EDA Launches $50 Million B2S Program Fostering Innovation and Economic Development

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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Jun 14, 2023

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  • The EDA’s Build to Scale (B2S) program offers a $50 million funding opportunity to support innovators, entrepreneurs, and startups in fostering innovation and economic development.
  • Eligible entities include cities, counties, states, Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, public-private partnerships, and more.
  • The application deadline is July 28, 2023, and the program is administered by the EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Act.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has recently opened applications for its Build to Scale (B2S) program. It is a funding opportunity to support innovators, entrepreneurs, and startups. 

With a budget of $50 million, this program aims to strengthen regional economies, promote equitable ecosystems, and enhance access to capital for technology-driven businesses. By providing financial support, the B2S program will help nurture scalable startups, generate high-skill, and cultivate the industries of the future.

Venture Challenge – Empowering Entrepreneurship

One component of the B2S program is the Venture Challenge, which focuses on fostering high-growth technology entrepreneurship and inclusive access to proven entrepreneurship support models. Through this challenge, grants are available for various funding tiers. 

Pilot or adapted programs can receive grants of up to $750,000, while proven programs can secure grants of up to $2 million to scale their initiatives. Additionally, a new “Ignite” tier has been introduced for FY23, offering up to $300,000 to facilitate regional collaboration and launch new technology-based economic development strategies.

Elevating Access to Capital

The Capital Challenge, another vital aspect of the B2S program, addresses the issue of limited access to capital in communities. It provides operational support for early-stage investment funds, networks, and training programs, focusing on traditional and hybrid equity-based financing. 

Grant amounts in the Capital Challenge vary across funding tiers. Education and connection initiatives for investors and the creation of new funds can receive grants of up to $400,000. Equity-based investment funds seeking to scale and operate can access up to $750,000. It is important to note that these grant funds cannot be utilized as direct investment capital.

Eligibility and Application Details 

Eligibility for the B2S program is open to cities, counties, states, Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and public-private partnerships. Science or research parks, federal labs, venture development organizations, and economic development organizations can also apply for this program. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF) and visit the EDA’s B2S program website for comprehensive information.

Deadline and Program Administration 

11:59 p.m. ET will submit applications for the B2S program on July 28, 2023. The EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is responsible for administering the B2S program, which operates under the authority of Section 27 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Act. This funding allows entrepreneurs and regional stakeholders to access financial support and resources to fuel innovation-driven initiatives.

Conclusion

The EDA’s Build to Scale (B2S) program represents a funding opportunity for innovators, entrepreneurs, and startups seeking to advance their ventures and contribute to regional economic development. With a budget of $50 million, this program aims to foster equitable ecosystems, provide access to capital, and promote technology-driven industries of the future. 

By offering grants through the Venture Challenge and the Capital Challenge, the EDA seeks to empower entrepreneurs and catalyze the growth of scalable startups. Interested individuals and organizations should review the eligibility criteria and submit their applications before the deadline to seize this valuable opportunity for financial support and professional resources.

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