Venture Hall, a Portland nonprofit focused on educating entrepreneurs, will receive $475,000 over the next three years from the Kauffman Foundation to help improve public policy at the state and local levels and stimulate the creation of new businesses.

The company is one of six nationwide recipients of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network. The network’s goal is to get entrepreneurs and policymakers to talk at the state and local levels so innovators have a voice in policy debates. Venture Hall was the only grant recipient in New England.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are the opportunity to transform Maine’s economy,” said Jess Knox, Venture Hall’s president. “We must find ways to reduce the barriers to increasing the activity in Maine in both of those areas — in every single part of the state.”

Knox, who also founded Maine Startup and Create Week, holds a law degree from the University of Maine and a masters degree in public policy from the Muskie School of Public Service, a unit of the University of Southern Maine in Portland. He co-founded Venture Hall in 2016 with entrepreneur Mike Sobol.

The Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City, Missouri, granted $1.9 million for the project.

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Lori Valigra, investigative reporter for the environment, holds an M.S. in journalism from Boston University. She was a Knight journalism fellow at M.I.T. and has extensive international reporting experience...