First Loudoun Innovation Challenge winners announced
Loudoun County awarded $150,000 in total grants to four startup companies
The Loudoun Economic Development Authority (EDA) on Monday announced the four winners of its first Loudoun Innovation Challenge, which awarded $150,000 in total grants to innovative startups based in the county or committing to locate an office or jobs there.
Launched in January, the challenge received 71 applications from projects in varying stages of development. The EDA awarded one $75,000 grant and three $25,000 grants to the winners.
“The high caliber of applications shows the amazing opportunities for innovation in all corners of Loudoun County,” said Loudoun County Economic Development Director Buddy Rizer. “In addition to businesses we have worked with in the past, we were excited to see so many new faces in the pool of applicants.”
The $75,000 Loudoun Innovation Challenge grant was awarded to Calypso AI, a software company that builds tools for artificial intelligence. Their tools allow clients to develop, test, and deploy secure AI and data science systems.
Calypso AI is currently headquartered in San Francisco, but its managing director, Tyler Sweatt, is an Ashburn resident and the company has pledged to move to Loudoun County.
“As we expand out of our first home in Silicon Valley, the access to a highly talented workforce, robust infrastructure and diverse amenities made Loudoun an easy choice for Calypso’s headquarters location,” Sweatt said in a statement. “We are bringing with us the backing of leading venture capital firms and the global reach of a high-growth software company. We are looking forward to growing in our new home in Loudoun.”
ResourcePath was awarded one of the $25,000 grants. A Sterling-based, woman-owned business founded by academic pathologists and molecular technologists, it is a clinical and research laboratory focused on cancer and other infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
“It is an opportunity for us to continue to further the exciting work with which we are involved and be able to help others locally in our community, and to help everyone lead more healthful lives,” ResourcePath Medical Director D. Ashley Hill said in a statement. “With our prize, we look forward to being able to expand our base and our work in Loudoun County and to being an important contributor helping everyone get back to business quickly and safely.”
Leesburg-based Bartrack also won a $25,000 grant. Bartrack makes a beverage sensor that tracks inventory and checks the quality of consumer draft beer products.
“We are excited about the years to come and will continue along the path of changing the world one beer at a time,” Bartrack co-founder and President Brett Danielson said in a statement.
The final $25,000 grant was awarded to hydration and cooling system company Qore Performance.
“Being selected as a 2020 Loudoun Innovation Challenge winner is both tremendous and humbling because Loudoun County is home to so many incredible startups and small businesses,” Qore Performance co-founder and CEO Justin Li said in a statement.