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NKU awarded federal funds to accelerate economy

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.  — Northern Kentucky University has received a $750,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge. The grant will support NKU’s Collaborative for Economic Engagement, a one-stop innovation hub for businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate economic growth and recovery throughout the region.

NKU launched the collaborative in Covington’s Innovation Alley space last fall to leverage regional agencies and programs to provide the tools that entrepreneurs need to thrive in the post-COVID world. The collaborative serves as a front door for entrepreneurial engagement and outreach, counseling and mentorship, and provides access to the university’s expertise in data analytics, health, logistics and entrepreneurial innovation.

The federal funding advances the collaborative’s goal of building the regional economy and competitiveness through scalable startups and overall entrepreneurial capacity. The additional funding will also help NKU diversify the regional economy by developing a novel support model for rural and underserved entrepreneurs.

In addition to the collaborative, the grant will support numerous other ventures on NKU’s campus—including the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs, the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Program, SoCap Accelerate, and the Center for Economic Analysis and Development—along with community collaborators Aviatra Accelerators, Square1 and MORTAR.