Impact Partner Grant

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Call for Proposals What is an Impact Partner? Who is eligible for the Impact Partner Grant? Past Impact Partner Grant Recipients

The Impact Partner Grant provides funding to organizations that help underrepresented innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to start, stay, and grow in Raleigh.

More about the Impact Partner Grant 

Call for Proposals

With much consideration, and to support the response effort, the Office of Economic Development and Innovation has made the decision to suspend the currently open application period for the Impact Partner Grant.

This decision will allow us to best deploy our resources to maximize their impact in supporting our small businesses at this moment.

Impact Partner Grant Making a Difference

What is an Impact Partner?

An Impact Partner, referred to as an Ecosystem Builder in the Kauffman Playbook, is a critical stakeholder within the community that ensures and contributes to the success of a healthy, sustainable, and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ecosystem Builders:

  • create an invisible infrastructure to allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to find resources needed to succeed
  • advocate for local entrepreneurs and their companies
  • bring these entrepreneurs and companies together in collaboration
  • challenge entrepreneurs to grow, and push everyone forward
  • are catalysts, connectors, co-creators, and changemakers.

For the purpose of the grant, we are using the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook to help inform our definition of an Impact Partner.

    Who is eligible for the Impact Partner Grant?

    Eligible sectors targeted by the program include:

    1. Technology and Internet of Things
    2. Consumer Packaged Goods and Products
    3. Design and Creative Industries
    4. Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals
    5. Social Impact and Social Innovation
    6. Professional Services
    7. Workforce Development
    8. Manufacturing and Distribution
    9. Transportation and Logistics
    10. Retail and retail-related services
    11. Non-Profit (non-religious programs)

    Past Impact Partner Grant Recipients

    Out of the 20 applications received five were identified as being a part of the first cohort and each received $25,000 for the implementation of their program or resource.

    • Bunker Labs received funding to create the Veterans in Residence (VIR) Program in Raleigh, an 11-week boot camp for entrepreneurs to go from the ideation of business to a business plan worth presenting to an investor. With leverage from the Impact Partner Grant, Bunker Labs was able to secure additional funding from Google and launch the Veteran in Residence Program.
    • District C has used the grant funding to support Project 84/50, an effort to recruit 84 new entrepreneurs, including 50 underrepresented Raleigh-based entrepreneurs. District C has been highlighted by national outlets including Forbes and EdWeek.
    • Innovate Raleigh created a comprehensive ecosystem asset map and assessment tool, called the Triangle Innovation Hub, that will be used to demonstrate Raleigh’s robust innovation ecosystem. Being true connectors, Innovate Raleigh and District C collaborated to allow students from District C to help build the Triangle Innovation Hub web site as part of an internship with Innovate Raleigh.
    • NC RIoT focused its grant funding toward diversifying the RIoT Acelerator Program (RAP), IoT Education, Smart City Coordination and Cluster Steering. The 2018 RAP Cohort created 78 new jobs and raised $3.5 million in capital.
    • Tech Talent South is using the grant funding to create and run events to connect our area’s tech and entrepreneurial community to help foster the inclusion of individuals with autism. The new program kicked off late Summer 2019.



    Rafael Baptista
    Sr. Manager, Community Economic Development
    1 Exchange Plaza, Suite 727



    Lead Department:
    Economic Development and Innovation
    Service Categories:
    Economic Development and InnovationEntrepreneurship and Innovation 



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