The Innovation Institute seeks to encourage the development of entrepreneur-led economic development strategies through its Strong Entrepreneur Ecosystems Solicitation. Entrepreneur-led economic development strategies put successful local founders at the heart of development initiatives to understand their unique needs and align Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) and resources in the community around a common mission of helping more local entrepreneurs succeed. These strategies are meant to create feedback loops between entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, and other local decision-makers that ensure local entrepreneur ecosystems address the needs of founders and foster conditions for entrepreneurial success.
The Strong Entrepreneur Ecosystems Solicitation intends to aid ESOs in their efforts to enhance collaboration and connectivity among stakeholders in their local startup communities and regional entrepreneur ecosystem.
The Strong Entrepreneur Ecosystems funding opportunity is administered in two phases:
Applicants are asked to submit proposals for $25,000 planning grants intended to encourage the creation of regional coalitions of entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders to assess the current state of the ecosystem and create or scale networks, programs, and/or activities that meet the needs of local entrepreneurs at every stage of their entrepreneurial journeys.
- Enhance connectivity within the supporting infrastructure of local entrepreneur ecosystems;
- Address the needs of local entrepreneurs;
- Foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship;
- Increase employment opportunities; and
- Attract private capital to regions across the Commonwealth.
Potential follow-on awards will be made available for up to $200,000 for the implementation of projects outlined in the strategic plans submitted by the finalists at the end of the planning period.
To encourage sustainability and collective ownership within regional ecosystems, the Innovation Institute will require Phase Two finalists to identify sources of matching funds equal to at least 20% of grant funding requested for implementation. Please note that matching funds are not required for Phase One Planning Grants.
Respondents must be a non-profit entity located in Massachusetts to be eligible to apply for this program.
A question and answer information session will be held on March 9, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. Register Now
How to Apply
Proposals must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2022. Respondents are encouraged to read the RFP carefully and conform to its requirements.