Two Co-Founders of CIT GAP Funds Portfolio Companies Recognized as Summer 2021 Forbes Next 1000 Standouts
Year-Round List Highlights Top 1,000 Upstart Entrepreneurs Across America
Richmond, Va. – July 14, 2021 – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that two CIT GAP Funds portfolio companies were included on the Summer 2021 Forbes Next 1000 list: Linebird and AnswersNow. Forbes Next 1000, a list highlighting entrepreneurs and pre-revenue startups in every region across America with less than $10 million in revenue or funding, is published in classes of 250 standouts throughout the year. Screened by top business minds in a competitive judging process, entrepreneurs featured on the Next 1000 list are redefining what it means to build and run a business.
“We are extremely proud to have two founders of CIT GAP Funds portfolio companies listed in the 2021 Forbes Next 1000 list. Linebird’s Michael Berio and AnswersNow’s Jeff Beck are an example of resilience and American entrepreneurship during unprecedented times,” said Tom Weithman, Managing Director, CIT GAP Funds. “The Next 1000 list shines a light on many bold leaders from all different industries, and we are thrilled to see Linebird and AnswersNow recognized for their incredible work.”
The two CIT GAP Funds entrepreneurs represented on this year’s Forbes Next 1000 list are continuing to scale their businesses to deliver unique technology to the marketplace.
Richmond, Va.-based Linebird is the developer of an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solution that makes contact with live power lines, addressing the safety concerns of grid maintenance and monitoring. Linebird is transforming the way power transmission infrastructure is inspected and maintained in a safer way with the use of drone technology. Beiro, a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate, came up with the idea for Linebird in 2018. Finding a niche in one of the more dangerous industries in the world, Linebird has a drone solution that allows tools to make contact with live power lines for safe grid maintenance and monitoring.
Richmond, Va.-based AnswersNow is a telehealth company that brings Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children with autism and their families. A licensed clinical social worker, Beck launched AnswersNow in 2017 to connect autistic children, teens, and young adults directly to board-certified behavior analysts. The company offers personalized ABA therapy (Applied Behavior Therapy) on its easy-to-use telehealth platform. AnswersNow works with major insurers including Anthem and Aetna, has served over 1000 families, and has raised $3.1 million to date. Beck projects $600,000 in revenue for 2021.
CIT GAP Funds is the direct investment program of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) Investment Division. 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.
For more information about CIT, please visit: https://www.cit.org/.
About CIT GAP Funds | Investment Division | Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA)
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean energy, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, CIT GAP Funds has deployed $32.4 million in capital across more than 240 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. CIT GAP Funds' investment decisions are guided by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has drawn from the expertise of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, 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 https://www.cit.org/gap-investment-funds.html.
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, the not-for-profit operations arm of VIPA, accelerates next-generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, and market development initiatives. Programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) | 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) | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit www.cit.org. You can also follow CIT on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Sara (Pomakoy) Poole
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
CIT Press 2020-2021