Austin College, the Sherman Economic Development Corporation, and the Grayson Small Business Development Center are pleased to announce the 2022 RISE Challenge program.
RISE is a collaboration of the three organizations to support “Raising Innovative Sherman Entrepreneurs.” Through RISE, local officials are cultivating a “homegrown approach” for promoting job creation and business investment at the local level.
The RISE program seeks to award up to $250,000 in cash incentives to entrepreneurs selected through a 4-month-long local competition. All aspects of the program are supported by Austin College, SEDCO, and the Grayson SBDC, each providing a unique resource to aspiring individuals.
“Many cities are recognizing the importance of establishing and cultivating an entrepreneurial ecosystem within their business community,” said Kent Sharp, President of SEDCO. “RISE will allow some of Sherman’s economic development sales tax dollars to be allocated to aspiring young entrepreneurial endeavors in need of capital for growth.”
Manufacturing-related businesses of five years or less in Sherman, as well as in other cities, are invited to compete but must operate within the Sherman city limits to receive the grant. Complete information on eligibility requirements and the application process is available through the competition website at www.RiseInSherman.com.
Competition materials will be submitted through the RISE Challenge submission portal, which is open January 3 through February 3, 2022. Applicants selected to move to a second phase will complete additional steps. Winners will be announced in April 2022.
About Austin College
Founded in 1849, Austin College is a private, 4-year liberal art institution, the oldest college in Texas under its original charter. Austin College’s Morris Entrepreneurship Program, Department of Business Administration and Economics, and the Center for Community & Regional Development will coordinate the RISE Challenge from the initial application process through the competitive judging stage as candidates compete against one another for award funds.
Since 1996, the Sherman Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) has focused on a mission to grow and diversify the economy of Sherman, Texas, and the surrounding area through the addition of new jobs and investment in primary employers. The RISE Challenge, through its financial and educational support of local entrepreneurs, will carry out a primary objective of SEDCO’s strategic plan to develop an innovative ecosystem for Sherman and North Texas.
About Grayson SBDC
The Grayson Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a management counseling service for small businesses, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of Texas and Grayson College. The SBDC will provide training for companies selected for Phase II of the RISE Challenge, including review and assistance with developing a detailed business plan and proforma for submission. 2021 RISE Challenge winners will receive additional counseling throughout the performance period.
Cary Wacker, Director of Strategic Communications & Community Engagement
Kent Sharp, President
Sherman Economic Development Corporation
Dr. Karen Stidham, Executive Director
Grayson Small Business Development Center