Center for Rural Innovation



The goal of the Tennessee Tech Center for Rural Innovation (TCRI) is to create companies and build economic development by providing technical assistance to main street businesses and entrepreneurs within the tourism, technology, innovation, retail, and agriculture sectors. This U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program’s inputs and outputs seek to create outcomes that increase prosperity throughout the service region, address income disparities, lower poverty levels, and reduce food insecurity. The TCRI accomplishes this goal by spreading the message of innovation and entrepreneurship to the rural service region’s residents to build their own businesses and explore creative options that incorporate:

  • Technical assistance for community, student, and faculty entrepreneurs 
  • Creation, expansion, and attraction of small businesses
  • Positioning existing businesses to create and retain jobs
  • Student experiential work and academic internships
  • Increasing access to capital, loans, and investments
  • Regional strategies for chambers of commerce and business associations
  • Connections to and leveraging of university and community strategic partners and collaborators such as commercialization assistance, research opportunities, grant resources, data collection, etc.

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