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Ignite Erie: Beehive Grant

Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs to
Promote Small Business Entrepreneurship in Erie County

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA)

Deadline Date:

09/27/18 Midnight


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Grants to Erie County, Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations, universities, local government authorities, and business investment companies to encourage small business development across the County. Funding is intended to help create new jobs, improve employee retention, initiate and expand Beehives on campuses and in other institutions, and assist entrepreneurs in launching and expanding businesses.

The facilities and activities funded must strive to benefit and focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and small business-based economic development in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

ECGRA’s strategic plan calls on investment in small business development as a key strategy in community revitalization. Beehive* funding is designed to catalyze 501c3, nonprofit organizations such as universities to participate in the economic development system of Erie County. Beehive grants provide vital matching funds to encourage the development of entrepreneurial support services at local institutions that have this purpose in their mission. Beehive applicants should leverage their institutional size and scale to provide entrepreneurs with products and services that are needed to grow the Erie County economy. The institution applying for the Beehive grant should access these funds to help fulfill its mission of regional economic development. (Beehives are not intended to compete with the services offered by the private sector. They are led by mission-driven nonprofits that have discovered a gap in the current system of offerings to entrepreneurs.)

The purpose of the Ignite Erie Beehive Grant of the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) is to spur small business development, build collaboration for business acceleration, and offer a broader spectrum of financing products for starting, growing, and reinventing small business.

The goals of the Beehive grants are to:

- Create and retain jobs by supporting local entrepreneurs/industry through innovation.
- Provide institutions like universities the seed funding to launch and/or expand the services, equipment, and talent necessary to establish a Beehive on their respective campus.
- Continue the industry-university engagement that was started by the Ignite Erie collaborative in 2015.
- Further engage the universities of Erie County and other institutions in providing services necessary to assist entrepreneurs/industry in starting new businesses and expanding existing businesses.

The following are eligible uses of funds:

- Personnel
- Marketing
- Construction
- Contracted Services
- Professional Consultants
- Supplies
- Equipment/Facilities
- Outcomes/Measurement & Tracking

*Beehives are physical, innovation spaces on a university campus or in a publicly accessible facility. They provide equipment, talent, and opportunities for collaboration between institutions and entrepreneurs. The substance of a Beehive is the student-driven interactions that take place between the entrepreneur and university or other institution. Students must be properly matched with the entrepreneur to solve the problem at hand. Those problems include prototype and product development, branding and communications, business intelligence and modeling, market analysis, cybersecurity, engineering, and information technology.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150887

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

A maximum of $250,000 over a total of three years; there is no minimum.

Term of Contract:

Grant contracts will run 3 years with the option to extend 1 year. One option to extend the terms of the contract for a period of 1 year may be permitted by ECGRA.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicant Information:

The applicant for funding shall be an IRS designed 501c3 (including universities), a local government authority, municipal government, a Community Development Financing Institution, or an SBIC approved entity. The applicant must be able to provide proof that they are in good standing with their respective regulatory agency.

The facilities and activities funded must strive to benefit Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Ineligible Organizations:

The organization will be deemed ineligible for funding if it is a state or federal park; an airport or public transportation facility; a for-profit; any municipality or organization that was part of the settlement agreement entered into December 13, 2010 with ECGRA; a public safety organization.

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Schedule:

- Thursday, September 27, 2018: Applications must be submitted by midnight.
- Thursday, October 18, 2018: ECGRA’s board of directors will make the final review and approve funding recommendations.

Application for ECGRA grants shall be completed online.

Program inquiries should be directed to Tom Maggio, ECGRA Grants Manager.

A 1:1 cash match is required for this program. Existence of an endowment does not count toward the match. Gaming funds from other sources cannot be used toward the match. In-kind may not be listed for the match. Fundraising for a previous year’s project, programming, or event does not count toward match. The following are generally considered cash-match contributions: Cash contributed by your organization; equipment or supplies to be purchased by your organization for project, program, or event activities; personnel to be hired by the organization to help with the project, who will not be hired if the grant is not funded; paying for an event brochure and/or its dissemination; grants from other government agencies or foundations.

One application can be submitted per applicant.

Grantees seeking to extend the terms of the contract for an additional year must submit a detailed, written justification for the contract extension for review and consideration by the ECGRA.

For more information about the Beehive Grant program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

For Program inquiries, contact:

Tom Maggio
ECGRA Grants Manager
(814) 897-2694

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Erie County

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