Creative Communities Grant

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Spurring Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Your Own Backyard!

The Creative Communities Initiative was created to connect rural and underserved popula- tions with entrepreneurial education, tools and resources. The initiative invites existing orga- nizations and groups to apply for funding to cover program costs in a variety categories that will help foster entrepreneurship. We intend to target the beginning of the entrepreneur pipe- line in order to build a better equipped workforce and provide education on how to launch, grow and maintain a business. We encourage communities to be creative and customize programing that will both highlight the strengths and serve the needs of their region.

Organizations can apply for up to $25,000 in grant(s) to run entrepreneurial focused pro- grams for a one year period between July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. Please note that at a later date we will open applications for a second round of projects to fund programs run between January 1, 2107-December 31, 2017. Below are the program categories that LaunchTN will provide funding for under this initiative. We are also developing a recommended toolkit on our website for turnkey solutions and curriculums to use as a resource. Organizations can apply for single or multiple programs to be run in their region. Applicants must be able to show a need, a solid plan, resources needed to execute the plan, and expected positive results.

For Process Timeline, Proposal Info, Evaluation and Scoring and FAQ’s

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Eligibility & Requirements

  • Programs must be physically run in T2, T3 and T4 counties defined by TN Economic and Community Development to be a resource for those communities and their residents.
  • LaunchTN funds will only cover 20% of overhead costs, with the remaining funds dedicated to programmatic costs.
  • Organizations within T1 counties may apply to run programs for other underrepresented populations within T1 counties. The proposal should include a justifiable case showing which underrepresented population(s) will be participating.
  • Applicants must provide at least 30% of the total budget, which can be in cash, in kind or a combination of the two.

Guidelines for Applicants

Youth-Oriented Workforce Development Programs (K-12)

Educational programs which provide education to students on skills in the STEM career field. Please detail what age range(s) your programs are catered towards, how you are recruiting participants, how you will keep students engaged to create a pipeline for continued learn- ing and how you will track success of programs (i.e-repeat participants vs. new participants etc). Preference will be given to programs with an entrepreneurial component that encourages students to be innovative.

Youth-Oriented Entrepreneurial Education Programs (K-12)

This would include an educational program that teaches students to take an idea, develop a business plan and practice sessions to implement this plan.

Pitch Competitions/Challenges

Competitions should include an application process, a presentation or pitch, a review by judges and awards to winning pitch(es).

Adult Workforce Development Programs

Educational programs focused on teaching new skills to adults in the STEM career field. The goal is to build a stronger technical talent pool for new companies, those relocating to Ten- nessee or existing industry.

Adult Entrepreneurial Education Programs

Educational programs or workshops with predetermined goals and curriculum to teach individuals how to plan, launch, grow and maintain a business. These programs should include other community partners that can continue to provide support to participants after the program has been completed. Examples of these programs would include Co.Starters and/or a business accelerator.

Maker-Space/Co-Working Space

A space where these programs can be held and entrepreneurs and creatives can work in a collaborative space and use the resources provided in these locations. Costs could include equipment for clients.

Creative Communities Overview

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