Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the launch of a key component of his efforts to catalyze entrepreneurism in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Velocity business plan competition opened today and is overseen by the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. The competition focuses on entrepreneurs in the key strategic growth sectors of bioscience and energy.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “It is critical to support, attract and retain entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth. Startup firms are a particularly important source of job sector growth for building the new Virginia economy. Entrepreneurism and innovation are key to growth in every part of urban, rural and suburban Virginia. This business plan competition is a great vehicle for encouraging more entrepreneurs to take the next step toward building a thriving and productive Virginia business.”
“Enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Virginia is an important part of the Governor’s overall economic development strategy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Entrepreneurism is integral to growing businesses and jobs, and Virginia Velocity provides an opportunity to strengthen the ecosystem by highlighting the work of entrepreneurs everywhere and helping them take their businesses to the next level.”
Virginia Velocity will provide $850,000 in prizes for winners, and at least four winners will be chosen. The competition is open to all companies in the bioscience and energy sectors, including those based outside of Virginia. There are a large number of judges with specific industry expertise in energy and bioscience. Each judge will be pre-qualified to ensure they have industry knowledge and can bring their expertise to this competition.
Among other requirements, eligible competitors must be for-profit organizations that have been engaged in their current business for at least 24 consecutive months. Winning companies must be willing to locate in Virginia for at least two years and are expected to have an office operating in Virginia by January 1, 2016. The minimum age to apply is 18 years of age, and the deadline for submitting an application is July 17, 2015.
More detailed information and rules about applying for the competition are available on the Virginia Velocity website at http://www.virginiavelocity.org.