A new economy
Welcome to the inaugural edition of StartVirginia, a product of Virginia Business magazine. While our editors have chronicled the economy of our commonwealth for more than 37 years, it’s almost impossible to start at the very beginning. Our state traces its business beginnings to the Virginia Company, chartered in 1606 by King James I of England to colonize America’s East Coast. Needless to say, the ensuing four centuries have seen many business developments.
In recent decades, transformation of the commonwealth’s economy has been amazing. We’ve grown from the mining-based economy of Southwest Virginia to the high-tech juggernaut of Northern Virginia. The state government in Richmond, federal contracting around Washington, D.C., and the military might in Hampton Roads provide additive effects that keep our economy humming across all sectors.
Technology and economic cycles have transformed business. The old economic models, based on large companies and long-gone benefits like employee pensions, are increasingly supplanted by smaller startup companies working in less traditional ways. Rather than long-term guarantees, risk sharing in exchange for ownership equity is a new currency for attracting and retaining employees. In the post-pandemic economy, Zoom meetings and remote working arrangements are new norms. Collaboration is less about conference rooms and more about software platforms.
Over the past several months, Virginia Business has slowly previewed StartVirginia as a single page in its regular monthly issues. This inaugural annual special publication represents a full-blown acceleration of that work. In the following pages, you will find insights, profiles and stories about Virginia’s rapidly developing entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Our goal is to keep abreast of the latest trends in Virginia’s rapidly evolving business landscape. Welcome to the commonwealth’s new economy!
President & Publisher