The United States Economic Development Administration has named Georgia Southern University as one of 51 nationwide grant recipients of the 2022 Build to Scale program.
The university will receive $600,000 in grant funding along with $600,000 in local match funds. The goal is to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital.
The university’s proposal, the “Coastal Empire Regional Ecosystem Strategy,” was selected as a finalist through Build to Scale’s Venture Challenge, which awards organizations that focus on supporting entrepreneurs.
The primary objective is that by 2025, at least 100 prospective or current entrepreneurs will receive assistance through Ecosystem Strategy activities such as mentoring, training, workshops and application preparation for small business financing.
“Securing funding from the Build to Scale Program is a testament that our effort and approach is resonating with funding agencies and that our region is well-positioned to compete on a national scale,” said Georgia Southern associate provost for Innovation and director of the Business Innovation Group Dominique Halaby, DPA.
As a department, the Innovation Group serves as the business and economic development outreach arm for the university. It comprises the Economic Dedelopment University Center, Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research, UGA Small Business Development Center, Innovation Incubator and FabLab.
Over the past decade, the Innovation Group has assisted more than 3,000 entrepreneurs in creating 380 new businesses.
In addition to these internal units, Coastal Empire Regional Ecosystem Strategy also relies on the support of external resource partners like regional municipalities, economic development organizations, and other growth-minded organizations to build an innovative, entrepreneurial ecosystem in the area.
One such partner is The Creative Coast, a nonprofit organization that works to create high-wage, high-tech and creative jobs for Georgians.