By Tim Ryan

Startup Virginia, the entrepreneurial hub and high-growth business incubator, is set to continue its mission of fostering innovation in Virginia’s startup ecosystem after receiving a $100,000 grant from the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation’s (VIPC) Regional Innovation Fund (RIF).

Based in Richmond’s historic Shockoe Bottom at the Michael Wassmer Innovation Center, also known as “1717”, Startup Virginia has been a fulcrum of entrepreneurial activities in Central Virginia, offering a plethora of services, including mentorship, investment preparedness, and workspace for startups.

The organization’s achievements have not gone unnoticed. “The organization is providing high-value support for innovative company founders in the Greater Richmond region by creating insightful connections, building targeted programming, and leveraging the dynamic space at 1717,” says Conaway Haskins, Vice President for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems at VIPC.

The RIF grant is designed to assist startup-support organizations and help in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. For Startup Virginia, the grant is expected to significantly boost its diverse range of programs. Among them are its business incubator, the Entrepreneurial Hub at 1717, the online Entrepreneur Certificate Course, and the Idea Factory – a structured program for aspiring entrepreneurs to test, validate, and improve their business ideas.

“This funding will enable us to continue working with entrepreneurs, providing support for those with an idea, who have started their company, and those who are ready to give back,” said Richard Wintsch, Executive Director of Startup Virginia. Wintsch also emphasized the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, stating that the grant would help offset the costs of program participation and support outreach to underrepresented founders.

The grant was formally announced last week and will play a pivotal role in Startup Virginia’s continued operation and impact on the region’s entrepreneurial community. As Virginia continues to build its reputation as a leading hub for innovation, this funding will no doubt assist in driving its growth.

Both Startup Virginia and VIPC are contributing significantly to this trajectory. By connecting innovators with opportunities, VIPC facilitates the commercialization of innovation and provides seed-stage economic development. The recent RIF grant to Startup Virginia represents one such instance of this support, fueling the entrepreneurial fire that continues to ignite the growth of Virginia’s economy.