Local Team Awarded First Place in SC2 Challenge
The economic development proposal by a local team of educators and business professionals has been awarded $500,000 for first place in Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge competition.
Their plan for a Global Opportunities Center was one of six to make the final round of consideration. Read more and watch the news conference video.
SC2 Challenge Winners
First Place - $500,000 – Global Opportunities Center
This plan was entered by a team of professionals from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC A&T State University, Guilford Technical Community College, Bennett College, NC Small Business and Technology Development Center, and Boundless Impact. The Global Opportunities Center would be housed in downtown Greensboro and is designed to leverage the extensive resources of local colleges and universities, corporations, and community partners by connecting and educating students and businesses in innovative ways that result in new global business and career opportunities.
Second Place - $150,000 – Gig G
This plan was entered by Joel Bennett, Larry Cecchini, and Michael Hentschel.The Gig G proposal is based on the design and development of a public-owned gigabit speed Fiber Optic network for community use. The proposal also includes the formation of a 15-501C Gig-G Social Entrepreneurship Fund business model designed to foster business development and acceleration.
Third Place - $100,000 – Gateway University Research Park Testing Center
This plan was entered by representatives from Gateway University Research Park. The proposal describes a testing center that would support the primary technological companies/industries of a community.
Fourth Place - $75,000 - Cityfi
This plan was entered by Andrew Brod and Roch Smith Jr. The Cityfi proposal is based on a true city-wide wi-fi network. It includes the expansion of public wi-fi access beyond the limited range of hot spots in public parks and buildings to locations throughout all of the city’s neighborhoods and business districts.
Fifth Place - $50,000 - Global Greensboro
This plan was entered by Mass Economics, a research and consulting firm based in Massachusetts that specializes in urban economic growth and equity. The Global Greensboro proposal aims to build upon the city and region’s assets by creating distinct local economic specializations that are valued and traded nationally and globally.
Sixth Place – $25,000 - Lifelong Learning City
This plan was entered by the Merrick Group, which features representatives from NC A&T and GTCC. The proposal includes a vision that builds upon Greensboro’s unique educational assets and the new downtown university campus to create the Greensboro Union of Institutions for Learning and Development, called GUILD.
The winning team was the UNCG Office of Research and Economic Development, comprised of professionals from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC A&T State University, Guilford Technical Community College, Bennett College, NC Small Business and Technology Development Center, and Boundless Impact.
Their Global Opportunities Center, proposed for downtown Greensboro, would leverage the resources of local colleges and universities, corporations, and community partners by connecting and educating students and businesses in innovative ways that result in new global business and career opportunities.
The award announcement, which took place during a ceremony Monday, August 17, officially concluded the economic catalyst challenge, which was part of the US Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) SC2 grant the City received in 2012.
Interest in Greensboro’s SC2 Challenge prize competition came from 43 countries, 49 states
and 65 cities. In all, 20 strategic proposals were entered in the competition from multidisciplinary teams. The entries covered a range of economic development themes including workforce development, transportation, alternative energy, technology, place-making, and small business development, among others.
The finalists’ plans were reviewed by a separate committee chaired by Assistant City Manager David Parrish (review list of members).
The economic catalyst challenge is part of the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) grant that the City received in 2012.
Contact the City's SC2 Project Manager Prince John Gaither-Eli at 336-373-7573.