regions, or combinations of regions to support the advancement of local entrepreneurship and innovation.

Is your community ready to apply? What should you consider as you develop your application?

In this webinar, the Center On Rural Innovation (CORI) and Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc (RISI) share best practices to help rural communities develop compelling applications for the Build to Scale Venture Challenge.

The Rural Innovative Initiative, an initiative of CORI and RISI, has helped rural communities raise more than $10M in federal funding and matching dollars through the EDA’s Build to Scale Venture Challenge. In this webinar, CORI and RISI share actionable tips for developing a strategy that clearly communicates your community’s unique assets and vision for fostering local entrepreneurship and innovation.

This webinar answers key questions for communities considering applying for the Build to Scale Challenge, including:

  • What is the EDA’s Build to Scale Venture Challenge?
  • What does my organization need to be ready to apply?
  • Does my project align with the goals of the Venture Challenge?
  • How much money do I need to raise for the Venture Challenge?

Learn from a team of experienced professionals that understand the required planning, coordination and strategy required for winning a Build to Scale Venture Challenge grant.

Additional resources

The EDA has created additional resources to support your Venture Challenge grant application, which you can find here. Additionally, we have created a readiness assessment to help you identify important resources and assets to have in place before getting started.

About the Build to Scale Venture Challenge

Winning a Build to Scale Venture Challenge grant can be transformative for rural communities looking to build inclusive digital economy ecosystems that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation.

This year’s Venture Challenge

In years past, Venture Challenge grants have been awarded to rural communities across the country. This year is no exception…

  • There’s an increase in funding to $38 million
  • 40% is designated for rural communities based on the EDA’s definition of rural

Who should apply?

The Build to Scale Venture Challenge awards grants to intermediary organizations like accelerators, universities, and non-profits supporting new business ventures that are:

  • Scalable by nature
  • Challenging the status quo of markets
  • Commercializing technologies
  • Furthering job creation


Have questions about the webinar or want to learn more about the ways CORI and RISI support rural communities as they build their digital economies? Contact us.

This content was prepared by Rural Innovations Strategies, Inc. using Federal funds under award ED20HDQ3120070 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.