New initiative aims to match entrepreneurs and investors

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A new statewide network wants to match entrepreneurs to potential investors across the commonwealth.

Virginia is for Entrepreneurs’ (VA4E) first initiative will feature an online application to better link entrepreneurs with more than 50 investment firms and potential funders to help launch or grow their Virginia-based businesses.

Partners in the network include a number of universities, including Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise; angel investment groups such as 757 Angels and Shenandoah Valley Angel Investors; venture funds including Revolution and Village Capital; and statewide organizations including the Center for Innovative Technology.

“While Virginia boasts a number of innovative communities and ecosystems …  a consistent problem has been connecting promising entrepreneurs with capital available to support their vision,” Sen. Mark Warner said in a statement. “As part of a broader effort to strengthen the connective tissue between Virginia’s startup communities, this tool will help founders evaluate their product fit and maturity, and connect them with venture and angel investors across the Commonwealth.”

The online application was tested by more than 200 entrepreneurs and investors at the TomTom Festival in Charlottesville and by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council.

The initiative aims to build strategic sectors in Virginia. One of the initial areas of focus will be a state-led pilot program to promote the growth of early stage unmanned aerial systems companies.

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