Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
October 25, 2022 | Tom Ballard

CORI helping rural communities grow their tech economies

Helping grow higher wage technology jobs in rural communities is an important priority for many states including Tennessee.

With that as a backdrop, we took note of seven rural communities that secured more than $12.8 million under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) “Build to Scale” program by working with the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI).

Established in 2017, it is a Vermont-based national nonprofit committed to advancing economic prosperity in rural America through the creation of inclusive tech economy ecosystems that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation. To maximize all possible resources to address this critical problem facing rural areas, CORI partners with a taxable nonprofit (Rural Innovation Strategies Inc.) and the CORI Innovation Fund that is focused on early stage technology companies located in rural areas.

Five of the seven rural communities that successfully won grants under the EDA program are spotlighted in this recent article. In addition, CORI has received funding from the Walton Family Foundation to bring its Rural Innovation Initiative program to the Black Belt and the Mississippi-Arkansas Delta regions of the southeast. That initiative is described here.

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