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Recent Research: Broadband Availability and Rural Entrepreneurship

September 29, 2016

Because existing evidence points to the presence of broadband as having a positive connection to the economic health in rural areas, numerous states and the federal government have made increasing broadband in these places a top priority. In particular, many rural areas view broadband as an important tool in attracting entrepreneurs and other creative-class employees. Although this tactic is well intentioned, new research suggests that the association between expanded rural broadband availability and the proliferation of entrepreneurship and creative-class employees may not be as strong as one might think, and that the relationship may actually be negative.

Innovative Funding at the Edges

September 29, 2016

Venture development organizations are reaching into new territory for funding partners and finding success in innovative models. Two new funds, the San Diego Tech & Life Science Investor Syndicate and Rev1 Fund I in Columbus, OH, have recently opened with less traditional funding sources, testing the waters of crowdfunding and heavy corporate backing, respectively. The San Diego fund, launched by CONNECT, allows anyone wanting to invest $1,000 the opportunity to participate alongside more experienced lead investors.

Startup Exits, Valuations Decline in First Half 2016, Reports Find

September 29, 2016

After an extremely strong venture capital market in 2015, the industry seems to show the signs of a decline driven by both cautious and fatigued investors. Three recent studies from Pitchbook and CB Insights indicate that there are several reasons why venture capital firms and other investors have been more cautious so far in 2016 including: mixed economic growth numbers; a volatile political climate; and, more security in private markets.

California College Students Promised New Graduation Incentives

September 29, 2016

Students at several California community colleges as well as California State University (CSU) campuses have access to a new incentive to graduate in four years through new state “promise” programs.  Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. signed SB 412 and AB 1741 creating “promise” programs that act in conjunction with a new 2025 Graduation Initiative, aiming to boost the number of students graduating from those institutions in four years to 40 percent. Success in the programs is intended to help address future workforce needs of California and improve achievement gaps.

Millennials Take on Economy

September 29, 2016

Millennials internalized the effects of the most recent recession and revealed their beliefs about the economy and jobs future in a recent poll conducted by EY, a professional services company, and the Economic Innovation Group. Nearly one-third believe their community is still in a recession and 78 percent are worried about having good-paying job opportunities, according to the poll.

EDA Seeks Comments on Regional Innovation Program

September 29, 2016

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) requests public comment on the overarching regulatory framework for the Regional Innovation Program. Comments should focus on the structure and implementation of the Regional Innovation Program, including Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) grants.

EDA Announces Funding for Entrepreneurial, Workforce Development in OK, PA SC, WY

September 22, 2016

Over the last several months, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced millions of dollars in grants to support tech-based economic development efforts in communities across the country (see recent Digest articles from August 18 and September 8).