Urban Coastal Community Resilience Challenge
$1.5 Million Challenge
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Be a Solution Builder for Urban Coastal Communities

Join our program to develop the next-generation solutions that solve climate change’s many challenges.


The impact of climate change is being experienced at an accelerated rate. In the U.S., over 45% of the population lives in high-population-density coastal areas vulnerable to sea level rise, leaving these communities at higher risk of flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms.

To address the growing demand for innovative solutions, RISE has designed a 12-month challenge program covering Hampton Roads, in coastal Virginia, which is designed to support founders of startups and small- to medium-sized businesses solving the many problems that face coastal cities as a result of climate change. Selected teams will get to work closely with business, government, and tech leaders in Hampton Roads on pilots to validate and potentially commercialize their solutions across the region.

With 1.7 million residents, 10 diverse cities and 9 counties experiencing the highest rates of sea level rise along the East Coast, Hampton Roads presents a rare opportunity: An unbeatable living laboratory for the best climate resilience and adaptation technologies, along with the chance to make a positive impact quickly.

45% of the population lives in areas vulnerable to sea level rise
Supported by
Department of Housing and Urban Development Seal Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Logo
Challenge Topics

Urban Coastal Community Resilience Challenge topics include Flood Management, Protection of Buildings, Data Analytics and Re-Establishing Critical Utilities. Click on the icons below to learn more.

Flood Management
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Protection of Buildings
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Data Analytics
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Re-Establishing Critical Utilities
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Eligibility, Awards & Timelines

For detailed information about the Urban Coastal Community Resilience Challenge, please read the Applicant Guidelines. Still have questions? Check out FAQs or join our webinars.
  • You have to meet the definition of a small business, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration and found here, or be a non-profit entity.
  • Your business has to be able to deploy your solution in Hampton Roads, in southeastern 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, a work plan, and financial projections.
Resilience Innovation Fund

Applicants can apply for up to $300,000 in non-equity funding. RIF awards come in two forms: 1) Grants and 2) Revenue Based Loans.

Resilience Innovation Accelerator

The RISE 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 a $10,000 stipend for their participation.

Resilience Innovation Hub & Testbed

In addition to funding, the winners will also gain access to a suite of benefits including:

  • Assistance with securing real-world pilot sites in Hampton Roads of Virginia
  • Co-working fabrication and workshop space
  • Co-working office space at Assembly in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Datasets
  • Government, technical, and business mentors
  • Feedback from government pilot hosts
  • Regulatory assistance with government funding
  • Introductions to potential investors and customers
  • PR opportunities and media visibility
  • The only ecosystem of coastal resilience entrepreneurs in the U.S.
*All dates are subject to change by RISE
January 10, 2022 — 2PM EST
Application submission deadline
January 24, 2022
Finalists announced
February 17, 2022
Deadline to submit additional documentation, including technical details, a work plan, and financial projections.
March 21 – 31, 2022
Shortlisted Finalists pitches
April, 2022
Winners announced
May, 2022
Deadline for winners to sign contracts
May, 2022
Launch of the Resilience Innovation Accelerator & launch of projects
June 30, 2023
Deadline for project implementation and contract closeout
Our Solutions Builders
“Being part of RISE will give you access to interested and engaged civic partners from the start.”
- Suzie Housley, StormSensor
“The RISE program is a great way to validate the problem, pilot your solution with real users and collect valuable feedback on your products.”
- Juliette Murphy, FloodMapp
“The opportunity to work with RISE has been transformative for our business.”
- Leonard Nelson, Natrx
“They’re very supportive of the companies they fund.”
- April Salas, Re:Public
“Working with RISE has been an amazing opportunity for us.”
- Steven Cai, StormSensor
RISE thanks its current and past Challenge partners for their technical expertise and guidance.