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Useful Stats: Build to Scale’s 10th Anniversary, a historic look at awards

November 16, 2023
By: Conor Gowder

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA’s) annual Build to Scale (B2S) program (previously Regional Innovation Strategies) completed its tenth award cycle this year, with over $270 million in grants across 437 awards since inception in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. FY 2023 was the largest award cycle, totaling $53 million in federal awards across the Venture and Capital Challenges.

Led by the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Build to Scale is designed to increase regional capacity, strengthening ecosystems that equitably and inclusively support technology-based economic development (TBED) practices. Applicants propose projects designed to support entrepreneurs and/or technology acceleration in the program’s Venture Challenge or to develop and support risk capital initiatives in the Capital Challenge (originally Seed Fund Support). More information on the Challenges and their structures can be found here.


FY 2023 Awards

Fifty-three million dollars were distributed across the 60 B2S awards granted in the FY 2023 cycle. EDA awarded approximately $43 million to 40 Venture Challenge grantees, with the remaining $10 million to 20 Capital Challenge grantees.

Awards ranged from $50,000 to $2 million, with an average of $882,500 and a median of $749,400.

See Figure 1 below for award and match amounts for FY 2023 Venture and Capital Challenge awards across the country. Hovering over any point will show more detail on the award, including the project title, award and local match amount, and link to the EDA’s full description of the award.

Figure 1: Award and match amounts for FY 2023 Venture and Capital Challenge awards across the U.S.


Awards were made within 36 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with up to four awards in any given jurisdiction.

Texas and Louisiana both had four awards, followed by California, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio, with three each. Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Vermont each had two awards in their borders, while the remaining 24 had one each.


FY 2014-2023 Awards

The B2S program has grown in the number and value of awards granted since the first were granted in FY 2014; in FY 2014, there were 38 awards for $14.7 million, while in FY 2023, this increased to 60 awards and $53 million. Figure 2 shows award and match amounts for all B2S challenges, FY 2014-23, when available

Figure 2: Award and match amounts for all B2S challenges, FY 2014-23 when available.


Figure 3, below, maps the award and local match amounts for all available B2S challenges.

Like Figure 1, hovering over any point in Figure 3 will show more detail on each award, and clicking on any award type(s) will remove them from the visual to allow for more filtered results.

Figure 3: Award and match amounts for all B2S challenges, FY 2014-23, when available, across the U.S.


Since FY 2014, California has had 27 B2S awards, the most of any state or territory. New York has the next most with 22, followed by Ohio and Texas with 20 each. On average, states and territories had over eight awards over the past ten years.

Seven states (California, Texas, Ohio, New York, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana) had over $10 million across all the awards within their borders, while an additional 12 states and territories had over $5 million and 26 over $1 million. Just seven had under $1 million in total B2S awards granted.

Awards maintained a range of $50,000 to $2 million. However, there was a lower average ($622,000) and median ($500,000) compared to FY 2023’s values ($882,500 and $749,400, respectively). FY 2023, having a higher average and median, shows that the scale of awards has increased well above historic values.

Going forward, the funding for B2S remains to be determined. Both the House and Senate have proposed to maintain the $50 million funding level for the B2S program’s FY 2024 cycle, but because the chambers and White House remain far apart on many other budget matters, B2S funding remains unpredictable.

More information can be found in SSTI’s coverage of FY 2023 awardees and the EDA’s B2S website.


This article was prepared by SSTI using Federal funds under award ED22HDQ3070129 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

useful stats, b2s, eda