EDA accepting applications for its “Build to Scale” program

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced last week that it is accepting applications for the Economic Development Administration’s FY21 “Build to Scale” (B2S) program that is designed to invest in regional economies through scalable start-ups.

A total of $38 million will be deployed to further technology-based economic development initiatives that accelerate high-quality job growth, create more economic opportunities, and support the next generation of industry leading companies. The B2S Notice of Funding Opportunity has been published, and the deadline to apply for the program is April 29.

The FY21 B2S program is comprised of two competitions – the “Venture Challenge” and the “Capital Challenge.” The former seeks to support high-growth entrepreneurship, accelerate company growth in the applicant’s region, and scale proven entrepreneurship support models. The “Capital Challenge” increases access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply by providing operational support for early stage investment funds, angel capital networks, or investor training programs.

Eligibility is open to cities, counties, states, other political subdivisions of states, and Indian tribes. Also eligible are entities supported by a state or political subdivision of a state that is one of the following: a non-profit institution of higher education, public-private partnership, research park, federal lab, venture development organization, economic development organization, or a consortium of them.

The “Venture Challenge” grants have two funding levels – up to $750,000 to build programs and up to $1.5 million to scale programs. The “Capital Challenge” offers grants up to $400,000.

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