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Unlocking the Potential

of Rural America

RISI uses data-driven strategies, leading-edge geospatial tools, and digital economy expertise to help partners and clients advance inclusive economic prosperity in small towns across rural America.

RISI has built a team that combines deep rural roots and leadership in world-class organizations to partner with rural communities and support their efforts to build digital economy jobs and businesses that are resistant to the forces of automation and globalization.


RISI’s approach is rooted in collaboration with government, private sector, and non-governmental actors. The RISI leadership team has served in senior positions in the federal government, global technology companies, and leading educational institutions. As a result, the organization is adept at working across sectors and engaging resources and insights from diverse places to design and implement new strategies for catalyzing economic opportunity in rural America. 


Through our work with rural communities across the country, we have helped our partners raise more than $10M in capital from both local sources and federal grants.

Digital Economy Ecosystem Development:

We catalyze our partners’ efforts to build inclusive digital economy ecosystems that support local tech entrepreneurship and job creation. Together with the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), we work with partners in rural communities to develop the ecosystems necessary to support these digital and innovation-based jobs.

Our core activities include:

Technical Assistance:

We deliver technical assistance to our clients as they develop and execute digital economy ecosystem strategies. We provide frameworks and templates, facilitate planning sessions, give feedback, and help identify possible grant sources and partners. Learn more.


Custom Mapping and Data Visualizations: 

We create custom mapping and data visualization tools for our clients to help policymakers, investors, nonprofits, academics, journalists, and local change agents better understand the challenges and opportunities that exist in rural America. Learn more.


Broadband Consulting:

We help clients understand, plan, and execute on fiber-to-the-home network strategies. From initial feasibility studies and engineering designs to business plans and grant strategies, we partner with our clients throughout the entire process. Learn more.