For Immediate Release

Paul Robinson
RISE Executive Director
(757) 258-0500

NORFOLK, Virginia – February 3, 2021: RISE, a Virginia based, non-profit organization providing one-stop-shop resources to entrepreneurs in the coastal resilience sector, announced today a partnership with global venture accelerator firm, Brinc. By joining forces with Brinc for its 2021 Challenge, RISE hopes to attract even more businesses with innovative solutions and follow on private investment capital to the businesses in the RISE program. Brinc will be applying its outreach expertise to raise awareness and attract companies to the Challenge and one of their Co-Founders, Bay McLaughlin, originally from Virginia Beach, will join the program as a mentor.

Businesses can learn more and apply to the RISE Challenge powered by Brinc until March 15, 2021 here.

Since 2018, RISE has deployed more than $4 million in financial support and services to 27 businesses developing new, scalable solutions that help coastal communities adapt to flooding and sea level rise. Businesses must pilot their technologies in Hampton Roads, Virginia, where RISE provides a real-world testbed and growing community of resilience entrepreneurs. Through RISE’s Coastal Community Resilience competitions, and the establishment of its Resilience Innovation Hub, the region has become a living laboratory for companies, where the products and services needed to adapt to the impacts of climate change can be demonstrated locally and applied globally.

Brinc currently owns and operates 12 investment and accelerator programs globally and has invested in 200 companies in 36 countries. Brinc strongly believes that entrepreneurship will be the driving force in solving most of humanity’s most pressing issues,  has been an active investor in climate mitigation technologies, and is committing to go even further in the years to come.

Coinciding with its 6th birthday on Dec. 1, 2020, Brinc unveiled plans to invest in 1,000 climate-conscious startups over the next five years. The new commitment comes in recognition that Brinc and its global business partners need to do their part to slow down the effects of climate change. Brinc has been building international accelerators and early stage investment opportunities mainly in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

“RISE is extremely excited to be working with Brinc on the outreach for our 2021 Challenge,” said Dr. Paul Robinson, RISE’s Executive Director. “Their global expertise has really helped us broaden the awareness of the needs of coastal communities, and the opportunities available to successful solution builders.”

“Our partnership with RISE represents Brinc’s formal entry into North America and a homecoming for me after 6 years in Asia,” said Bay McLaughlin, Brinc’s Co-Founder & COO. “Working with RISE and Hampton Roads will help us to meet our ambitious five-year goal and bring more opportunities to both our North American portfolio and our companies from around the world.”

“Across our accelerators in Asia, Australia, The Middle East, and Europe, we’ve seen governments step up to support their local communities to attract talent, source the best technologies, and provide startups the opportunities and support they need to work on the most pressing challenges of our time,” said McLaughlin. “Coming back to Hampton Roads and seeing the great work that RISE and the local and state governments have done is really inspiring. It’s a great foundation for this new partnership to jump off from and see how much we can achieve together!”

“If we can solve resilience challenges here in Hampton Roads, the solutions can be taken to other communities nationally and globally,” said Robinson. “Just recently we ran a challenge to incorporate real-time flooding into driving apps like Waze. FloodMapp, a company in Australia looking to expand into the U.S. market, was the winner and will be demonstrating their solution in our region.”

RISE and Brinc are looking for startups and small to medium sized businesses that can help Hampton Roads become more resilient to climate change. They are also excited to talk to companies, investors and anyone interested in supporting technology entrepreneurship and climate change in our region.

About RISE
RISE accelerates innovation and business growth around solutions to coastal resilience challenges in the living laboratory of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Learn more at:

About Brinc
Brinc is a global venture capital and accelerator firm that empowers game changers to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Learn more at: