Build to Scale (B2S) Program
The Build to Scale Program builds regional economies through scalable startups through the Venture Challenge and Capital Challenge. Learn more about the full funding opportunity (NOFO) (PDF). Apply here.
EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) leads the Build to Scale (B2S) program, which is authorized under Section 27 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. § 3722). Under the Build to Scale program, EDA manages a portfolio of national grant competitions that further increase the capacities of regions to plan and implement ecosystems that support innovators, entrepreneurs, and startups that are growing technology-driven businesses, creating high-skill, high-wage jobs, and building the industries of the future.
- U.S. Department of Commerce Launches $45 Million FY22 ‘Build to Scale’ Funding Opportunity to Strengthen Regional Innovation Hubs and Invest in Local Business Startups
- 2022 Build to Scale NOFO (PDF)
- 2022 Build to Scale FAQ (PDF)
- 2022 Build to Scale One Pager (PDF)
- Budget and Staffing Plan Template - Optional (XLSX)
- Appendix A – Example Output and Outcome Measures (PDF)
- Appendix B – Document Checklists
- VIDEO: 2021 Build to Scale Competition Debrief Webinar
- VIDEO: 2022 Build to Scale Program Launch Webinar
- VIDEO: 2022 Build to Scale Program FAQ Webinar 1
- VIDEO: 2022 Build to Scale Program FAQ Webinar 2
The FY22 Venture Challenge seeks to advance technology-based economic development and through 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 organizations that enable startups to become the next generation of globally competitive, industry-leading companies and support regions in overcoming barriers that prevent would-be innovators from accessing these opportunities.
This competition offers two funding levels—Build and Scale—designed for grantees to implement programming that reflects the maturity and capacity of their respective innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Competitive applications will demonstrate the ability to generate sustainable added value for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by:
- leveraging unique opportunities to accelerate existing technology-driven industry clusters;
- encouraging technology transfer, innovation, commercialization, and adoption;
- unlocking talent, capital, and other resources that, if left untapped, would inhibit regional innovation capacity and resilience; and
- supporting cluster-aligned companies in expanding access to high-quality jobs.
The FY22 Capital Challenge seeks to increase access to capital, particularly in communities where there is a limited supply of equity-based funding and a demonstrated opportunity to invest in technology-based businesses aligned with growing industry and technology clusters.
Capital Challenge awards provide programmatic and operational support for the formation, launch, or scale of investment funds that seek to invest in scalable startups. This includes eligible entities that work to identify, educate, and connect groups of investors (e.g. angel networks) to facilitate access to equity-based capital within a community, region, or regional industry. These grant funds cannot be used as investment capital.
This competition offers two funding levels—Form and Deploy—designed to catalyze the development and growth of regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems and address barriers to accessing equity-based capital. Competitive applications will demonstrate the ability to generate sustainable value for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by:
- expanding the supply and investment of equity-based capital focused on technology startups;
- increasing the number of regional equity investment managers;
- developing dealflow, conducting due diligence, and closing investment deals; and
- introducing new equity-based investment opportunities that increase access to capital for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs.
EDA will not be hosting the Industry Challenge for the FY22 cycle. Check back for other opportunities in the future.
In 2020, Department of Energy partnered with EDA to provide $4 million in funding to pilot the Industry Challenge, which supports entrepreneurship and accelerate company growth within the Blue Economy for the FY20 cycle.
The FY20 Industry Challenge awarded grants to organizations that:
- supported commercialization of these technologies;
- improved competitiveness of these startups;
- increased connectivity and collaboration between these stakeholders; and
- leveraged the blue economy to support innovation and job creation.
To stay up-to-date on the latest innovation and entrepreneurship program news, including announcements of any future funding opportunities, please check OIE's Highlights page regularly and sign up for EDA’s newsletter.