For Immediate Release
Paul Robinson
RISE Executive Director
(757) 258-0500
 Norfolk, Va., April 14, 2020 – RISE is pleased to announce six finalists of the 2020 Coastal Community Resilience Challenges. The Challenges sought small businesses with innovative solutions around major resilience issues that can be demonstrated in the Hampton Roads region of coastal Virginia, can be built into sustainable businesses, and are scalable to other communities. 
The Resilience Challenges in need of innovation included Flood Management, Data Analytics, Protection of Buildings, Re-establishing Critical Utilities, and Reconnecting Neighborhoods. RISE sourced the Challenges from diverse entities operating in coastal environments and each Challenge has an actual occurrence in Hampton Roads.
The finalists will pitch to the $2 million RISE Resilience Innovation Fund. The winners will be announced in early May 2020. In addition to funding, teams will get access to resources from the Resilience Innovation Hub & Testbed. The 2020 cohort will join the six businesses from the RISE 2018 inaugural Challenge which are already using Hampton Roads as a testbed to refine their solutions and scale them into sustainable business opportunities.
“Through these competitions, and the establishment of a resilience hub, the region has become a hospitable real-world living laboratory for companies, where the products and services we need to adapt to the impacts of climate change can be demonstrated locally and applied globally. We provide essential support to nurture these entrepreneurs, from financial assistance to facilitating access to real-world demonstration spaces, data, and mentors,” said Dr. Paul Robinson, RISE’s Executive Director.
“By incentivizing entrepreneurs to set up shop in RISE’s resilience hub in Hampton Roads, Virginia, we can develop cutting-edge solutions to resilience challenges and scale these solutions into thriving businesses, helping communities tackle the threats of climate change while creating jobs and bolstering local economies,” said Dr. Katerina Oskarsson, RISE’s Chief Strategy Officer.
RISE will continue to provide more opportunities for small businesses in the coastal adaptation and resilience sector. Applications to the RISE Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge offering up to $500,000 in funding are open until June 1st, 2020, with more Challenges launching in the fall of 2020. 

Meet the Finalists
Inundata proposes to demonstrate a data driven approach to resilience that would provide flood tracking, early warning system, and an analytics platform for decision makers. 
Natrx proposes to advance mobile manufacturing units to efficiently produce nature-based, custom shoreline protection structures to reduce coastal flooding and overall project costs while enhancing ecological outcomes.
Re:Public proposes to pilot a mapping platform for the non-mapping professionals to access and communicate community risk information, quantify impacts to infrastructure & population, and provide end-to-end analysis of flood impacts with benefit analysis of resilience investments. 

StormSensor proposes to advance its “Google traffic maps for sewer & stormwater” systems to provide real-time stormwater flow monitoring, tidal backflow alerts, and cost effective storm event analysis.  

Virginia PACE Authority proposes to pilot a platform which will accelerate and incentivize the retrofit of buildings with resilient improvements by creating a funding marketplace.
WeatherCheck proposes to expand an artificial intelligence-powered tool to monitor properties for severe weather-related damages and loss, facilitating a faster claim resolution and next-generation risk analysis for homeowners and the insurance industry. 

About RISE
RISE is a non-profit, economic development organization with a mission to accelerate innovation and business growth around solutions to coastal communities’ resilience challenges. RISE provides businesses resources to develop, test and scale the next generation resilience solutions for coastal communities.