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Here is your source for news related to the Greensboro SC2 Challenge. We welcome your feedback and offer you the opportunity to register today. You may submit suggestions for including press releases here by joining our discussion forums.

Local Team Awarded $500,000 for First Place in SC2 Challenge

Posted:08/17/2015

A strategic economic development plan developed by a local team of educators and business professionals has been awarded $500,000 for first place in the City of Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge prize competition. Their proposal for a Global Opportunities Center was one of six... Read more

Six Finalists Vying for $500,000 in Economic Development Challenge    

Posted:12/17/2014

Six proposals designed to stimulate job growth and business expansion are competing for $500,000 as the City of Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge competition enters phase two. Gig G, a proposal based on the design and development of a publicly-owned gigabit speed Fiber Optic network for use in the Greensboro community, was awarded $55,000 after winning the... Read more

Finalists to be Announced on December 17    

Posted:12/15/2014

Please join the City of Greensboro at 3 pm on Wednesday, December 17 in the plaza level conference room in the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St., as we announce the finalists in the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge. This challenge is rewarding multi-disciplinary teams that are creating strategies that will foster economic growth in our community... Read more

New Phase One Judges Added, Finalists to be Notified December 15    

Posted:12/05/2014

As phase one judging continues, new judges have been added to the evaluation panel. Allison Bramwell, Charles Blackmon, Donna Newton, Penny Whiteheart and J. Leslie Bell are replacing George Durham, Mona Edwards, Derrick Giles, Maurice Green and Janet Mazzurco, who were unable to fulfill their duties as a judge due to time constraints. The new judges received the same training... Read more

Last Week To Register For Greensboro’s National Economic Development Competition    

Posted:07/21/2014

Four days remain to register for the City of Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge. Registration for the SC2 Challenge is free and open to interested individuals and organizations with innovative ideas to help boost Greensboro’s economic development... Read more

Greensboro Hosts Webinar About National Economic Development Competition    

Posted:06/24/2014

The City of Greensboro, North Carolina, will host a webinar on June 30 at 11 a.m. to provide detailed information regarding the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge for interested participants. The competition is part of the initiative launched by the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities... Read more

Greensboro Offers $1 Million in Prizes For Innovative Ideas     April 21

Posted:04/22/2014

The City of Greensboro, N.C. is searching for the perfect idea to spur long-term economic development and growth, and enhance the city’s overall quality of life. As part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge, multidisciplinary teams are invited to submit strategic plans and compete for cash prizes from a pool of $1 million.... Read more

City of Greensboro to promote SC2 Challenge at StartUp Weekend Triad     April 4-6

Posted:04/03/2014

The City of Greensboro is encouraging all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to attend StartUp Weekend Triad (triad.startupweekend.org), a competition to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. Participants will also get the chance to learn about... Read more

City of Greensboro launches its SC2 Challenge Catalyst website

Posted:02/04/2014

The City of Greensboro launches its new Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge Catalyst website. The website offers guidance for: how to participate in the SC2 challenge; how to register and start a team; how to develop your proposal; when to anticipate important deadlines; and all rules and regulations of this challenge... Read more

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Press Release

Posted:08/17/2015

Local Team Awarded $500,000 for First Place in SC2 Challenge

GREENSBORO, NC (August 17, 2015) – A strategic economic development plan developed by a local team of educators and business professionals has been awarded $500,000 for first place in the City of Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge prize competition. Their proposal for a Global Opportunities Center was one of six to make the final round of consideration.

The multidisciplinary winning team was the UNCG Office of Research and Economic Development, comprised of professionals from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC A&T State University, Guilford Technical Community College, Bennett College, the NC Small Business and Technology Development Center, and Boundless Impact. The team’s Global Opportunities Center, proposed for downtown Greensboro, would leverage the resources of local colleges and universities, corporations, and community partners by connecting and educating students and businesses in innovative ways that result in new global business and career opportunities.

“This is the day we’ve all been waiting for,” says Greensboro City Manager Jim Westmoreland about the contest that was launched in early 2014. “The City is honored to have received six economic development strategies to accelerate job growth and business expansion, and we congratulate the winning team for its Global Opportunities Center concept. Those ideas will pave the way for the economic growth of our city.”

The award announcement officially concluded phase two of the economic catalyst challenge, which was part of the US Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) SC2 Visioning Challenge Grant the City received in 2012.

“On behalf of the EDA, I want to congratulate the winning team and all the teams for an outstanding competition,” says Thomas Guevara, EDA’s deputy assistant secretary for regional affairs. “The innovative solutions to strategic economic transition planning will enhance Greensboro’s capacity to develop and execute its own economic vision and strategies.”

The final outcome of the challenge was:

Second Place - $150,000 award - Gig G, submitted by Joel Bennett, Larry Cecchini, and Michael Hentschel.
Based on the design and development of a public-owned gigabit speed Fiber Optic network for community use. The proposal also includes the formation of a 15-501C Gig-G Social Entrepreneurship Fund business model.

Third Place - $100,000 award - Gateway University Research Park Testing Center submitted by Gateway University Research Park representatives.
Describes a testing center that would support the primary technological companies/industries of a community.

Fourth Place - $75,000 award - Cityfi submitted by Andrew Brod and Roch Smith Jr.
Based on a true city-wide Wi-Fi network, the proposal expands 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.

Fifth Place - $50,000 award – Global Greensboro submitted by Mass Economics.
Aims to build upon the city’s and region’s assets by creating distinct local economic specializations that are valued and traded nationally and globally.

Sixth Place - $25,000 award – Lifelong Learning City submitted by The Merrick Group.
Includes a vision that builds upon Greensboro’s unique educational assets and the new downtown university campus to create the Greensboro Union of Institutions for Learning and Development, called GUILD.

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:12/17/2014

Six Finalists Vying for $500,000 in Economic Development Challenge

GREENSBORO, NC (December 17, 2014) – Six proposals designed to stimulate job growth and business expansion are competing for $500,000 as the City of Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge competition enters phase two. Gig G, a proposal based on the design and development of a publicly-owned gigabit speed Fiber Optic network for use in the Greensboro community, was awarded $55,000 after winning the first phase of the prize competition.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan says the proposals offered by the finalists represent part of the future of the city’s economy. “Thanks to the SC2 Challenge and our six finalists, the City of Greensboro will have a new road map for better leveraging its vast and dynamic array of resources in new ways,” says Vaughan. “Greensboro can use these strategies to continue to create a climate for growing higher wage jobs and fostering innovation, as well as paving the way for long-term sustainable growth.” Interest in Greensboro’s SC2 Challenge prize competition came from 43 countries, 49 states and 65 cities. In all, 20 strategic proposals were entered in the competition from multidisciplinary teams. The entries covered a range of economic development themes including workforce development, transportation, alternative energy, technology, place making, and small business development, among others.

Each of the 20 submissions was rated by an evaluation panel assembled by the City. Just 4.2 points separated first-place from sixth-place after the first phase of scoring was tabulated. According to Greensboro City Manager Jim Westmoreland, the City is looking forward to the great opportunities that these proposals represent. “This truly is an exciting day for Greensboro when you think about the prospects of each of these six plans,” says Westmoreland. “If implemented, each of these plans represents economic growth, opportunity, and future success for our city and business community.”

Each of the finalists has the opportunity to enter phase two of the competition, which involves the final teams expanding their proposals by developing a more comprehensive economic development plan with attainable goals and objectives that can lead to implementation. First-place awards $500,000, followed by $150,000 for second-place, $100,000 for third-place, $75,000 for fourth-place, $50,000 for fifth-place, and $25,000 for sixth-place. The finalists’ plans will be reviewed by a separate, five-person selection committee chaired by Westmoreland. The Challenge winner is expected to be announced in spring of 2015.

More information about the SC2 Challenge is online at https://greensboro.sc2prize.com/.

SC2 Challenge Finalists

First-place - $55,000 – Gig G (59.8 points)
This proposal was entered by Joel Bennett, Larry Cecchini, and Michael Hentschel.The Gig G proposal is based on the design and development of a public-owned gigabit speed Fiber Optic network for community use. The proposal also includes the formation of a 15-501C Gig-G Social Entrepreneurship Fund business model designed to foster business development and acceleration.

Second-place - $35,000 – Gateway University Research Park Testing Center (59.7 points)
This proposal was entered by representatives from Gateway University Research Park. The proposal describes a testing center that would support the primary technological companies/industries of a community.

Third-place - $10,000 – Global Greensboro (57.7 points)
This proposal was entered by Mass Economics, a research and consulting firm based in Massachusetts that specializes in urban economic growth and equity. The Global Greensboro proposal aims to build upon the city and region’s assets by creating distinct local economic specializations that are valued and traded by nationally and globally.

Fourth-place – Cityfi (56.6 points)
This proposal was entered by Dr. Andrew Brod and Roch Smith Jr. The Cityfi proposal is based on a true city-wide wi-fi network. It includes the expansion of 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.

Fifth-place – Lifelong Learning City (55.9 points)
This proposal was entered by The Merrick Group, which features professionals and experts from NC A&T and GTCC. The proposal includes a vision that builds upon Greensboro’s unique educational assets and the new downtown university campus to create the Greensboro Union of Institutions for Learning and Development, called GUILD.

Sixth-place – Global Opportunities Center (55.6 points)
This proposal was entered by UNCG’s Office of Research and Economic Development. The team included professional and experts from North Carolina A&T State University, Guilford Technical Community College, Bennett College, the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center, and Boundless Impact. The Global Opportunities Center would be housed in downtown Greensboro and is designed to leverage the extensive resources of local colleges and universities, corporations, and community partners by connecting and educating students and businesses in innovative ways that result in new global business and career opportunities.

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:12/15/2014

Finalists to be Announced on December 17

Please join the City of Greensboro at 3 pm on Wednesday, December 17 in the plaza level conference room in the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St., as we announce the finalists in the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge. This challenge is rewarding multi-disciplinary teams that are creating strategies that will foster economic growth in our community.

These finalists will have the opportunity to compete for a grand prize of $500,000, which will be awarded in spring of 2015. We hope you will join us for this exciting announcement as we take a step closer to realizing new strategies to build tomorrow’s Greensboro.

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:07/21/2014

New Phase One Judges Added, Finalists to be Notified December 15

As phase one judging continues, new judges have been added to the evaluation panel. Allison Bramwell, Charles Blackmon, Donna Newton, Penny Whiteheart and J. Leslie Bell are replacing George Durham, Mona Edwards, Derrick Giles, Maurice Green and Janet Mazzurco, who were unable to fulfill their duties as a judge due to time constraints. The new judges received the same training as the original judges and went through the same vetting process.

Finalists are set to be notified on Monday, December 15. Members of the selection committee for phase two have been chosen and include the following:

Jim Westmoreland, Greensboro City Manager, Chair
Joseph Andrew Williams
John R. Ryan
Rosalind Fuse-Hall
Sue W. Cole

Information about these judges, and the entire evaluation panel, is located under the “Who Decides” link on this website.

For additional information about the SC2 Challenge, view an introductory video here. For more detailed information about the registration process, view a webinar on the competition here.

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:07/21/2014

Last Week To Register For Greensboro’s National Economic Development Competition

GREENSBORO, N.C., July 21, 2014 – Four days remain to register for the City of Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge. Registration for the SC2 Challenge is free and open to interested individuals and organizations with innovative ideas to help boost Greensboro’s economic development. The prize competition offers the unique opportunity to win cash prizes from a pool of $1 million. Registration will close on Thursday, July 24.

Interested individuals or organizations can visit greensboro.sc2prize.com to register, and then have the option to participate and compete. Registrants will have until September 22 to form multidisciplinary teams and submit a strategic proposal to stimulate job growth and business expansion in Greensboro.

“With only a few days left to get involved, we encourage all interested individuals and organizations to register for the SC2 Challenge,” said Prince John Gaither-Eli, project manager for the SC2 Challenge. “The prize competition has received great interest so far and we look forward to the next phase of the competition.”

The SC2 Challenge is part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative launched by the SC2 White House Council and sponsored by the Economic Development Administration. Greensboro is one of three cities selected to administer prize competitions, along with Hartford, Connecticut and Las Vegas, Nevada. Winners of the SC2 Challenge will receive cash prizes from a pool of $1 million.

For additional information about the SC2 Challenge, view an introductory video here. For more detailed information about the registration process, view a webinar on the competition here.

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:06/24/2014

Greensboro Hosts Webinar About National Economic Development Competition

GREENSBORO, N.C., June 24,2014 - The City of Greensboro, North Carolina, will host a webinar on June 30 at 11 a.m. to provide detailed information regarding the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge for interested participants. The competition is part of the initiative launched by the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities, designed to stimulate job growth and business expansion in Greensboro.

Greensboro is accepting registrations for its SC2 Challenge until July 24 from multidisciplinary teams with ideas, strategies and plans to help us build our community. Winners will receive cash prizes from a pool of $1 million.

The webinar will be led by Prince John Gaither-Eli, SC2 Challenge project manager; a representative from the U.S. Economic Development Administration; and Jaison Morgan, president and managing director at The Common Pool. The speakers will explain the competition in detail, walk participants through the registration process, and answer any questions.

To register for the webinar on June 30 at 11 a.m., participants can visit GoToWebinar: at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8200493430087381761.

“The SC2 Challenge is a great way for people to share ideas and plans to improve Greensboro’s infrastructure and quality of life,” said Gaither-Eli. “to help interested individuals get started, we are pleased to offer an informational webinar that will provide a detailed timeline of events and aid in the registration process.”

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:04/22/2014

Greensboro Offers $1 Million in Cash Prizes For Innovative Ideas

The City of Greensboro, N.C. is searching for the perfect idea to spur long-term economic development and growth, and enhance the city’s overall quality of life. As part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge, multidisciplinary teams are invited to submit strategic plans and compete for cash prizes from a pool of $1 million.

The competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, is designed to stimulate job growth and business expansion in Greensboro, as well as Hartford, Conn. and Las Vegas, Nev.

“We are excited to be selected as one of three cities participating in this competition,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “Involvement from a variety of professionals in key industry sectors is crucial for fostering creative and feasible ideas, and ultimately establishing a plan to make Greensboro an even better city. We look forward to seeing what each team has to offer.”

Participants can submit any ideas for economic development, but may elect to focus on Greensboro’s five industry clusters, including aviation, innovative manufacturing, transportation and logistics, life sciences, and specialized business services. Proposals will be evaluated by a panel of judges to determine if they are feasible, local and innovative.

The deadline for registration is July 24, and proposals must be submitted by Sept. 22. For more information about registration, rules and the City of Greensboro, visit greensboro.sc2prize.com.

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:04/03/2014

City of Greensboro to promote SC2 Challenge at StartUp Weekend Triad: April 4-6

The City of Greensboro is encouraging all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to attend StartUp Weekend Triad (triad.startupweekend.org), a competition to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. Participants will also get the chance to learn about Greensboro’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge firsthand from speakers at the event, and receive handouts with additional information.

Similar to StartUp Weekend, the SC2 contest aims to improve the city through innovative and feasible ideas from multidisciplinary teams. To encourage participation and ensure strong proposals, $1 million in prize money has been set aside to reward the winning entries. Registration will run through July 24 of this year.

StartUp Weekend will be held from April 4-6 at Greensboro’s Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship.

# # #


The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).

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Press Release

Posted:02/04/2014

City of Greensboro Launches SC2 Challenge Catalyst Website

The City of Greensboro launches its new Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge Catalyst website. The website offers guidance for: how to participate in the SC2 challenge; how to register and start a team; how to develop your proposal; when to anticipate important deadlines; and all the rules and regulations governing this competition. The purpose of the website is to catalyze participation and exchange among those seeking to strengthen Greensboro's local economy.

The SC2 Challenge will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, taking place now, the City is asking for multi-disciplinary teams to submit proposals to strengthen the local economy. Each proposal must include a specific project that represents the team's strategic approach. However, those teams must register on the website between now and July 24th before they can submit a proposal. The deadline for submitting proposals is September 22, 2014, when teams will submit their proposals through the website. Three proposals will be chosen as the best entries and awarded cash prizes. First place will receive $55,000; second place will receive $35,000; third place will receive $10,000. Each team must complete the proposal requirements, which are detailed on the website. Every team that completes the proposal requirements will receive detailed feedback from credible authorities, and the credentials of those judges is also revealed on the website. Following phase one, selected Finalists will be invited to participate in phase two, based on their scores during phase one (including the three top entries). Those Finalists are then challenged to submit more comprehensive strategic economic development plans for the City of Greensboro.

In May of 2015, six winners will be selected and will divide a total of $900,000 in additional prize funds:

  • 1st place:   $500,000
  • 2nd place:  $150,000
  • 3rd place:   $100,000
  • 4th place:    $  75,000
  • 5th place:    $  50,000
  • 6th place:    $  25,000

A panel of Judges, consisting of business and community leaders throughout Greensboro and a City Council liaison, has been selected by Greensboro to oversee the competition, rate the proposals and plans, and choose the winners of both phases. Those judges will ensure that every proposal or plan that receives an award is suited for Greensboro's local needs, offers a clear pathway to feasible results, and presents innovative solutions to long-standing challenges.

The SC2 Initiative began as a federal program to strengthen local government across the country by helping develop strategies for economic growth. Through a competitive process, select Cities receive vital resources to support job creation and improve local conditions.

Questions? Contact the City's SC2 Challenge Project Manager, Prince John Gaither-Eli at 336-373-7573 or [email protected].

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The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).