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Unleashing the Potential

of Rural America


We help our partners find opportunity in rural America through strategic consulting, digital economy ecosystem development, and custom geospatial tools.

Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc (RISI) is dedicated to helping clients bring prosperity to rural areas in the digital age.

We use data-driven strategies, modern geospatial tools, and deep experience in rural economies to develop new modes of rural economic development for communities and stakeholder organizations.

Our core activities include:

The Rural Innovation Initiative (RII):

Many rural community leaders have realized that for their towns to stay economically healthy and competitive, they need to create an environment where innovation-based jobs and businesses can thrive.. Digital economy ecosystems have sprung up naturally in cities, but with some strategic programming and partnerships, small towns can embrace digital economies as well.

Together with the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), we work with rural communities to develop the ecosystems necessary to support  these digital and innovation-based jobs.

The Rural Innovation Initiative (RII) selects communities to receive intensive technical assistance as they execute an innovation hub strategy: an economic development model that works to educate and train local residents in digital skills, employ them in new economy jobs, and empower them to launch the startups that will drive their digital economy.

Additional information and the RII application can be found here.

Targeted Digital economy ecosystem development: 

The Rural Innovation Initiative targets communities that have made initial progress developing their digital economy ecosystems.  Many communities need additional support before they reach this level of development. We offer targeted engagement to communities that need additional support and resources as they define and develop their efforts. 


Site selection and deployment strategy

Site selection in rural America requires a comprehensive understanding of socioeconomic trends and on-the-ground conditions today, and sophisticated anticipation of how rural areas will change in the coming decades. Whether you are deploying new technology, expanding programming, or making investments, we can help you determine exactly where to deploy.


Custom mapping tool creation

Mapping and geospatial analysis tools are powerful instruments to help understand opportunities across geographies. With our extensive knowledge of rural economies, markets, and trends, we help our partners design and build mapping tools to implement rural engagement strategies.


Data analytics

We live in a world full of data, and rural areas are no exception. However, deriving insights from rural socioeconomic datasets takes special considerations due to the inherent challenges in rural data coverage, data granularity, and the relative sparseness of the population. Our strategy team and talented data scientists can help you understand it all.

Want to learn more about our work, or explore whether digital economy ecosystem development is right for your town? Contact us here.