U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that The Water Council is among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program grants.
The RIS program, which is being run by the department’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, and Science and Research Park Development Grants. Secretary Pritzker announced the recipients of the first two funding opportunities on March 30. Recipients of the third grant will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market,” Secretary Pritzker said. “The Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to advance this mission across the United States, strengthening our economy and our global competitiveness.”
The Water Council received $71,625 under the “Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds” program. The grant will help to offset portions of the initial marketing and legal costs associated with the launch of The Water Council’s Water Seed Fund.
“This award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration confirms that southeast Wisconsin is the nation’s leading cluster for the development and commercialization of water technology. The launch of the Water Seed Fund will add the missing piece to the puzzle—technology, entrepreneurs, markets and now capital,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “We are very pleased to be able to continue our work with the Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration.”
Early access to capital is crucial for startups, but can be difficult to obtain outside traditional startup hubs. Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds provide technical assistance funding to support the feasibility, planning, formation or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds, which will help improve access to capital for entrepreneurs across the U.S. The total amount of funding for the U.S. Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds under RIS is nearly $2 million.
Source: The Water Council