Person at meeting with tablet with the word technology on screen

Two Southern Vermont Organizations Receive Federal Grants for Tech Startup and Innovation Projects Totaling $4.5 Million

Two southern Vermont organizations – The Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) and the Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region (CEDRR) – have been awarded more than $2.2 million in grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for separate technology-focused economic development programs.  When matching funds are included, the combined projects are valued at $4.5 million.

The grants are part of the EDA’s $47 million  “Build to Scale” grants to organizations that support “technology entrepreneurs, catalyze innovation and fuel economic growth.” According to the EDA, the “Build to Scale” program provides annual grants that aim to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital. The 2022 awardees will leverage an additional $48 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sector sources.

The Vermont grants are part of the EDA’s Venture Challenge, which supports programs that enable high-growth technology entrepreneurship and foster inclusive access to proven entrepreneurship support models.

The Black River Innovation Campus Project

The Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) will receive $1.5 million and provide a local match of $1. 5 million for a $3 million. BRIC and the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation (GMEDC) in White River Junction are partnering to support technology entrepreneurs in the East Central Vermont Economic Development District (ECVEDD). The federally designated East Central Vermont Economic Development District (ECVEDD) consists of 40 towns within parts of Addison, Orange, Rutland, and Windsor Counties in Vermont. This EDA investment will support a new project focused on scaling the network and support needed for technology startups to succeed in rural Vermont.

BRIC and GMEDC will execute a three-pronged strategy, which includes:

  • BRIC scaling its successful Actuator technology entrepreneurship incubator/accelerator program from Springfield to Randolph while developing additional specializations in advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and medical technologies.

  • GMEDC launching an innovation and entrepreneurship hub in Randolph.

  • BRIC and GMEDC executing regional strategies for ecosystem engagement to attract and retain entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and workforce.

Rutland Economic Development Corporation Project

The Rutland Economic Development Corporation will receive $732,919 and provide a local match of $759,768

This EDA investment will help develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem that:

  • Inspires a regional culture and community of tech innovation.
  • Creates and implements a scalable technology support program, the Tech Onramp Program (TOP).
  • Develops a formal mentor and investor network providing tech entrepreneurs the human and financial capital needed to grow and scale their businesses.

The Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region (CEDRR) will launch Rutland’s Tech Startup Incubator (RTSI) with trained staff, specialized programming, space, high-speed internet, and equipment. CEDRR will partner with business development providers, CEDRR members, and higher education partners to open RTSI in a newly-renovated space in downtown Rutland that will attract entrepreneurs who will complete the TOP, from ideation to tech launch.

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