Lighthouse Labs, a Richmond-based nonprofit that provides mentoring and funding for startup businesses, is getting up to $1 million in financial support over the next three years.
Activation Capital, a nonprofit associated with the Virginia Bio+Tech Park in downtown Richmond, announced the grant award to Lighthouse Labs on Wednesday.
The grant is part of a $5 million fund that Activation Capital established in 2017 called the Ecosystem Direct Investment Fund, or EDIF, which is an asset of the biotechnology park’s Authority Board.
Established with proceeds from the sale of the Biotech 8 building in the biotechnology park, the fund has been used to award grants to organizations that foster innovation in the local economy.
The latest grant provides $500,000 starting in July to Lighthouse Labs, which was founded in 2012 and provides an intensive, 13-week mentoring and planning program for founders of startup businesses. Lighthouse Labs also provides $20,000 in equity-free funding to startups accepted into the program.
The grant will enable the accelerator to support two annual cycles of its program, with at least three cohorts of startup founders. Lighthouse Labs will receive an additional $500,000 in July 2022, based on reaching certain milestones.
Since the inception of the EDIF, Activation Capital has awarded nearly $3 million in grants.
In September, for instance, Activation Capital awarded a $500,000 grant to the Startup Virginia incubator to help it provide services to promising new business ventures in the region. It also awarded 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.