A business incubator in Shockoe Bottom and an initiative to help local health startups have received a total of $725,000 in grants.
Activation Capital, a nonprofit associated with the Virginia Bio+Tech Park in downtown Richmond, is providing a $500,000 grant to the Startup Virginia incubator to continue to help it provide services to promising new business ventures in the region.
It also is awarding a grant of up to $225,000 to the newly created Health Innovation Consortium that Virginia Commonwealth University created this year to help bring health innovations to market.
Startup Virginia, which took space in March 2018 in the renovated 1717 Innovation Center on East Cary Street, has seen a 264% increase in membership with more than 3,000 program participants since it began.
“Startup Virginia is dedicated to helping founders and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Their record of early success is a main driver in our decision for continued support of their programming and startup growth,” said Carrie Roth, Activation Capital’s president and CEO.
Startup Virginia received a $250,000 grant from Activation Capital last year.
“As an early-stage nonprofit startup ourselves, Activation Capital’s early investment in Startup Virginia has been transformational. This award will be instrumental for our growth as we continue to provide programming to our member startups and the community,” said Richard Wintsch, executive director of Startup Virginia.
Activation Capital’s grant to the Health Innovation Consortium will go toward programming and regulatory support. VCU launched the three-year, $7 million initiative to support the development of new innovations in health care.
“The Health Innovation Consortium is filling a critical gap in the ecosystem by focusing on early-stage ideas and programming to these health companies in support of making Virginia a hub for health innovation,” Roth said.
These two awards from Activation Capital are supported through the Ecosystem Direct Investment Fund. Created in December 2017, the fund has since awarded nearly $2 million to ecosystem support groups.