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Image of the words Sacramento Innovation Grants. $1 million in grants are available to support organizations that help start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in Sacramento. In the background a person makes notes while looking at a phone and a laptop

Innovation Grants 

The Sacramento Innovation Grant Program (previously RAILS Grant Program) offers up to $1 million in various grants for multiple funding opportunities from the City’s Innovation and Growth Fund. This annual funding supports the development of Sacramento’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem through “startup enablers” – community-based initiatives and programs that help entrepreneurs take their startup from initial idea to viable company. Grants are available for two distinct opportunities at up to $15,000 for Innovation Event Grants and ranging from $20,000 to $250,000 for Ecosystem Building Grants.

These grants are designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Expand the reach of entrepreneurial support organizations
  • Increase opportunities for startups to grow
  • Increase the number and viability of startups
  • Increase VC investment in Sacramento
  • Marketing broadly to change the perception of the ecosystem
  • Foster and facilitate high-growth startups
  • Encourage targeted collaborations
  • Build key industry verticals

Past funding opportunities

Awardees will be announced soon.

Innovation Event Grants

Innovation Event Grants of up to $15,000 can be used to fund a one-time or a series of events focused on fostering knowledge and ideas that inspire entrepreneurship and the growth of innovative businesses and programs. Example events could include:

  • Regularly scheduled meetups to connect entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts;
  • Startup weekends gathering entrepreneurs to kick-start new companies; and
  • Business pitch competitions where startups present their companies and business models for funding and promotion.


Ecosystem Building Grants

Ecosystem Building Grants are designed to catalyze innovation in the startup community and build pipelines for entrepreneurs into key industry verticals. Grant funding can be used for projects that include:

  • Incubator and accelerator programs that provide mentorship, networking, and education to raise capital, grow their business, and create new jobs
  • Programs that accelerate the commercialization of emerging technologies
  • Companies making it easier to work with and in Sacramento
  • Co-working spaces and non-profit organizations bringing together the innovation community in Sacramento
  • Educational programs training our next entrepreneurs in technology and business principles to build Sacramento-based startups


To be notified when these and other funding opportunities open up, please subscribe to our email list.