Venture Challenge

The Venture Challenge seeks to advance technology-based economic development and nurture regional innovation ecosystems that promote the commercialization of new technologies, strengthen growing industry clusters, and lead to the expansion of high-paying economic opportunities in communities, regions, or combinations of regions.  

The Venture Challenge awards grants to intermediary organizations, such as accelerators, universities, municipal governments, and non-profits supporting new business ventures that are: 

  • scalable by nature; 

  • challenging the status quo of established markets; 

  • commercializing technologies; and 

  • furthering job creation within their businesses. 

This competition offers three funding levels—Build, Scale, and Ignite—designed for grantees to implement programming that reflects the maturity and capacity of their respective innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. 

The Venture Challenge invites organizations to submit competitive proposals that seek to support entrepreneurship and accelerate the growth of technology-based companies in their community, region, or combination of regions that are aligned with high-growth industrial clusters. Venture Challenge provides operational support for applicants that are:  

  • piloting or scaling a solution to a demonstrated need; 

  • strengthen economic competitiveness through technology commercialization; 

  • facilitating job creation in high-growth industries; and 

  • building capacity and governance to support regional strategies to promote innovation economies. 

View Past ResourcesView Past Awardees