Tech accelerator Exponential Impact is one of only two Colorado-based organizations awarded i6 grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program.
Exponential Impact, or XI, applied for and was awarded $750,000, which will be used to continue its work to develop entrepreneurial programs focused on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, XI announced in a news release today.
Through the RIS program, organizations from 28 states and two territories will receive $21 million to create and expand cluster-focused entrepreneurship and technology transfer programs, and early-stage seed fund support.
“This award is a game changer for XI and entrepreneurship in southern Colorado,” Hannah Parsons, CEO of Exponential Impact, said in the release. “XI has experienced tremendous success in our first year with our flagship accelerator program. The investment from the EDA will enable us to expand programs to serve later stage entrepreneurs and increase venture funding in the region.”
Grant funding will provide for the development of the XI Entrepreneurship Apprenticeship, opening a door for startup ventures to work with technical experts for their on-the-job training, according to the release. Programs will also promote the commercialization of new technologies, expansion of proof-of-concept programs, and attraction and deployment of venture funding.
“This funding will allow us to continue supporting economic diversification in our region, increase the cultivation of venture capital opportunities and help develop talent that’s needed for our region,” Parsons said.
XI, a member of the Global Accelerator Network, launched and concluded its first cohort in 2018. Team projects ranged from a new way to track food from farm to table and an AI-driven employee retention platform, to a blockchain-based software solution and a revolutionary IoT remote camera. All teams attracted prospective investors and/or customers and are moving forward with their companies.