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Virginia’s new seed fund targets underrepresented entrepreneurs

ImpactAlpha, April 18 – The Virginia Founders Fund, a partnership between the commonwealth and the nonprofit Center for Innovative Technology, is intended to spur tech-based entrepreneurship in software, hardware, life sciences and clean tech. The fund is homing in on women, minority, and veteran-run startups, as well as companies based outside of the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.

  • The fund’s first two investments… are in Richmond-based EdConnective, a training and coaching startup for school teachers, and Herndon, VA and New York-based Status Identity, an enterprise security and authentication service.
  • Investment pipeline… The Center for Innovative Technology will work with accelerator programs and startup funds to identify co-investment partners and other capital sources.
  • Catalytic capital… The Center for Innovative Technology has deployed $23 million in 120 Virginia companies. The size of the Virginia Founders Fund has not been disclosed.

Last December, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe launched Virginia is for Entrepreneurs (VA4E) to help close capital gaps for startups outside of the DC sphere of influence. “There are investors in Richmond who don’t know about the incredible innovation taking place 60 miles away in Charlottesville,” Warner told ImpactAlpha for our New Revivalist series.

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