The Rural Coastal Community Resilience Challenge represents a rare opportunity for game-changing entrepreneurs: The chance to pilot innovative solutions in the living laboratory of coastal Virginia and make a positive impact quickly.
The impact of climate change is being experienced at an accelerated rate, and coastal communities are on the frontlines. In the U.S. alone, more than 45% of the population lives in areas vulnerable to sea level rise, leaving them at risk of shoreline erosion, flooding and storms.
While all coastal communities share common environmental hazards, with thousands of miles of shoreline, rural coastal Virginia is uniquely vulnerable to storms and flooding associated with tides and extreme precipitation, which are exacerbated by climate change and sea level rise.
Exposure to broad rivers and the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean intensify coastal erosion, risking private property and public infrastructure. Saltwater intrusion is also a threat to well water quality and to coastal farms and forests. The region’s heavy reliance on septic systems for wastewater disposal presents both economic and public health challenges.Apply Now
Rural Coastal Community Resilience Challenge topics focus on Flood Management, Protection of Buildings and Property, and Water Quality Management. Click on the icons below to learn more.
- Living Shoreline Vegetation Production
- Rural Drainage Improvement
- Use and Application of Dredge Materials
- Integrated Coastal Property Design
- Existing Building Rehabilitation
- Property Accessibility
- Septic System Design
- Buildings' Water System Redesign
- You have to be a business entity.
- Your business has to be able to deploy your solution in the Middle Peninsula of Virginia, either by yourselves or by hiring a local partner.
- Your solution has to be at the prototype stage or later.
- If you are selected as a finalist, you will be required to submit additional documentation, including technical details of your solution and a work plan.
- Finalists will be required to register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC).
Applicants can apply for up to $200,000 in non-equity grant funding.
The Selection Committee may recommend making the award (or a portion of it) contingent upon refinement of a business plan and/or work plan. In such case, the winners may be required to participate in a two-month Resilience Innovation Accelerator. Each winner will receive up to $10,000 for their participation.
In addition to funding, the winners will also gain access to a suite of benefits including:
- Real-world pilot sites in the rural Middle Peninsula of Virginia
- Feedback from government pilot hosts
- Government, technical, and business mentors
- Regulatory assistance with permits and government funding
- University R&D assistance and interns
- Co-working office space in the Middle Peninsula of Virginia
- Co-working fabrication facility in Hampton Roads of Virginia
- PR opportunities and media visibility
- Introductions to potential investors and customers
- The only ecosystem of coastal resilience entrepreneurs in the U.S.