Norfolk skyline

A Partnership With

LISC Hampton Roads logoRISE logo

POWERED BY

Sentara

Community Resilience Innovation Challenge

$1 million to help underserved coastal communities

Flooding. Excessive heat. Job insecurity. Dated housing. Limited access to healthcare, food and transportation. For millions living in America’s coastal communities, a coastal lifestyle is anything but carefree. This year, RISE and LISC Hampton Roads, with support from Sentara Health, are challenging small businesses and nonprofits to find practical solutions to the core social, economic and environmental problems that have plagued our underserved coastal communities for generations.

01. The Challenge

Be the Solution for America’s Underserved Coastal Communities

Making underserved coastal communities more resilient requires a dependable health infrastructure, economic and job security, affordable housing options and strategies to address environmental hazards. This Challenge has us on the hunt for creative small businesses and nonprofit organizations with solutions that can make a measurable, positive impact on these communities' resilience.

Proposals must be backed by practical implementation plans and the potential for real-world application. We’re offering a total of $1 million of catalytic funding and support for winners to test and grow their solutions and make a tangible difference. Proposals will be evaluated using established metrics and data sources to ensure the most effective strategies for long-term resilience, including the CDC/ATSDR Social Vulnerability Index and the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool.

02. Topic Areas

Seeking Innovations for Health, Housing, Jobs, and Environmental Resilience

Below are suggested topic areas for submissions. However, we are open to considering proposals in other areas if they can clearly demonstrate the potential to meet the Challenge's goals. Submissions will be considered in areas other than those described below if the achievement of the Challenge goal can be demonstrably met. All projects funded by RISE and LISC must be implemented in the greater Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

We welcome innovative solutions that can be applied and commercialized with demonstrated potential for social and economic impact.

Health, Wellness And Safety

Recognizing the influence of socioeconomic factors on health outcomes, we seek innovative solutions that improve healthcare access and quality in underserved coastal communities. Suggested solutions include mobile health clinics, home healthcare services, affordable childcare, insurance models and food security initiatives.

Suggested Areas for Solutions

Mobile Health Clinics

Clinics, equipped with essential medical equipment and staffed by healthcare professionals, that can travel to underserved areas, providing basic healthcare services directly to residents.

Home Healthcare Services

New programs and models that offer access to quality, affordable in-home healthcare services.

Affordable Childcare Programs

New models to reduce barriers to affordable, reliable after-school and summer childcare.

Innovative Insurance Models

New insurance models that are affordable for low-income families, offering basic health coverage and promoting preventive care.

Food Insecurity

Improve food security and access to healthy foods, including meal planning and delivery services.

03. Eligibility and Awards

Resilience Innovation Fund

Applicants can apply for up to $300,000 in non-equity grant funding, with $1 million in total to be awarded.

Resilience Innovation Accelerator

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 Resilience Innovation Accelerator.

Resilience Innovation Hub & Testbed

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

  • Up to $300,000 USD in non-dilutive grant funding
  • Real-world pilot sites in greater Hampton Roads, Virginia
  • Insights and feedback from pilot partners
  • Customized business accelerator curriculum
  • Expert mentorship from government, technical and business leaders
  • PR opportunities and media visibility
  • Introductions to potential investors and customers

04. Challenge Timeline

* All dates are subject to change.

April 15

Challenge Launch

Challenge Launch
April 16 - 1PM EST

Informational Webinar

Every other Tuesday between April 16 and June 6

Informational Webinar
April 30 - 1PM EST

Informational Webinar

Every other Tuesday between April 16 and June 6

Informational Webinar
May 14 - 1PM EST

Informational Webinar

Every other Tuesday between April 16 and June 6

Informational Webinar
May 28 - 1PM EST

Informational Webinar

Every other Tuesday between April 16 and June 6

Informational Webinar
June 6 - 2PM EST

Application Submission Deadline

Application Submission Deadline
July 5

Finalists Announced

Finalists Announced
July 19

Deadline to Submit Additional Documentation if Selected as a Finalist

Deadline to Submit Additional Documentation if Selected as a Finalist
August 2

Shortlisted Finalists Announced

Shortlisted Finalists Announced
Mid-August

Finalists’ Pitch Presentations to the Selection Committee

Finalists’ Pitch Presentations to the Selection Committee
September 1

Winners Announced

Winners Announced

05. Selection Criteria

We’re committed to finding, funding and scaling solutions that enhance resilience in underserved communities. Central to that approach is incorporating the established Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) metrics into the application to help assess submissions.

How It Works:

Phase 1: Tell us which SVI themes or CEJST areas your solution targets. We need a brief yet detailed description of its potential impact.

Phase 2: If you’re selected as a Finalist, you’ll demonstrate how your solution improves resilience in a specific census tract. (If needed, we offer comprehensive support including webinars, email assistance, and additional resources.)

*We are committed to ensuring you have the necessary guidance and tools to successfully navigate this part of the application. We will answer questions through live and recorded webinars, email and additional resources.

06. More Details

Still have questions? Check out our FAQs and register for our live webinars.

Check Out Our Challenge Webinars

  • Apr 16, 2024

    Challenge Webinar One

    Speakers:

    Jay Grant, Executive Director, LISC Hampton Roads
    Paul Robinson, Executive Director, RISE

  • Apr 23, 2024

    Using the SVI and CEJST for your Community Innovation Challenge Submission

    Speakers:

    BETSY HNATH, CHIEF STRATEGY & COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, RISE
    PAUL ROBINSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RISE

  • Apr 30, 2024

    Challenge Webinar Two

    Speaker:

    Sherry Norquist, Sentara

  • May 14, 2024

    Challenge Webinar Three

    Speaker:

    MAURICE JONES, CEO, CENTER FOR FIRST-GENERATION STUDENT SUCCESS

  • May 28, 2024

    Challenge Webinar Four

    Speakers:

    FREDDIE FLETCHER, SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT THE FRANKLIN JOHNSTON GROUP
    MICHAEL SKREBUTENAS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR HOUSING AT LISC

Frequently Asked Questions

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