Last year, the SPRINT Challenge was launched to harness America’s entrepreneurial potential to address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.
“The Biden Administration applauds the SPRINT Challenge awardees’ efforts to pivot to help their communities through difficult times quickly,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “American entrepreneurship and innovation will help our country through this coronavirus pandemic and build back better, stronger, and more resilient.”
Awardees include nonprofits, higher education institutions, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations that demonstrated alignment with their region's economic development priorities. Project scopes range widely and include efforts to scale biotechnology and health security efforts, re-open businesses safely, upskill workers, and boost entrepreneurship. Grant recipients received awards between $200,000 and $750,000.
The awardees, selected from a pool of 238 applicants, are located in 25 states and Puerto Rico and will leverage approximately $9 million in additional matching funds from various private and public sector sources.
About the Science Center’s award:
In support of post-pandemic recovery,Proof Positive will deploy the Science Center’s experience in tech-based economic development and its regional network of institutional stakeholders and partners, to help re-ignite the formation, incubation, and acceleration of tech and tech-enabled startups in Greater Philadelphia. Small business owners face mounting challenges in the light of the COVID-19 crisis and those challenges have been shown to disproportionately impact underrepresented innovators, amplifying existing disparities rather than leveling the playing field. This initiative seeks to narrow the resource gap by providing the programming underrepresented founders need in a variety of formats.