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Deadline: March 24, 2020

U.S. Economic Development Administration: Build to Scale Program

The Build to Scale (B2S) Program (previously Regional Innovation Strategies) hosts a portfolio of grant competitions that further technology-based economic development initiatives that accelerate high quality job growth, create more economic opportunities, and support the future of the next generation of industry leading companies. The Build to Scale Program builds regional economies through scalable startups through the following three separate competitions.

1. The Venture Challenge (formerly the i6 Challenge) seeks to support entrepreneurship and accelerate company growth in communities, regions or combinations of regions. The 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

2. The Capital Challenge (formerly Seed Fund Support) seeks to increase access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply. The Capital Challenge provides operational support for:

  • The formation, launch, or scale of investment funds that seek to invest their capital in scalable startups
  • Organizations with a goal to expand capital deployment within a community, region, or regional industry (i.e., angel networks or investor training programs)

3. The Industry Challenge seeks to support entrepreneurship and accelerate company growth within the Blue Economy. The Blue Economy is generally defined as sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of marine ecosystems. For the purpose of this solicitation the definition is broadened to include freshwater as well as marine activities. The Industry Challenge awards grants to organizations who are:

  • Supporting commercialization of blue economy technologies
  • Improving competitiveness of blue economy startups
  • Increasing connectivity and collaboration between blue economy stakeholders
  • Leveraging the blue economy to support innovation and job creation


  • Venture Challenge: Comprised of two funding levels – 1) Build applicants may not request in excess of $600,000 over the three-year period of performance; and 2) Scale applicants must request greater than $600,000 and may not request in excess of $1,500,000 over the three-year period of performance.
  • Capital Challenge: Awards range up to $300,000 over a 3-year project period.
  • Industry Challenge: Awards range up to $600,000 over a 3-year project period.

Applicants must provide matching share equal to at least 50 percent of the total project cost.


  • A State
  • An Indian tribe
  • A city or other political subdivision of a StateAn entity whose application is supported by a State or a political subdivision of a State and that is— a nonprofit organization, an institution of higher education, a public-private partnership, a science or research park, a Federal laboratory, a venture development organization, or an economic development organization or similar entity
  • A consortium of any of the immediately aforementioned entities

Link: https://www.eda.gov/oie/buildtoscale/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term

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