Dallas’ Waymaker Group To Collaborate with the NSF and MIT’s The Engine on $9.5M Innovation Platform

Waymaker Group will collaborate with MIT's The Engine Accelerator as the operational and services partner, and provide NSF's awardees with education, resources, and extensive support services.

Waymaker Group, a Dallas-based technology-based economic development firm, is partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s The Engine Accelerator to support the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The NSF said it has committed to a three-year funding plan for MIT’s The Engine Accelerator, investing $9.5 million. The investment will enable the accelerator to create and manage the NSF Regional Innovation Engines Builder Platform.

Waymaker Group—which focuses on jumpstarting innovation ecosystems in emerging cities—will collaborate with The Engine as the operational and services partner, and provide NSF’s awardees with education, resources, and extensive support services.

“Waymaker Group has been catalyzing growth for mid-market cities, driving innovation economies, and championing economic equity across America for over a decade,” Waymaker founder and CEO Julie Huls said in a statement. “Our strategic partnership will help awardees plan the buildout of their projects, source future funding, and most of all, enable proven technology growth strategies in the awarded regions. We’re excited to get our boots on the ground and work closely with the awardees.”

Emily Knight, president of The Engine Accelerator, said that over the last seven years, “The Engine has helped build the Tough Tech ecosystem from an idea to a vibrant community supporting teams taking on the biggest challenges facing society. We look forward to using the lessons from those experiences to help realize the vision NSF had for the Builder Platform and supporting the awardees as they build their individual ecosystem.”

Boosting innovation in regions and cities

The Builder Platform will support 10 teams across 18 states helping each region leverage the initial NSF investment of $15 million for two years. NSF’s initial $150 million investment in these 10 regions is being matched nearly two to one in commitments from state and local governments, other federal agencies, philanthropy, and private industry, Waymaker said.

Waymaker said its partnership and expertise help city leaders plan and source funding for mixed-use innovation spaces, develop clusters, attract anchor tenants and build diverse talent pipelines.

Waymaker Group is also a certified woman-owned small business for the WOSB Program.

The Engine Accelerator is a public benefit corporation that convenes the Tough Tech community, offering access to the specialized labs, equipment, tools, space, and infrastructure as well as the resources and services necessary to build transformative technologies as economically and efficiently as possible, according to Waymaker.

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