Valleys Innovation Council Wins Grant to Fuel Tech Company Growth in Region
The Valleys Innovation Council (VIC) will receive $982,442 in Build to Scale grant funds as part of a $2.08 million three-year project to scale up current accelerator and startup assistance programming through the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program (RAMP) and to continue VIC’s work growing the regional innovation ecosystem.
The grant, one of only 52 awarded nationally, is part of a total $35 million the U.S. Department of Commerce will deploy to recipients in 36 states to support high growth entrepreneurship. The grant will be directed to specific programming designed to support scalable startups in technology and health and life sciences across the GO Virginia Region 2 service footprint, which spans the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley, Alleghany Highlands, and Greater Lynchburg region.
Dr, Mary Guy Miller, RAMP’s Director, said, “This grant will give us the runway we need to build additional capacity and support the entrepreneurial community at every stage of their development. This is an exciting win and it is my honor to work with everyone who has been involved to continue to build this region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
“Grantees were selected from a competitive pool of more than 600 applications and represent exemplary innovation and entrepreneurship from rural and urban areas across America,” said Dana Gartzke, who is performing the delegated duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.
The grant funding will allow RAMP to add a second cohort focused on health and life sciences, an emerging industry cluster in the region. In addition, it will be focused on expanding programming in four key areas:
Startup Pathways to respond to the need for more focus on pre-acceleration companies by providing mentor connections, supporting the health science & technology commercialization fellowship with Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, and supporting translational research from Virginia Tech;
Scaling the Accelerator-in-Residence Program by providing support for six in-residence cohorts over the three-year period, adding a program coordinator to support the expansion, increasing access to domain expert mentors, and providing hybrid in-person and virtual courses.
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