MN 2018 Tekne Awards – Nominate a neighbor by Aug 3

It’s nice to see a lot of rural businesses, leaders and projects make the list…

The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) announced categories for our 19th Annual Tekne Awards. Applications will be accepted until August 3, with the Tekne Awards ceremony to be held November 29.

Tekne Awards recognize the leaders in Minnesota’s innovation economy and cutting-edge innovators in science and technology. The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world.

Learn more.  Also, on June 20 at 9 a.m. there is a Tekne Award Webinar.  MHTA will be hosting a webinar to provide advice and answer your questions on award categories, eligibility, important dates and more. A past award recipient and Tekne judge will also provide their perspectives. Register here for the webinar.

Rural Community Development Initiative – Deadline June 25 provides info on the grants from the USDA…

Qualified private, nonprofit and public including tribal intermediary organizations proposing to carry out financial and technical assistance programs will be eligible to receive the funding.  The Intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the RCDI grant.  The respective minimum and maximum grant amount per Intermediary is $50,000 and $250,000.  The Intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community.


Best Buy Community Grants Program – deadline May 31

Good luck!

BEST BUY is offering grants through its Community Grants Program provides support to community-based organizations that are located within 25 miles of a Best Buy facility. Grants focus on out-of-school time programs that create access to technology education and tools that teens will need to be successful in their future schooling and careers. Programs should include hands-on learning opportunities and engage the youth, ages 13-18, in experimenting and interacting with the latest technologies to build 21st century skills.

Deadline: 5/31/2018.

Institute for Local Self Reliance is hiring for 2 positions

Institute for Local Self Reliance is hiring two separate positions for their Broadband team:

A Policy and Mapping Intern

The internship is available to undergraduate students, graduate students, and other interested individuals who can commit to 20 – 40 hours per week. Course credit may be available with approval from an academic department. We would like the position to start by May 15 but can be flexible.

Please use the subject line “INTERNet Application” when sending your materials. Applications are due Friday, May 4, 2018. Feel free to apply after that date – if you are incredible, we may create another position. Never hurts to try. Please do.


  • Write compelling, well-researched, and concise articles on a short deadline
  • Create informative maps using public databases
  • Compile statistics on Internet access in defined geographic areas
  • Do ongoing research for longer reports and projects
  • Other projects as assigned


  • Effective writing and communications skills
  • Familiarity with statistics and GIS (some experience preferred, but not required)
  • Background knowledge of public policy and/or economics (preferred, but not required)
  • Comfortable making cold calls to public officials
  • Creative – graphics, videos, audio, maps, etc.
  • Ability to work independently and juggle multiple tasks

You do not need to know much about broadband policy or telecommunications. You do need to be passionate about public policy.

A Research Associate

Interest is booming in cooperative and municipal Internet infrastructure and related issues. We’re looking for someone passionate about working to develop policies related to Internet access, network neutrality, and publicly owned broadband. If that’s you, let’s talk. Are you our next creative Research Associate? Applications are due May 11th.


Write compelling, well-researched documents:

  • Articles
  • Policy Briefs/Reports,
  • Fact Sheets

Manage data projects:

  • Data cleaning and analysis
  • Map design and GIS
  • Background research for coworkers or reporters as necessary
  • Collaborate on Initiative-wide projects
  • Assist with outreach on large projects
  • Support other projects as assigned

Perform administrative tasks:

  • Take notes at staff meetings
  • Organize and purchase office supplies


  • Effective writing and communication skills
  • Background knowledge of public policy and economics
  • Able to work independently and juggle multiple tasks
  • Experience with a statistics program (Examples: R, Stata) or ability to learn quickly
  • Some experience with GIS (Examples: ArcGIS, QGIS) or ability to learn quickly
  • Innovative with publicly available databases
  • Comfortable making cold calls to public officials
  • Creative: graphics, video, audio, interactive maps, etc.

NTIA is looking for FirstNet Board members – applications due May 21

From the NTIA site

NTIA issues this Notice on behalf of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to initiate the annual process to seek expressions of interest from individuals who would like to serve on the FirstNet Board. One of the 12 appointments of nonpermanent members to the FirstNet Board, expiring August 2019, is currently vacant. Additionally, four of the 12 appointments of nonpermanent members to the FirstNet Board expire in August 2018, creating a total of five available appointments to the FirstNet Board. NTIA issues this Notice to obtain expressions of interest in being selected by the Secretary to the FirstNet Board. Expressions of interest must be postmarked or electronically transmitted on or before May 21, 2018.

For further information please contact Marsha MacBride, Associate Administrator, Office of Public Safety Communications, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4078, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5802; email: Please direct media inquiries to NTIA’s Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002.

Minnesotans are asked to take the Digital Readiness Survey

Better info is always better! Help the digital numbers be better in just a few minutes…

Research will measure Minnesotans’ online access and skills to inform economic development

Minnesotans are asked to take the Digital Readiness Survey

Grand Rapids, MINN. (April 12, 2018) – Communities across Minnesota rely on high-speed Internet access to compete in today’s economy, yet critical gaps exist. Rural Minnesotans have an opportunity to help identify digital inclusion gaps through the Digital Readiness Survey, offered by the Purdue Center for Regional Development.

Supported by Blandin Foundation and Growth & Justice, all Minnesotans are invited to take the survey. The 20-question survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and is available at

Broadband access – and the ability to use it – are fundamental to healthy, resilient communities,” said Blandin Foundation President and CEO Dr. Kathleen Annette. “This research will assist leaders in identifying where Internet gaps exist and help them plan for the future.”

Results from the survey will gauge how Minnesotans are using the Internet, where they are accessing the Internet, and their comfort using an array of technologies. Combined results will be released to help jumpstart meaningful conversations and help guide economic development decisions.

“Taking the Digital Readiness Survey will help us better understand the economic impact of broadband investments and also see the gaps remaining,” said Growth & Justice President Jane Leonard. “Most importantly, what we learn from the survey results will help catalyze more intentional strategies for community and economic development, strategies that close the gaps in access and know-how, keep the economic impact rippling and growing, and keep talent in and coming to our communities and businesses. Those outcomes benefit all of us and keep Minnesota vital and growing.”

The survey will be available until May 11, 2018.  Results will be available Fall 2018 at

Nominate someone for the Government Experience Awards 2018

As always, I’ve love to see Minnesota sweep the awards…

The Center for Digital Government (CDG) invites nominations for its Government Experience Awards 2018, where the recognition of the previous Best of the Web and Digital Government Achievement Awards is taken to the next level, and we celebrate achievements and learn best practices from states, counties, cities and federal agencies/departments that have gone beyond the web to radically improve upon the experience of government, and push the boundaries of how services are delivered.

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

For more information and entry form, visit

New in 2018: An informational and data-collection matrix is provided with many avenues/ methodologies or “channels” of  government experience, such as the website, mobile devices, and social media – you are asked for details for up to the top 3 “channels”/ methods of citizen/business interaction with their government, in one set of questions. CDG will share the aggregated results, which include new technologies, with eligible participants.

Overall Experience Awards
All U.S. state, county and city governments may nominate their jurisdictions’ experience for the Overall category:

Award categories:
State Government
County Government
City Government

Project Experience Awards
U.S. state and local governments and their individual agencies and departments, and U.S. federal agencies/departments may nominate their projects for the Project Experience Awards. Private sector companies may nominate in the Project Experience category, “Business-to-government”.

Award categories:
Federal Government agencies/departments

Top government jurisdictions, agencies and departments will be honored at a celebratory, high-energy awards event this fall, Sept. 28, 2018 in Austin, Texas.