Rural Tech Economy Junior Consulting Intern – Summer 2023

Center on Rural Innovation

Location: Hartland, VT

Type: Internship

Education: High School Diploma / GED

Experience: Less than 1 year

Rural America is a place of untapped potential. As an organization, we believe it takes a culture of collaboration — one built upon integrityrespect, and trust — to achieve equity and help rural people and places take on meaningful roles in the 21st-century tech economy.

About Us

Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI) is a social impact nonprofit consulting firm with a multi-disciplinary team of strategists, advocates, and capacity builders.

Our capabilities reflect the depth and breadth of our commitment to serve rural America, and the local leaders there working to advance tech-enabled economic development. Our work provides critical support to secure funding, develop infrastructure, and implement the programs needed to unlock the potential of America’s small towns and cities.

Rural America is home to 12% of the U.S. workforce, but just 5% of the tech workforce. In the age of innovation, this disparity has led to an unprecedented economic divide in our nation. We work with rural communities across the country as they build tech economies that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation. From assessments and strategic planning to securing funding and launching accelerators, our team supports communities through the entirety of their tech-based economic development journey.

RISI and its collaborating organization, the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), are headquartered in a historic general store building in the village of Hartland, Vermont, part of New England’s Upper Valley and greater Dartmouth College region.

About the Role

Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI) is looking to hire a Rural Tech Junior Economy Consulting Intern who will be responsible for collaborating with the Rural Innovation Initiative staff on client- facing projects that are focused on different, core aspects of tech-based economic development. RISI works closely with The Center on Rural Innovation to execute these projects in support of rural communities. Interns can expect to work from our Hartland, VT office on multiple days on a weekly basis depending on their project assignment(s).

Potential projects include:

  • Work directly with rural communities to collect and manage data on all active startups in our national network
  • Create resources for startup community leaders to launch and operate startup programs and events (e.g., pitch events)
  • Supporting the facilitation of workshops for rural communities seeking to build tech economy ecosystems – including preparing tools and templates for community leaders
  • Supporting the daily administration and operations of community cohorts that are identifying strategies and plans to build their tech economy ecosystems
  • Creating, curating, and sharing a guide to federal, state, and regional resources that can be leveraged to support tech-based economic development in rural places

Projects will be matched to the interest and experience of applicants. This experience will allow interns to gain direct client experience, experience first-hand economic development in rural communities, and see how RISI and the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) directly support communities who are building tech economies in their backyards.


  • Learn the strategies required to develop inclusive tech economy ecosystems in rural areas
  • Perform a range of research, writing, and copy-editing tasks related to rural economic development with a specific eye towards entrepreneurship for communities, foundations, or other clients
  • Participate in interviews with industry experts and local stakeholders to inform our strategic recommendations
  • Communicate technical topics to non-technical audiences; write for both business and casual audiences
  • Create clear, actionable slide decks, presentations, templates, and other written materials that move our community partners forward
  • Potentially contribute to business development for the organization


Education and Experience:

  • Current undergraduate student with an interest in rural entrepreneurship-led economic development and federal grants
  • Relevant coursework or experiences in public policy, political science, economics, or entrepreneurship
  • Exceptional writing, editing, proofreading, and verbal communication skills
  • Strong computer skills, including use of Google Enterprise tools, web-based tools and databases
  • Demonstrated strength in rigorous analysis and structured problem solving
    • Self-directed, and able to thrive in a collaborative team environment
    • Attentive to detail and curiosity in learning new, technical material

Physical Requirements:

Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.

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