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..."
Investment Associates, Dustin Dunbar and Anthony Obi Jr. will contribute to CIT GAP Funds' continued growth by supporting deal sourcing, due diligence processes, and fund management
Richmond, Va. – May 24, 2021 – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), the nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), today announced that CIT GAP Funds has added two new Investment Associates to its team: Dustin Dunbar and Anthony Obi Jr. As Investment Associates, Dunbar, and Obi will support CIT GAP Funds activity including deal sourcing and due diligence activities for candidate CIT investments in high-growth technology, life science, and clean energy tech companies.
A family of funds managed by the Center for Innovative Technology has invested about $1.8 million into Richmond-area startups in recent years.
Through partnerships with Richmond-area groups like Lighthouse Labs, Trolley Ventures, 1717 Innovation Center, Virginia Commonwealth University and Startup Virginia, CIT GAP Funds is “actively cultivating a growing pipeline,” said Managing Director Tom Weithman.
CIT’s Virginia Founders Fund Invests in Industrial Intelligence to Advance the Hazardous Dust Monitoring Market
Cloud-based dust accumulation monitoring system will help prevent fires and explosions in manufacturing, industrial and agricultural processing facilities
Richmond, VA, Jan. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) has invested in Williamsburg, Va.-based Industrial Intelligence, developer of a continuous dust accumulation monitoring system. Industrial Intelligence’s solution alerts organization operations when dust accumulation levels become unacceptable. The startup plans to use this VFF capital for engineering and development of their prototype, patent expenses and further certification testing.
Investments have supported the creation of nearly 6,500 jobs throughout the Commonwealth
Richmond, Va. – Jan. 13, 2021 – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today released the 2020 CIT GAP Funds Impact Report, detailing both return on investment and socio-economic impact achieved since the fund’s inception in 2005. A family of funds placing equity investments in Virginia’s high-growth based technology, life science, and cleantech companies at the earliest developmental stages, CIT GAP Funds has deployed $32.4 million in capital across 240 portfolio companies.
"Richmond is home to a host of business incubators, nonprofits and educational initiatives that foster innovation and creativity; we look at what they do, the projects they support and what’s on the horizon..."
“CIT is focused on the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in all sectors of Virginia, or all regions,” says Bob Stolle, president and CEO of CIT. “We have a variety of programs that provide direct investment into early-stage companies and seed-stage investment for equity positions in early-stage startups.”
CIT’s Virginia Founders Fund Invests in Mesh Intelligence to Manage the Global Food Supply Chain Risk
Food safety and supply chain solution keeps global food chain safe, predictable and flowing despite market uncertainty
Richmond, VA, Nov. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) has invested in Rosslyn, Va.-based Mesh Intelligence, developer of a proactive food safety and supply chain solution to predict upcoming and evolving risks and disruptions globally to help organizations plan and act faster. Mesh Intelligence helps food organizations identify, predict, and mitigate critical food safety risks in their global food supply chain before they happen. The company plans to use this VFF capital to invest in hiring key talent, enhancing the company’s technology, building the company’s presence in Virginia.
The Tysons-based tech company is connecting food trucks to multi-family properties to offer more dining options to residents practicing social distancing.
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced that its early-stage fund, CIT GAP Funds, has invested in Tysons, Virginia-based Curbside Kitchen, developer of a platform to connect food trucks with owners of commercial offices and multi-family residential buildings.
The company was founded in 2017 and last August also nabbed an investment from CIT’s Virginia Founders Fund, which supports companies with female, minority or veteran founders, or other entrepreneurs located in regions outside of Northern Virginia. Curbside Kitchen CEO Amy Katz said in a news release that the company has been able to quickly roll out mobile and text ordering in the last year with the financial support from CIT.
CIT GAP Funds Invests in Curbside Kitchen to Continue Connecting Building Owners and Multi-Family Properties with Food Trucks
In response to coronavirus, Curbside Kitchen works to assist with food insecurity, serve hospital workers, and support small business food truck owners
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds has invested in Tysons, Va.-based Curbside Kitchen, developer of a platform that manages and connects owners of commercial office and multi-family residential buildings with food truck vendors as way to expand amenity options. In August 2019, CIT’s Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) made an initial investment in the company to complete a full build-out of their technology and hire additional team members. This investment from CIT GAP Funds will be used to continue expanding business operations.
Press Release: http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/04/07/2013068/0/en/CIT-GAP-Funds-Invests-in-Curbside-Kitchen-to-Continue-Connecting-Building-Owners-and-Multi-Family-Properties-with-Food-Trucks.html
Ranked by Deals closed in 2019
Locally Researched by: Carolyn M. Proctor, Washington Business Journal Apr 24, 2020, 6:00am EDT
During Women’s History Month, celebrated each March, the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) is proud to highlight Virginia’s community of female entrepreneurs. Nearly 60 of CIT GAP Funds’ 200+ investments were founded by or include female executives. Bolstered by the Virginia Founders Fund, which increases access to capital for startups founded by women and other traditionally underserved entrepreneurial communities in the Commonwealth, CIT maintains a strong commitment to continue investing in women-led startups.
Women entrepreneurs make up a significant portion of U.S. small business owners, with the U.S. Census Bureau estimating over 12.3 million companies owned by women. According to a recent report from SmartAsset that set out to identify the top cities for women in tech, examining U.S. cities with 200,000 residents or more, two Virginia cities – Chesapeake and Arlington – were both named among the top five best cities for women in tech. The findings were based on a number of factors, including the city’s tech employment growth over the last three years, number of women in the tech workforce, and its gender pay gap.
Press Release Here | http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/03/26/2007128/0/en/CIT-Recognizes-Women-Led-Virginia-Startups-During-Women-s-History-Month.html
The Best Cities for Women in Tech in 2019 | Full Article
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