The Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT - In the News
PACKAGE DELIVERY: Teams made great strides on the package delivery front during IPP, and that progress will continue in BEYOND.
The Virginia team, led by the Center for Innovative Technology and with the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) FAA-designated UAS test site managing the projects, began the first residential drone package delivery program in late 2019 under Wing’s leadership. Drones now deliver goods from Walgreens, packages from FedEx, library books, orders from local restaurants and even Girl Scout cookies to Christiansburg residents, MAAP Director Tombo Jones said.
The deliveries began after about six months of community engagement, Jones said. Citizens had the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns, making them comfortable with the drone flights—a key component of both IPP and BEYOND.
What Wing learned through this community outreach will carry over as delivery operations expand, Head of Regulatory Affairs Dallas Brooks said. Collaboration also has been critical, and is the only way to get to the regulations that will make drone delivery viable.
Writen by Nick Serfass, rvatech/CEO
The Commonwealth of Virginia recently announced that 34 small technology-focused businesses in Virginia will receive a total of $3.4 million in Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) grants to commercialize research in an array of sectors. Five of those companies hold strong ties to greater Richmond. In case you’re wondering who they are and what they do, we have the answers!
CIT GAP Funds Makes Follow-On Investment in SCOUT to Continue Performing In-Space Inspections on Satellites
SCOUT is building the first in-space observation systems to safeguard orbital infrastructure
Richmond, VA, July 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds, the direct investment program of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) Investment Division, has made a follow-on investment in Alexandria, Va.-based SCOUT. SCOUT is the developer of systems to give spacecraft vision, and de-risk the space ecosystem. Since its initial CIT GAP Funds investment in June 2020, SCOUT has continued to grow, meeting their fundraising and technical milestones while engaging in strategic partnerships with satellite industry players. The startup will use this latest investment to support initial pilots as well as research and development into systems to enable better in-space situational awareness.
Funding will be used to expand services offerings to financial institutions wanting to deliver a superior customer experience and further invest in their communities
Givio Inc, creators of a mobile giving and fundraising platform designed to meet the needs of givers, today opened their first round of seed funding with the closing of an initial investment from the Center for Innovative Technology’s CIT GAP Funds. This funding follows the advancement of Givio’s Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to a feature-rich, charitable giving and fundraising solution, already integrated with multiple service providers in the charitable giving technology and financial services space. Givio plans to use this funding to expand services offerings from nonprofits, schools and companies for workplace giving, to financial institutions wanting to deliver a superior customer experience and further invest in their communities.
June 17, 2021 - By John Furner, CEO and President, Walmart U.S.
In our ongoing effort to get customers the items they want, and fast, we know it will take a well-coordinated network of delivery solutions that span the streets, sidewalks and skies. Some of these solutions are still emerging, but they’re already showing encouraging results.
Last year, we partnered with DroneUp, a nationwide drone services provider, to launch trial deliveries of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits. The trial demonstrated we could offer customers delivery in minutes versus hours. Now, after safely completing hundreds of drone deliveries from Walmart stores, we’re making an investment in DroneUp to continue our work toward developing a scalable last-mile delivery solution.
February 07, 2019 | CIT GAP Funds Invests in DroneUp to Revolutionize Commercial Drone Pilot Services | ‘Mission Match’ platform tracks pilot certification, experience and guarantees qualified pilots are alerted for matching missions
CIT GAP Funds Invests in OxiWear to Support Innovations and Emergency Alerting for Pulmonary Hypertension
Richmond, VA, June 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds, the direct investment program of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) Investment Division, has invested in Arlington, Va.-based OxiWear. Provider of a wearable earpiece that monitors blood oxygen levels, OxiWear’s device alerts users when it falls below safe thresholds, allowing help to be called in time for treatment. OxiWear will use this investment to support growth, conduct further research, and expand relationships with more hospitals and pharmacies.
Ear-wearable device continuously monitors blood oxygen levels and alerts users if it falls below safe thresholds, preventing delays in assistance
“Currently, there is no other device available to continuously monitor oxygen levels. OxiWear is a game changer for those affected by the complications of pulmonary hypertension, and could be the difference between safety and danger,” said Tom Weithman, Managing Director of CIT GAP Funds. “Shavini and her team are in a great position to expand and reach more medical departments, nursing homes and more locations serving patients with PH. We are excited to support OxiWear in their endeavors and lifesaving mission.”
Richmond, Va. – June 11, 2021 – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds Managing Director, Tom Weithman, and Senior Investment Director, Jen O’Daniel, will present at the upcoming PitchPlus Clinic presented by RAMP, the regional accelerator and mentoring program. The clinic, taking place Tuesday, June 15 at 9:00am EST, will feature a panel of experts providing venture capital education to help participating startups prepare for early-stage investment opportunities.
As the direct investment program of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) Investment Division, CIT GAP Funds is a key part of the Commonwealth's strategy to leverage venture capital for Virginia-based startups. Weithman and O’Daniel will join speakers Greg Feldmann, President of Skyline Capital Strategies, LLC, and Fourd Kemper, Principal at Woods Rogers, PLC. Registration is free and open to the public.
When: Tuesday, June 11, 2021 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Zoom – Click here to register
From left to right: Jackson Ward Collective co-founders Kelli Lemon, Rasheeda Creighton and Melody Short - Courtesy of Jackson Ward Collective - Story By Kaitlynn R. Copinger - June 07, 2021
While some progress has been made in diversifying Richmond's startup ecosystem, Black founders say they still lack access to a crucial piece of the puzzle - capital
"Now that the Richmond ecosystem has been talking about the challenges facing Black and other underrepresented founders for more than a year, what’s changed? And — perhaps more importantly — what work remains?"
"Funding: The Crucial Piece"
"...The Center for Innovative Technology, or CIT, launched the Virginia Founders Fund in 2018 and has since directed more than $3 million toward founder who are women, BIPOC and veterans, as well as those located outside of Northern Virginia.
There are aspirational, strategic and programmatic goals throughout the Fiscal Year 2022 operating plan that are dedicated to furthering our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts - especially in light of the national conversation about systematic racism,” spokeswoman Sara Poole
Last fall, CIT Gap Funds hosted a roundtable event to bring together BIPOC founders to discuss barriers to forming and funding minority-led startups, a discussion that is expected to yield changes going forward..."
An $800,000 investment led by the Center for Innovative Technology is giving Richmond startup RoundlyX the runway it needs to expand operations internationally.
Richmond-based RoundlyX, co-founded in 2017 by Andrew Elliott and Will Trible, closed the round in late April. In addition to CIT's investment, Elliott said the round had significant participation from Allied Venture Partners and other fintech CEOs from across the country."
“Andrew, Will, and the entire RoundlyX team have done an outstanding job over the last year preparing for widespread adoption of digital assets. The simplicity of their app allows anyone to invest in Bitcoin, and given widespread interest in cryptocurrencies as an asset class, more users will be flocking towards this service,” said Alex Euler, Investment Director, CIT GAP Funds. “With their recent expansion into global markets, RoundlyX is set up for a very successful 2021. We look forward to following their continued success." - Quote from original press release March, 2021
STAFFORD, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 8, 2021--
Mutualink, Inc., in partnership with Stafford County and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology ( CIT ), successfully deployed and is powering the state’s first Smart City deployment, the Virginia Smart Community Testbed. Mutualink’s secure, intelligent network is the digital backbone for Smart Cities connecting community partners, smart infrastructure, and sustainable IoT technologies in real-time so community leaders can work together to improve livability, workability and resilience.
Richmond, Va. – June 8, 2021 – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds, the direct investment program of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) Investment Division, has invested in Roanoke, Va.-based Acomhal. The biotech research company is dedicated to developing therapeutic approaches to prevent tumor recurrence. Acomhal will use this investment to continue enhancing their product as well as expanding their research development.
Stafford County and the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Announce Opening of the First Virginia Smart Community Testbed | Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports on a new partnership between high-tech companies and Stafford County.
(News4's Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey has been covering this side of the state since joining NBC4 in 1992. She's joined by reporter Drew Wilder.)
Stafford County and the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Announce Opening of the First Virginia Smart Community Testbed
Launch celebration included ribbon-cutting ceremony and technology demonstration
Stafford, VA, May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stafford County and the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to formally establish the opening of the new Virginia Smart Community Testbed. The Testbed, located next to the Stafford Government Center at 2143 Jefferson Davis Hwy, is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth. Testbeds are a way of testing new technologies in a real-world setting, a method that drives faster innovation. This Testbed will help propel both Stafford and Virginia to the forefront of smart community adoption across the country and the world.
"Innovation is the key to creating new jobs, driving economic growth, and tackling our biggest challenges," said Governor Ralph Northam. "This testbed will help build Virginia’s first smart community in Stafford County and serve as a living laboratory to pilot smart city technologies. This is exactly the type of public-private partnership we need to make the delivery of goods and services more effective and efficient, reduce our carbon footprint, and improve the health and well-being of our communities, our Commonwealth, and our country."
Washingtonian Magazine recognized CIT President & CEO Bob Stolle as one of the 2021 class of Tech Titans - "a group of power players, innovators, networkers, lobbyists, and government officials who proved resilient in these uncertain times."
Our guide to the most important and innovative leaders in Washington’s digital economy.
WRITTEN BY JOSEPH GUINTO | PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN BULBIN | PUBLISHED ON MAY 3, 2021
Smart City Works AnnouncesAward of New Grant byGo Northern Virginia to Support theNorthern Virginia Smart Region Initiative
Northern Virginia, April 27, 2021 – Smart City Works, with partners Washington DC ArchAngels and VA Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), announced a new grant award supporting the Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative. The $1.9 million grant was approved by the Virginia Growth and Opportunity State Board.
Company’s solution leverages hybrid electric propulsion and aerodynamic design features to achieve longer flight times and greater productivity
Richmond, VA, April 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds has invested in Hampton, Va.-based Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC), an aeronautical engineering and aircraft manufacturing company that produces vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for military and commercial markets. AAC’s long endurance drones can double revenue generated per pilot for commercial UAS operators. The company will use this investment to action on its go-to-market plan and increase aircraft production rate.
"Acoustic lighthouses" broadcast sound to reduce avian collisions with manmade structures | CIT CRCF Awardee | In the News
Funding: This work was supported by the Center for Innovative Technology's Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund award MF18-029-En (https://www.cit.org/) to JPS, by the Animal Welfare Institute (https://awionline.org/), the Virginia Society of Ornithology (https://www.virginiabirds.org/), the Williamsburg Bird Club (http://williamsburgbirdclub.org/), and the Department of Arts and Sciences at William & Mary to TJB. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
A SpaceX advisor and other industry figures explain why the company's NASA partnership signals a new space age as they prepare for the Artemis mission | CIT GAP Funds Marco Rubin quoted in this article
CIT GAP Funds Managing Director Tom Weithman to Participate in Valleys Innovation Council Founders and Funders Webinar Series
CIT GAP Funds Managing Director Tom Weithman to Participate in Valleys Innovation Council Founders and Funders Webinar Series
Richmond, Va. – April 19, 2021 – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced CIT GAP Funds Managing Director, Tom Weithman, will serve as a panelist for an upcoming webinar focused on venture capital as part of the Founders and Funders Webinar Series presented by Valleys Innovation Council (VIC). The webinar, taking place Thursday, April 22 at 3:30pm ET, will feature a panel of experts from across the region discussing various types of capital and challenges that entrepreneurs and startups may encounter when seeking capital.
Tom will join speakers James Ramey, Managing Director and Fund Manager at Middleland Capital; Jason Caplain, General Partner and Co-Founder of Bull City Venture Partners; and Moderator, Fourd Kemper, M&A Attorney from Woods Rodgers Law Firm. For more information about the webinar, please click here. Registration is free and open to the public.
When: Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET
Where: Zoom – Click here to register
By 2025, TemperPack wants to be the world’s largest sustainable packaging company. Four years ago, a $12 million investment from SJF Venture marked a turning point to helping the company reach that goal, Powers said.
More early stage funding can help the next clean tech startups take off, he said.
That’s where organizations like the Center for Innovative Technology are playing a role. CIT GAP Funds has made equity investments in 16 early-stage clean tech companies since 2007, investing $50,000 to $500,000 in each company over time, said Marco Rubin, Senior Investment Director...
Startup empowers commercial real estate stakeholders to organize, secure, analyze, and share commercial floor plans all in one place
Richmond, VA, April 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds has invested in Virginia-based Floorwire, developer of a platform that provides commercial owners with control of their architectural data. By transforming inefficient and time-consuming workflows around storing and organizing data, Floorwire’s cloud-based solution addresses the needs of commercial landlords, architects and brokers. The startup will use this investment to enhance its technology and support its continued growth.
“Not everyone has the right tools to view CAD files or interact with architectural plans and data. With an ability to connect across a diverse set of asset management platforms and enable automation that’s not currently available on the market, Floorwire provides tools anywhere, anytime,” said Jen O’Daniel, Investment Director, CIT GAP Funds. “Floorwire is quickly growing and ready to make a splash in the commercial real estate industry. We look forward to following their journey as they continue to grow.”
Reston’s ThreatQuotient raised $22.5M amid increased enterprise attention to cybersecurity | CIT GAP Funds Portfolio Company - In the News
The cybersecurity firm took note of national VC trends as it sought funding to quicken product development and grow its engineering team. It plans to grow by 25 to 30% in the next year.
Virginia: Moving at the Speed of Innovation | Virginia Stakeholder Meeting Video | Hosted by Tracy Tynan, Director, Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT - the nexus for Virginia's activity in UxS - Land, Air, Sea, and Space.
[ *The Center is responsible for instilling an entrepreneurial culture regarding Autonomous Systems across Virginia, encourage economic growth across the Commonwealth via Autonomous emergent business activities, and continue and increase the Commonwealth's position as a leader of the Autonomous Systems community. ]
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