The Nebraska Innovation Hub Act
The Nebraska Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, Legislative Bill 450 during the 2022 Legislative Session creating the Nebraska Innovation Hub Act. The Legislature declared that Innovation hubs could serve as a vital resource for stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship and technology based small businesses in Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) designates innovation hubs within iHub areas to stimulate partnerships economic development and job creation by leveraging iHub partner assets to provide an innovation platform for startup businesses, economic development organizations, business groups, and venture capitalists.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Eligible applicants are private nonprofit corporations locating an iHub within an economic redevelopment area (ERA); or an enterprise zone designated pursuant to the Enterprise Zone Act.
Job creation through rapid technology commercialization is a vital part of the state’s economic well-being. Innovation and technology-driven entrepreneurial activity coupled with venture investment creates small business startups and expansions at an accelerated rate, which leads to significant employment opportunities that contribute to the state’s financial health and economic competitiveness. In order to maintain a healthy state economy and to aid communities, entrepreneurship and technology-based small businesses must be stimulated and supported.
The Nebraska Innovation Hub Act seeks to:
- Stimulate partnerships, economic development, and job creation and support entrepreneurship and technology-based small businesses in Nebraska.
- Accelerate entrepreneurial activity coupled with venture investment
- Increase employment opportunities with start-ups and technology-based small businesses
iHub Grant Funding
The Qualified Census Tract Recovery Grant Program will provide up to $30 million in grants to one or more innovation hubs located in one or more qualified census tracts and within two miles of a major airport providing services and resources within qualified census tracts located within the boundaries of a city of the metropolitan class.
Up to $10 million in grants shall be distributed under the QCT Recovery Grant Program to eligible grantees in qualified census tracts that are located in a city of the primary class. iHubs are eligible grantees, however, the allocation is not expressly for iHubs and is available to other eligible grantees and uses.
Up to $10 million in grants shall be distributed under the QCT Recovery Grant Program to eligible grantees in qualified census tracts that are located outside of a city of the metropolitan class or a city of the primary class. iHubs are eligible grantees, however, the allocation is not expressly for iHubs and is available to other eligible grantees and uses.
Please note, separate iHub grant funding guidance and an application process will be made available for nonprofit corporations designated as an iHub.
Open Date – 11/1/2022 8:00 AM Central Standard Time
Close Date – 6/1/2023 12:00 AM Central Standard Time
Period of Performance: Each iHub designation shall be for a term of five years.
Anticipated Award Date: Applications will be considered and designated every two months on a rolling basis until the cycle closes on June 1, 2023.
Grant Management Resources
This page will provide technical assistance on using AmpliFund to apply for and manage grants awarded by DED.
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Small Business Assistance Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 402-853-1391