EDA awards $29 million in SPRINT Challenge grants

April 08, 2021
By: Connor LaVelle

A total of $29 million in grants will be awarded to 44 organizations across the country as part of the Scaling Pandemic Resilience through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge provided by the Economic Development Administration. The SPRINT Challenge, with grants ranging from between $200,000 to $750,000, was developed last year with the goal of addressing the health and economic risks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic through investments in entrepreneurship and innovation.

The 44 awardees highlight a wide range of organizations, including nonprofits, higher-education institutions, and entrepreneurial-based groups. Among the winners were a number of SSTI members, including:

  • Launch NY ($750,000) – solving challenges to accessing entrepreneurship support and capital caused by coronavirus by transitioning to virtual mentorship and new financing programs for technology-based startup companies.
  • Medical Center of the Americas Foundation working together with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center ($750,000) – establishing a Product Supply and Development Lab to support medical product supply chains and encourage innovation and development of new medical devices and technologies.
  • University City Science Center ($744,230) – creation of an ‘OnRamp to Opportunity’ initiative to support entrepreneurs and tech-based startups within Greater Philadelphia to move from the idea stage towards accelerated growth.
  • University of Louisville ($750,000) – establishing a ‘PRePARE’ program to build relationships between the university and community partners, expediate the development of technologies that mitigate pandemic-related economic, health, and safety risks, and catalyzing the creation of new businesses while supporting the growth of existing businesses.
  • The Vice Chancellor's Office of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development at the University of North Carolina ($750,000) – creation of an entrepreneurial hub with intellectual and technical resources to sustain startup activities moving forward within the Research Triangle area.
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City ($750,000) – lead the Comeback KC Ventures project in uniting the region’s community-based efforts to support the development of early-stage technology-driven interventions that can respond to education, healthcare and digital equity needs.
  • TechTown Detroit at Wayne State University Research and Technology Park ($545,600) – promoting economic recovery and resilience through a holistic strategy that increases regional connectivity in metro Detroit, layered with an innovative entrepreneurship support model.
  • Jumpstart, partnering with the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network ($703,378) – building the resiliency of the Northeastern Ohio region by strengthening  connections between industries, promoting innovation, and advancing ‘smart’ manufacturing to allow for production of new innovations throughout the region.

The full press release for the SPRINT Challenge awardee announcement may be found here. Additional information about each 2021 SPRINT Challenge grant recipient can be accessed here.

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