Four Va. businesses to receive flood solutions funding
RISE challenge winners could receive up to $300,000 each
Four Virginia-based small businesses focused on coastal resiliency and flooding will receive funding to develop their products, Norfolk-based nonprofit RISE Resilience Innovations announced Thursday.
Divided between rural and urban projects, there were eight winning projects, with the other four based in North Carolina. More than 70 projects were submitted. The urban winners will receive up to $300,000, and the rural up to $200,000 in funds and services to support the development of their solutions to sea level rise and flooding, which they will test in coastal Virginia. Winners will also receive technical, government and business mentoring; investor matchmaking; customized accelerator training and ongoing support.
“These winning businesses represent some of the most innovative thinking in climate adaptation,” RISE Executive Director Paul Robinson said in a statement. “By providing one-stop shop resources to expedite their success, RISE provides the cutting-edge tools our own region needs to address climate challenges now, and a launchpad to help other coastal communities faster.”
Urban challenge winners will receive grants and loans to address coastal cities’ needs, such as re-establishing critical utilities after severe weather events and preventing tidal back flow in Hampton Roads cities’ stormwater systems. The two Virginia-based winners of the urban coastal challenge are:
- Independence Hydrogen Inc. Based in Ashburn, Independence Hydrogen provides gaseous hydrogen for fuel cell uses. It will test a distribution system that would provide cities with emergency alternative backup power supplies.
- InfraSGA Inc., headquartered in Norfolk, provides bio-retention solutions for stormwater management issues. The company will be fine-tuning its business model and preparing for market launch.
This was the first year that RISE offered a rural coastal challenge, in which it partnered with the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission and Virginia Sea Grant and received GO Virginia funding for winners, which will receive up to $200,000 to develop solutions like septic system redesigns and repurposing dredge materials. Winners will also receive support from regional community colleges and universities and the chance to test and develop their products on dedicated Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority properties and buildings.
The two rural Virginia winners are:
- Biogenic Solutions Consulting LLC, based in Newport News, which provides consulting on restoration, mitigation and biogenic shoreline reef management. The company will test a new method of upcycling dredge materials.
- Virginia Beach-based Home Mechanix helps residents mitigate home flooding hazards and repair damage afterward. The company will be testing a crawl space moisture barrier to protect homes from flood damage.
With support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, RISE has launched six challenges and provided more than $5 million to more than 30 businesses since 2018. Winners of the RISE urban and rural challenges join more than 20 RISE-funded pilot projects underway, including sensors that collect stormwater system capacity data and using Waze to re-route drivers in real time to avoid flooded roads.