Rural Business Innovation Lab (RBIL) is a cohort-based, entrepreneurial development program to build a peer network dense with innovative ideas, professional expertise, and resources needed for underserved rural entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses.
RBIL aims to harness the current moment of COVID-19 recovery and take what we have learned from previous cohort-based programming to expand our focus on rural innovation businesses in fields like agriculture, ag tech, sustainability, construction, waste management, water reclamation, workforce development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our current industry focus is on accelerating and building resilience within the natural resource and new climate economy value-chain. RBIL has four main objectives:
- Develop a learning network among innovative rural Minnesota and Wisconsin entrepreneurs
- Provide 1-on-1 consulting to cohort members, equipping them with free professional resources to help them scale (such as business planning, grant writing, marketing, and access to capital)
- Create an innovative finance pipeline for rural entrepreneurs
- Utilize robust storytelling methods to highlight these entrepreneurs and empower their communities, generating positive media within the Upper Midwest and beyond.
Application deadline: April 21, 2023