Headshot of Suzi Housley for StormSensor

“We would encourage startups and new technologies in the civic space to apply to RISE Challenges. Being part of RISE will give you access to interested and engaged civic partners from the start. RISE funding allows you to envision what an ideal deployment would look like, and it will give you the opportunity to put it into practice and test out that concept.”

Testimonial with headshot of Leonard Nelson

“The opportunity to work with RISE has been transformative for our business. RISE has a deep understanding of resilience problems faced by coastal communities, and in particular stakeholders in the Hampton Roads area. They provide additional perspective and networking opportunities (including with other RISE award winners) that we might miss as a commercial business focused on our existing customers and technology.”

Headshot of Juliette Murphy of FloodMapp

“Working with RISE has given us the opportunity to work with organizations and communities suffering directly from the problems we are solving. The RISE program is a great way to validate the problem, pilot your solution with real users and customers, and collect valuable feedback on your products as you commercialize them.”

April headshot from Re:Public with testimonial

“We would recommend RISE to any companies considering applying to future Challenges, they’re very supportive of the companies that they fund. The introductions RISE helped us make in Hampton Roads led to a pilot project in the region.”

Testimonial from StormSensor from Steven Cal

“Working with RISE has been an amazing opportunity for us. It is tough to be a startup selling to the public sector, which tends to be slower-moving, risk-averse, and needs to see an abundance of evidence and case studies to act. RISE has been more than helpful in aiding us through the process and connecting us to local leaders in the Hampton Roads region.”

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Forerunner is piloting and scaling new decision-support software features that can estimate citywide per-property flood damage potential for disaster planning and insurance purposes.

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Hosta Labs

Hosta Labs is expanding its automated analysis of images of houses to provide insights on measurements, materials and layouts for property insurance carriers and home improvement companies.

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Smart Walls Construction

Smart Walls Construction is advancing and piloting deployable telescopic walls to protect coastal cities from floods and storm surges more affordably and without permanently blocking the view of the water.

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StormSensor is developing and piloting new Terrapin-AI features to detect clogs in stormwater systems to help cities prioritize maintenance and reduce flood risk.

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Zilper Trenchless

Zilper Trenchless is advancing and piloting trenchless pipe-laying technology that minimizes the excavation and significantly reduces the costs of laying water pipes underground.

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True Flood Risk

True Flood Risk is advancing and piloting its patent-pending online tool that instantly estimates structural height of properties without a manual onsite inspection.

Constructis Logo

Constructis is advancing and piloting novel technology that harnesses kinetic energy from traffic to generate and store electricity that can power emergency services.

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Building Resilient Solutions

Building Resilient Solutions is piloting networks of moisture sensors to assess flood damage for existing buildings and create empirical data on effectiveness of flood retrofit materials and techniques to inform effective mitigation approach.

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InfraSGA is developing a novel bio-retention system that reduces flooding in constrained urban areas while decreasing the design, construction and maintenance costs.

Virginia PACE Authority

Virginia PACE Authority is scaling an innovative financing solution that unlocks private capital for resilience improvements to commercial properties, and accelerates match-making between funders and flood mitigation projects.


Natrx is developing mobile manufacturing units to efficiently produce nature-based, custom shoreline protection structures that reduce flooding while enhancing ecological outcomes.


Re:Public is piloting a map-based platform to quickly access and communicate community risk information about flood impacts and evaluate cost-benefit of resilience investments.

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StormSensor is developing and piloting new software tools that provide real-time tracking of stormwater systems, alerts of tidal backflow, and predictive analytics to prevent flooding, decrease costs, and help prioritize retrofits.

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Wetlands Watch

Wetlands Watch is training and certifying resilience workforce to design, install and maintain nature-based solutions to reduce flooding in built-out areas more effectively and affordably.

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Resilience Enterprise Solutions

Resilience Enterprise Solutions is establishing the nation’s first Home Raising Academy, providing workforce training in the home elevation industry to protect existing buildings in flood-prone areas while reducing the cost of home raising.

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Grow Oyster Reefs

Grow Oyster Reefs uses its oyster-nutritious concrete formula to manufacture patented and scalable oyster growing products, including the GROW_ReefTile and GROW_ReefDisk, to deliver shoreline protection, build ecosystems and clean our waters.

Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge

Meet four finalists developing solutions to reroute drivers in real time to avoid flooded roads.

Logo for GZA GeoEnvironmental
GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

GZA GeoEnvironmental specializes in natural hazard risk management and provides geotechnical, environmental, water, and construction management services.

FloodMapp Logo

FloodMapp provides real-time, asset-specific flood forecasting and mapping products to help improve all phases of the emergency management process: before, during and after.

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FernLeaf Interactive

FernLeaf Interactive provides resilience decision support solutions to empower communities to make the right investment for climate adaptation.

Baird Innovation Engineered
Baird Innovation Engineered

Baird Innovation Engineered specializes in professional services exclusively for projects at the land-water interface.

Solution Builders

Learn more from six solution builders of the past $1.5M Coastal Community Resilience Challenges

Sign up for updates about their projects.


Building Resilient Solutions

Reducing flood-damage through alternative retrofit methods for existing buildings.



Harnessing kinetic energy from traffic to power emergency services.


Grow Oyster Reefs

Reducing shoreline erosion and flooding with innovative reef tiles that attract oysters faster than competitor solutions.



Reducing nuisance flooding in constrained urban environment without massive infrastructure overhauls.


Landscape Resilience Partnership

Training resilience workforce to design, install and maintain flood-reducing solutions.


Resilience Enterprise Solutions

Raising the bar for workforce training in the home raising industry.

Past Challenges

The Challenges sought innovative products, approaches, and workforce development programs from anywhere in the world that address resilience topics below and can be demonstrated in the Hampton Roads region of Southeastern Virginia, can be built into economically viable businesses, and are scalable to other communities.


Cost-effective management of ground- storm- and/or tidal water, either as affordable short-term mitigations or low-maintenance long-term options in urban environments with high water tables.


Big data analytics, integration, and accessibility for multiple applications to help coastal community stakeholders maintain public safety, meet logistics needs, protect property, as well as enhance quality of life among other applications.


Structural or non-structural alternatives beyond traditional approaches such as costly house elevation that individual homeowners could buy that protects buildings for 15 – 30 years in the flood environment, or that are cost effective protections against the higher frequency, lower magnitude recurrent flooding.

Critical Systems

Portable systems deployable within 2 hours and able to provide 72 hours of continuous functionality to critical services.


Enhance the economic prosperity of low/moderate income urban neighborhoods which have been disconnected physically, economically and digitally from the rest of a thriving city.


Innovative workforce development solutions that offer pathways to train, retrain, upskill, or reskill workers, as well as connect them to the demands of employers around any of the five resilience topics described above.