Ecosystem Grants: August 2023

August deadlines are approaching for opportunities from the EDA and Truist Foundation - learn more inside our latest monthly ecosystem grants newsletter

Welcome to the August 2023 Ecosystem Grants blog post! This is a monthly series in which we outline various funding opportunities that ecosystem builders can apply for in order to better support their stakeholders.


Here at EcoMap, we know how critical sources of funding are to the longevity of ecosystem building initiatives.

From providing physical infrastructure such as spaces to digital infrastructure like ecosystem mapping tools (hint hint), these endeavors require time, resources, and stakeholder commitment to reach their full potential. This is where government and foundation funding sources play a vital role in backing ecosystem builders. In this blog post, we will showcase some exciting funding opportunities for ecosystem builders for the month of August.

Summer is heating up and August deadlines are rapidly approaching for some key opportunities: namely the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards (August 4th) and the EDA Tech Hubs Program (August 15th). And while you have a little more time for the EDA Recompete Pilot Program (October 5th), that’ll be due before you know it!

If you want to do a deep dive on either EDA program, be sure to check out our comprehensive posts detailing each opportunity and how you can leverage EcoMap to help meet some of the program goals:

Grants & Fellowships

And before we dive into the specifics of these opportunities, there’s another, non-funding related EDA program that all ecosystem builders should know about: the Economic Recovery Corps fellowship.

Economic Recovery Corps

This unique 2.5-year fellowship is designed for early- to mid-career professionals driven by a passion to facilitate transformative economic change and foster sustainable growth in communities nationwide. As an ERC Fellow, you will work hand in hand with local leaders, driving regional economic development strategies that build long-term resilience. The program offers an exceptional opportunity for professional growth, providing fellows with comprehensive development opportunities, including mentorship, coaching, and the opportunity to pursue Economic Development Certification training, all while partnering with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Fellows receive a generous stipend and the chance to grow their network exponentially, engaging with a nationwide network of diverse practitioners and leaders. If you’re excited about making a substantial, transformative impact, eager to join a nationwide network of innovators, and committed to promoting equitable economic development, apply to be an ERC Fellow today. Applications are open until August 15, 2023.

Take the first step towards becoming a change leader in your community – start your application now!

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program (Tech Hubs for short)

Agency Hosting: Economic Development Administration (EDA)

Headline: Millions of dollars up for grabs in initial funding for 20 newly designated Tech Hubs across the country along with hundreds of millions more available in a Phase 2.

Brief Description: The primary goals of this program are to build capacity and infrastructure for translational research at U.S. Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and to enhance their role in regional innovation ecosystems. In addition, this program seeks to effectively train graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in translational research, benefiting them across a range of career options.

Eligibility: No solo applicants allowed – this is a team game. Only consortia, comprising various entities within a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), are eligible to apply for the Tech Hubs Program. It must include at least one (1) of:: Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), state/local/tribal govts, industry groups/firms in relevant technology sector, economic development organizations focused on science/tech/entrepreneurship, and labor/workforce training organizations.

Award Amount: The EDA is giving Strategy Development Grants of between $400,000 – $500,000 for organizations who request it. Otherwise you can just apply for Tech Hub Designation and be eligible for Phase II funding that is estimated to be between $50,000,000 – $75,000,000 per org (will require a successful Phase I application now and a separate application down the road)

Deadline: August 15th, 2023

Submission Requirements: Here are the solicitation details

Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete Pilot Program for short)

Agency Hosting: Economic Development Administration (EDA)

Headline: $200 Million Funding Opportunity to Spark Economic Transformation Across Distressed Communities in America

Brief Description: The Recompete Pilot Program, authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, is investing $200 million to revitalize distressed communities and bridge the employment gap. This program focuses on geographically diverse areas where prime-age employment lags behind the national average. It offers two phases of funding, with Phase 1 supporting strategy development and Phase 2 supporting implementation activities.

Eligibility: Non-profits, universities, and city/regional/state govt or economic development agencies in certain designated “Distressed Areas”. In order to see if you are eligible, please use the government’s Recompete Eligibility Mapping Tool.

Award Amount: Strategy Development Grants for Phase I are expected to be between $250,000 – $500,000. Phase II funding is expected to average $20,000,000 per awardee (must win a Phase I to be eligible to apply for Phase II)

Deadline: October 5th, 2023

Submission Requirements: Here are the solicitation details

Truist Foundation Inspire Awards

Host: The Truist Foundation & MIT SOLVE

Headline: Truist Foundation wants to fund innovative and transformative solutions creating and/or leveraging technology that changes the game for small businesses in the United States!

Brief Description: Truist Foundation and MIT Solve are launching the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards for the second year, with a focus on technology-driven solutions for small businesses. Technologies such as platforms, apps, software, and management tools play a crucial role in addressing challenges related to financial readiness, business development, scaling, internal financial health, employee advancement, and data and impact. Nonprofit organizations with innovative tech-enabled solutions are invited to apply.

Eligibility: All 501(c)3 non-profits based in the U.S. that are deploying technology-based solutions

Award Amount: 15 semi-finalists will receive $10K and programming throughout the rest of the year, culminating in a April 2024 pitch event. First prize is $250,000, second prize is $150,000, and five additional finalists will get $25,000.

Deadline: August 4th, 2023

Submission Requirements: Here are the solicitation details

Want to explore how an EcoMap can help you be competitive with these grant opportunities? Book a time below to chat!

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