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About the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA)
The Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) was established in 2020 to support the life cycle of innovation, from translational research; to entrepreneurship; to pre-seed and seed-stage funding; as well as acceleration, growth, and commercialization, resulting in the creation of new jobs and company formation. The Authority provides a collaborative, consistent, and consolidated approach that will assist the Commonwealth in identifying its entrepreneurial strengths, including the identification of talents and resources that make the Commonwealth a unique place to grow and attract technology-based businesses. The VIPA, with CIT as its operating arm, brings together components of existing and new program activities in an approach through which the whole is greater than the sum of the individual programs. VIPA's design includes governance and management capabilities to ensure that programs generate transformative and measurable results. For more information, please visit www.cit.org/vipa.
About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Investing in Virginia's Growth | CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs, and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, CIT accelerates next generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, and market development initiatives throughout Virginia. Programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Virginia Founders Fund | Smart Communities | Cybersecurity | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | Virginia Research Investment Fund (VRIF) | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit www.cit.org. You can also follow CIT on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
About CIT GAP Funds CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. CIT GAP Funds’ investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.citgapfunds.org.
About CIT Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Support for Virginia's Entrepreneurial Ecosystems CIT's Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Division (EED) was established in July 2020 to support and promote technology-focused entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. We work closely with startup accelerators and incubators, training providers, technology councils, chambers of commerce, investor groups, and other Virginia-based organizations that work with entrepreneurs through the early stages of business formation and growth. EED launched the Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) in March 2021, and more details on this programs appear below. EED actively promotes CIT's portfolio of entrepreneurship support programs, including SBIR/STTR training, Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF), Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) and the CIT GAP Funds.
About the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) Launched in 2018, the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) is focused on providing venture capital for Virginia’s traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs. Proceeds from the Center for Innovative Technology’s (CIT) successful GAP Funds investment program are being reinvested into the Virginia economy through the VFF, which specifically supports female, minority or veteran founders, or other entrepreneurs located in regions outside of Northern Virginia who are emerging into sectors such as software, hardware, life science, cleantech, and technology-enabled services. The VFF works with regional startup initiatives, early-stage funds, and accelerator programs across the Commonwealth to identify strategic opportunities for investment and potential co-investment to leverage additional capital.
About the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) The Commonwealth Commercialization Fund, or CCF, was launched on July 1, 2020 to foster innovative and collaborative efforts in Virginia. Combining two legacy state programs, the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) and the Virginia Research Innovation Fund (VRIF), CCF seeks technologies with a high potential for economic development and job creation and that position the Commonwealth as a national leader in science- and technology-based research, development, and commercialization. As administrator of the CCF, CIT supports CRCF and VRIF award recipients.
About the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) CRCF is now part of the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF). The CRCF, managed by CIT, advanced science and technology-based research, development, and commercialization to drive economic growth in Virginia, created and fostered high-potential technology companies in the Commonwealth, and encouraged and strengthened collaboration and partnerships between the public and private sector. The Fund sought to advance Virginia’s position in strategically important areas including, but not limited to human health, cybersecurity, smart communities, and unmanned systems.
About the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT Launched in 2017, the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center serves as a unifying voice and primary source for information and assistance related to the unmanned systems landscape in Virginia and is charged with building on the rich assets and business climate to make Virginia "THE" state for unmanned systems. The Center is responsible for developing an entrepreneurial culture regarding Autonomous Systems across Virginia, encouraging economic growth across the Commonwealth via Autonomous emergent business activities, and continuing to increase the Commonwealth's position as a leader of the Autonomous Systems community. For more information about the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT, please visit https://www.vus.virginia.gov/.
About SBIR/STTR Assistance Program CIT is the lead organization in Virginia for SBIR/STTR support. CIT's Federal Funding Assistance Program works to support Virginia's early stage technology firms in their efforts to learn about and apply for federal SBIR and STTR awards. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants provide $150K to $1.5M to high risk, high payoff R&D that supports the missions of the 11 participating federal agencies. Virginia ranks 3rd in the US in awards with over $130+M in SBIR/STTR funding in 2017. CIT’s Federal Funding Assistance Program works with over 250 start-ups, university researchers, and young technology firms each year to educate, mentor, train and support SBIR/STTR applications.
About Virginia Smart Communities Initiative at CIT Launched in 2017, the Virginia Smart Communities Initiative provides national thought leadership, vision, and implementation of Smart Communities as a model for localities across the Commonwealth and beyond. CIT defines Smart Communities as "places where the public, private, & non-profit sectors cooperate to leverage technology and data that improve quality of life and enhance economic development." CIT uses a model of "Community-Driven Innovation" that harnesses a range of leading-edge technologies to advance the public interest and address the unique needs of localities. For more information about the Virginia Smart Communities Initiative at CIT, please visit https://www.cit.org/vasmart.html.
CIT is the nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA)