The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is launching the CORI Innovation Fund to invest in growth businesses located in qualified Opportunity Zones in the United States to enhance economic growth and job creation in small communities.  The Fund will seek to find attractive technology-enabled operating businesses in rural geographies, which are under-served by traditional venture capital institutions. We will identify, fund, and support the best tech entrepreneurs American small towns have to offer.


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Matt Dunne

Founder and executive director

Center on rural Innovation

   In 2007, Matt started Google’s Community Affairs division out of a former bread factory in White River Junction, VT, where he led all local US philanthropy and engagement, including the Google Fiber rollout and orchestrating educational and development initiatives in Google’s data center communities across rural America.

   He served 11 years in the Vermont House and Senate, enacting the state’s first broadband grants, brownfields revitalization funding, and downtown redevelopment program. He helped grow a VT-based software company to over 100 people and was Associate Director of the Rockefeller Center on Public Policy at Dartmouth College.

   In 1999 Matt was appointed director of AmeriCorps*VISTA under President Clinton. He led PowerUp, one of the first national efforts to bridge the digital divide, and launched an Entrepreneur Corps to focus on micro-finance in high-need communities.

   Matt has a BA from Brown University, and holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab.

Jay Bockhaus

General Partner

CORI Innovation Fund

   From Wall Street to Main Street, Jay brings a wealth of experience to his role as General Partner of CORI's Innovation Fund.  Jay began his career advising on mergers and acquisitions at Gleacher & Co. and Allen & Company. Subsequently, Jay spent a decade at NBCUniversal, which culminated in his running strategy and development for the Entertainment and Digital Networks division. After NBCU, Jay joined Emigrant Bank where he served as Executive Advisor to the Chairman and led investments in several small growth businesses. During that time, Jay was chairman of the board of GolfLogix, one of the largest apps in the golf segment.

   Jay was one of the founding board members and still serves as Treasurer of Venture for America, a non-profit organization helping revitalize American cities through entrepreneurship.

   Jay has a BA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs as well as certificate degrees in East Asian Studies and Japanese Language.



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