Board approves grants for innovative projects and takes steps to bolster the Commonwealth’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

RICHMOND – The GO Virginia Board announced yesterday its fifth round of project grants for initiatives to grow and diversify regional economies across the state. The GO Virginia Board approved three projects from across the state for a total of $4,217,500 in state funding. This will leverage more than $5,550,738 in non-state sources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia, including $1,192,674 of local government funding toward the three projects

TEConomy Partners LLC was also invited to provide the GO Board with an update on their work with the Virginia Research Investment Committee (VRIC) to bolster the Commonwealth of Virginia’s capacity for research, development, and commercialization. TEConomy Partners highlighted how GO Virginia can leverage the VRIC effort that is already underway to help each region develop a strategic direction as it relates to each region’s unique innovation ecosystem.

Board Approved Projects:

  • Lighthouse U – Region 4
    This project will establish Lighthouse U, an entrepreneurial collaboration between Lighthouse Labs and the da Vinci Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) that aims to bolster the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Lighthouse and VCU will partner to expand the Virginia Start-Up Spring Break and Pre-Accelerator programs. The project will pilot the Lighthouse U program, which will feature a series of events and training opportunities to prepare students to launch their own Virginia-based businesses after graduation. As part of the collaboration, Lighthouse Labs will introduce a new summer cohort program for recent graduates of Virginia universities that participated in Lighthouse U. Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and Henrico County provided the local match for this project.
  • Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MaMaC) Mega-Site – Region 4
    This project grant will allow the MaMaC site to complete engineering plans to upgrade the Greensville County Water and Sewer Authority’s Water Treatment Plant and to construct the gravity fed sewer system to the site. It will also advance the 1,600 acre Mega-Site in Greensville County to Tier 4 on the VEDP Business Ready Site Characterization Scale in order to attract a major prospect that will bring high-paying jobs to the region. The MaMaC Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (MaMaC RIFA) provided the local match for this project.
  • Tech Talent Pipeline Apprenticeship Initiative – Region 7
    This project will expand the previously awarded Tech Talent Pipeline Initiative which aims to create a workforce system to effectively attract, prepare, and retain qualified candidates to fill high demand cybersecurity and IT jobs. This project will develop and implement a new apprenticeship program, matching 400 apprentices to employers as an alternative career pathway to traditional two or four-year degrees. Additionally, the Tech Talent Pipeline Apprenticeship Initiative will establish a new apprenticeship model for IT jobs and will build long-term, sustainability for employers and prospective employees in the Northern Virginia Region. The Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church, and the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William provided the local match for this project.

Administratively Approved Projects:

  • SWVA HubLink– Region 1
    This enhanced capacity building grant will complete initial work on the SWVTC HubLink platform, an online jobs platform, where job-seekers will be able to access job and training opportunities in the technology industry. Prior to the build-out of the platform, SWVTC will solicit input from regional stakeholders, including workforce training providers, community colleges, private industry partners, student and job-seekers, etc. in order to determine the most valuable features for the online platform. In addition, SWVTC will establish an inventory of existing training opportunities which would be featured on the platform. The City of Norton, the Town of St. Paul, and Buchannan County are participating in this project.
  • Campus RVA – Region 4
    This enhanced capacity building grant will assist in the development of the CampusRVA initiative, which will serve as a marketplace, both on-line and off-line, for internships and job openings, to facilitate the matching of employers with potential employees. Based on the successful CampusPhilly model, CampusRVA will promote the capital region as an attractive place to live, work, and play, supporting the region’s goal of retaining Virginia’s recent college graduates. Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico Counties are participating in this project.
  • CvilleBioHub – Region 9
    This enhanced capacity building grant will be utilized to develop and promote a sustainable biotech ecosystem in Region 9. Key activities will include: developing a long term strategic plan to increase the density of biotech companies in the region, attracting top talent in this sector, and engagement of economic developers and educators to raise awareness of biotech market opportunities. The City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County are participating in this project.

About the GO Virginia coalition: The coalition is comprised of business and community leaders, partners in education and government, and interested Virginians from across the Commonwealth who support regional cooperation on private-sector growth, job creation, and career readiness. Bipartisan and business-led, the coalition favors state incentives to encourage collaboration among business, education, and government in each region, providing a framework for implementation of the private sector-focused strategies of leading business organizations and political leaders in both parties. Learn more and join the coalition at


For Immediate Release


Gena McGroarty