A Tech Hub Designation is a strong endorsement of a region’s plan to supercharge a critical technology ecosystem and become a global leader over the next decade. Tech Hubs Designees are eligible to apply for the Tech Hubs Phase 2 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF). In Phase 2, EDA will award implementation grants to 5-10 Designated Tech Hubs. Additionally, each of those Hubs receives approximately $40-$70 million across approximately 3-8 projects.
To read the Phase 2 NOFO, click here (PDF).
Tech Hubs Phase II applications
The deadline for Phase 2 applications is 4:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 29, 2023. Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered. However, only applicants that EDA Designated as Tech Hubs in Phase 1 will be permitted to apply to Phase 2.
Here is SOME of what you need to know about Evaluation & Tech Hubs Phase 2. Firstly, each Tech Hubs proposal must develop a comprehensive Evaluation Plan. Secondly, that plan must establish appropriate criteria, goals, and growth/success indicators. Finally, goals, and success indicators must be aligned with the EDA’s vision. A well-versed evaluator will know how to construct the evaluation plan in a meaningful way.
Tech Hubs evaluation plan
An evaluator will be able to demonstrate in the evaluation plan HOW the following (at a minimum) will be achieved and includes the following:
- The funder will require additional data on activities, outputs, and outcomes of the funded investment, in part to fulfill the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).
- EDA anticipates that recipients will be expected to track their engagement activities within the scope of work with project beneficiaries and other project stakeholders.
- The EDA further anticipates recipients will be expected to collect data, using surveys of beneficiaries or clients if necessary, on the outputs and outcomes of project activities, such as jobs created/retained, private investment attracted, the number of strategic plans or economic development tools developed, the number of new business partnerships formed, or the range of new capabilities acquired.
- EDA plans to collect this information using Forms ED-915 (Public Works, Economic Adjustment Infrastructure and Revolving Loan Fund Investments), ED-916 (Semiannual Program Outputs Questionnaire for EDA grantees), ED-917 (Annual Capacity Outcomes Questionnaire for EDA Grantees serving clients), and ED-918 (Annual Capacity Outcomes Questionnaire for EDA Grantees).
Goals and milestones
- Include interim goals or milestones against which the Hub and EDA can monitor progress as well as ultimate desired outcomes.
- Include baseline measures that describe the current state from which to assess any potential changes and should describe how the organization (in collaboration with other consortium members as applicable) will achieve those outcomes.
- Describe and budget for overarching Hub-level evaluation activities in one Component Project, and Component Project-level evaluation activities either in each Component Project application or in the single Component Project that encompasses overarching Hub-level evaluation.
- Use a platform system to track their metrics in a machine-readable format; include a description of their respective platforms or systems and, if no such system exists, should include their acquisition and implementation in the project narrative and budget. Applicants should also be prepared to participate in program evaluation activities required by EDA.
Your Tech Hubs evaluator should
- Be an experienced evaluator or evaluation firm (✓ – We are);
- Be supportive of the innovation ecosystem and promote inclusive economic growth. (✓ – we totally do);
- Have experience working in the innovation and startup ecosystem (✓ – we totally do – this is our jam);
- Be committed to creating regional-scale, technology-driven innovation ecosystems throughout every region of the United States, accelerating emerging technologies, driving economic growth, addressing key societal challenges, and maintaining national competitiveness (✓ – We do);
- Have a working knowledge of all EDA guidelines, protocols, processes, and evaluation requirements (✓ – We totally do).
- Have experience evaluating large-scale ecosystem-change projects (✓ – We totally do);
- Have experience with reporting on project-level outcomes and federally required outcomes (GPRAs) (✓– We do);
We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.