City announces finalists for Strong Cities, Strong Communities grants
GREENSBORO, NC − Six finalists are vying for $500,000 in the city’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities economic development competition, the city announced today. Gig G ranked first among the finalists and was awarded $55,000 as part of the first phase of the competition, according to a news release.
Gig G, proposed by Joe Bennett, Larry Cecchini and Michael Hentschel, would develop a publicly-owned gigabit speed fiber optic network for use in the city.
The other finalists are:
- Gateway University Research Park Testing Center, awarded $35,000. Representatives from Gateway University Research Park propose a testing center that would support the primary technological companies/industries of a community.
- Global Greensboro, $10,000. Mass Economics, a research and consulting firm based in Massachusetts, wants to build upon the region’s assets by creating distinct local economic specializations that are valued nationally and globally.
- Cityfi, proposed by Andrew Brod and Roch Smith Jr., would expand 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.
- Lifelong Learning City, proposed by The Merrick Group, would create the Greensboro Union of Institutions for Learning and Development, called GUILD, building upon the city’s educational assets and the new downtown university campus.
- Global Opportunities Center, proposed by UNCG’s Office of Research and Economic Development, would leverage the resources of local colleges and universities, corporations, and community partners by connecting and educating students and businesses in ways that create new global business and career opportunities.
The city received 20 proposals as part of the competition. The city will announce a winner in the spring. Prizes will include $500,000 for the first-place winner, as well as prizes of $150,000, $100,000, $75,000, $50,000 and $25,000.
Read more about the competition here.