MARCH 2018 - MARCH 2019

Illustration for Ideas
Who We Are
Illustration for Goal Setting
Impact Report
Illustration for Work
How SVA Works
Illustration for SVA Builder Series
Why Invest in SVA
Illustration for CVA Angels
Support SVA

Who We Are


Startup Virginia (SVA) is a nonprofit, high-growth business incubator dedicated to advancing businesses that build a long-term, sustainable economy for Virginia. We currently serve 68 startup companies, more than 180 mentors and subject matter experts, and a regional investors network. SVA also provides entrepreneurial guidance and education that is open to all. With support from our partners, mentors, investors, and donors, we help entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

In a region of over 1.3 million people, SVA’s founders saw an opportunity to create the region’s only business incubator focused on helping high-growth, scalable companies. In March 2016, SVA was established by like-minded entrepreneurs deeply invested in Richmond’s innovation ecosystem as a full-service incubator.

Fast forward two years, SVA is quickly becoming a bastion of growth for startups in central Virginia and beyond. With Virginia recently ranked 4th on Forbes’ Best States for Business, the timing could not be better.

»  Help startups grow faster and smarter than they would on their own.
»  Anchor Richmond’s identity as a startup hub, and enhance Virginia’s position as a high-growth startup destination.
»  Solidify our business operations, strengthen our sustainability, and increase our capacity to serve members.

Startup Virginia's Financial Model

Startup Virginia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an annual operating budget of $738,394 for FY2019. Our financial model includes approximately 45% of revenue coming from earned income through startup membership fees. With no additional support or change in budget, this leaves approximately $400,000 to be fundraised in the Richmond region each year to sustain our programming efforts.

We are proud to say that 73% percent of all operating costs are program-related. And in just one year, we already see opportunities to further resource our entrepreneurs with even greater donor support.

73% of SVA's budget spent on programming
45% of SVA's earned income through membership fees
55% of SVA's budget is fundraised

Impact Report

SVA Members

68 member companies
memebrship breakdown
40% companies led by female and/or person of color
94% member satisfaction score
Satisfaction breakdown


95 Programs in 2018
4.8/5 recommend an SVA program
2,549 total SVA program attendees

Mentor Network

180+ Mentors onboarded, 220 - average number of mentor hours per month
94% founders meet with mentors, 40% report 12+ hours/month with mentors

SVA Benefits

35 members redeemed $1.035 million in AWS credits
11 members have applied to Hubspot for Startups and together are saving $45,000+

Member Company Revenue + Workforce

38 companies reported earning revenue in 2018
440 FTE employed by members
23 in 2017, vs. 38 in 2018, a 65% increase since moving to 1717
Member revenue breakdown


52% members raised capital in 2018
Members have raised $28 million
CVA Angels have invested $1.17 million in 3 local startups in 2018
37% members received funding from angel groups and/or venture capitalists

Fun Facts

147 members and employees use our space daily
Members featured in the news 55 times
13,430 cups of coffee brewed by members
~$100 of free food enjoyed by members each month

How Startup Virginia Works


Our members, mentors, partners, and investors are the key players to SVA's success.


Explore events and education that make up the Startup Virginia experience.


View our inspiring space designed to help startups grow, compete, and succeed.

Startup Virginia's Mentor Program

Mentors and corporate partners are at the heart of the Startup Virginia experience and help drive our members to success.
Mentor Program realtionship infographic

Our mentors and corporate partners come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and represent an array of industries to offer unique viewpoints. Our Director of Startup Growth proactively resources members’ needs and strategically matches members to mentors and corporate partners who have the expertise most relevant to their individual business or challenge.

Because mentors are a vital part of our culture, we hold them to the highest of standards. We select those who have the professional credentials, as well as the time and passion to devote to our members. Our mentors are either a Subject Matter Expert (SME) offering deep industry or functional expertise in a specific area (e.g. finance, marketing, sales, strategic planning, technology, etc.), or an Entrepreneur Mentor, who in addition to being an SME, has been directly involved in founding a startup.

Why Invest in Startup Virginia?

Value Proposition #1


SVA's economic impact chart

As of May 2018, the mean salary in Richmond is $51,330, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 With our incubated member companies employing a workforce of 440 persons, we are able to add to the local economy, the tax base of the city, and the skilled labor market. If you extrapolate the average salary to the number of employees from our members, we are adding $22,585,200 to our local economy.

National statistics show that 84% of companies that graduate from an incubator stay in the communities where they were incubated. More SVA members and alumni means a more robust talent pool and healthier job economy for our region. 

A stronger startup economy means a stronger overall job economy, which is excellent for corporations who have made Richmond their home. Startups are known for their ability to attract new, young talent to the region, which means an improved applicant pool for all.

1 Richmond, VA - May 2018 OES Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. (2019, March 29). Retrieved from Richmond, VA - May 2018 OES Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. (2019, March 29). Retrieved from

Value Proposition #2


Since moving into the 1717 Innovation Center on March 1, 2018, Startup Virginia has seen incredible community interest and growth, attracting founders, mentors, and investors while developing programming for all.

» Startup Virginia supports 68 diverse companies

Our founders are building high-potential startups across all industries right here in Richmond. And our membership continues to grow each month, with a diversity of entrepreneurs seeking the opportunities and resources we provide to our members. Our members are also diverse demographically with 40% of companies led by minority and/or female founders.

Member Growth 2018-19

Startup Virginia takes our membership satisfaction seriously. We understand the importance that founders finding value in our organization has on our larger goal of creating new growth and development in our community. We poll our members monthly to remain accountable to our promise. In our first year of operation at 1717, we have exceeded our goal each month of over 90% founder satisfaction.

94% member satisfaction score

» Mentors exceed 220 hours per month with members

Quality mentoring is part of what distinguishes us from a traditional co-working space, and our robust 180+ mentor network represents some of the region’s most influential and successful business leaders. Comprised of serial entrepreneurs, executives, and subject matter experts – the guidance that members need are literally at their fingertips.

220 average number of mentor hours per month

» Investors have invested a total of $26 million in local early-stage startups

Access to investment capital is another key factor to startup success. To date, Startup Virginia members have raised a total of $26 million and 52% of our members raised capital in 2018.

We are proactively strengthening our relationships with various investor networks to continue expanding investment opportunities. These efforts include a collaborative relationship with Trolley Venture Partners, an investment fund for early “seed stage” business ventures that operates out of Startup Virginia’s offices.

In addition to building relationships with other regional investor networks, we facilitate opportunities for funding through our CVA Angels network. This early-stage angel investment group is made up of over 290 accredited investors across Central Virginia. As an example, over the past year, CVA Angels invested $1.17 million in three local startups: Grenova, ARtGlass, and Occasion Genius. To date, CVA Angels has featured over 75 companies and raised collectively over $4.5 million for startups.

52% SVA members fundraising in 2018
SVA members have raised $26 million, CVA Angels gave $1.17 million to 3 startups in 2018

» SVA programs have attracted 2,500+ participants

Startup Virginia’s programming creates learning and networking opportunities for our members and the greater community. We take great pride in providing much of our educational programming at no cost to the greater Richmond community. Since April 1, 2018, Startup Virginia has offered 95 workshops/events, with more than 2,500 participants, and 4.8/5 participants indicating they would recommend our programming to a peer.

SVA Programming Metrics chart

While our programming focus is on building the success of high-growth startups, we are very much committed to serving as an inclusive resource for all entrepreneurs in the region. As part of that commitment, we offer a free, nine-week Entrepreneur Certificate Course, addressing all aspects of launching a successful business.

Now in our third course series, every class has been full, proving there is a need for this offering in the Richmond region. Of the 850 participants in our first three series, 48% were women and 40% were minorities (23% of that African American).

Entrepreneur Certificate Course demographics
Value Proposition #3


Research demonstrates that entrepreneurship drives economies by empowering individuals, improving standards of living throughout a community, and creating jobs, wealth, and innovation in the economy. In fact, new and young companies account for virtually all net new job creation in the U.S.1

However, recent data also shows that rates of entrepreneurship in America have fallen near a 40-year low, and that this decline is occurring in all 50 states, in all but a handful of the 360 metro areas examined, and across a broad range of industry sectors, including high-technology.

Communities should think beyond recruiting companies from other jurisdictions and retaining existing companies, and also focus on growing new companies. By investing in a business incubator, startups will be better connected to quality resources and support, and will have significantly increased rates of success. In other words, business incubators reduce the risk of failure.

The International Business Innovation Association reports that companies participating in a business incubator have a survival rate of 87%, as compared with 44%-66% for unassisted companies.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem




This graphic, adapted from Richmond-based venture capital firm NRV, depicts the essential elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In a successful ecosystem, the elements are reciprocal. The increased fulfillment of one part creates growth for another and so on.

1 John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, and Javier Miranda, “Business Dynamics Statistics Briefing: Jobs Created from Business Start-Ups in the United States,” Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 2009. See also “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook 3.0,” Ewing Marion, Kauffman Foundation, 2019.

2 “Declining Business Dynamism in the United States: A Look at States and Metros,” Robert Litan and Ian Hathaway, The Brooking Institution, May 5, 2014.

What's Ahead


As a startup ourselves, we recognize the importance of setting long-term goals to ensure our success.
SVA has identified three strategic goals and the tactics to achieve over the next three years.

#1: Help startups grow faster and smarter than they would on their own.

Establish a comprehensive framework for member success.
  • Support members as they develop and navigate their own unique pathway.
  • Provide a consistent set of tools, programs, and resources for members.
  • Collect business data to track and report member outcomes and success.
Strengthen and enhance our programming model.
  • Identify and deliver the right balance of programs, events, and activities to engage and support members, mentors, investors, and the broader entrepreneurial community.
Leverage a growing mentor and partner network.
  • Develop a long-term plan to create a more fully engaged mentor network that creates value and connections for entrepreneurs, mentors, and Startup Virginia.
  • Design and build a corporate partner network.

#2: Anchor Richmond’s identity as startup hub, and enhance Virginia’s position as a high-growth startup destination.

Collaborate with Richmond’s broader entrepreneurial ecosystem to build a more vibrant startup community.
  • Boost our marketing and outreach efforts to reach a broader audience.
  • Expand our Entrepreneur Certificate Course to equip a larger number of current and aspiring entrepreneurs with new tools and resources.
  • Continue to develop strategic partnerships in ways that drive collective impact and ecosystem growth.
Amplify our brand and the success of our member startups at a regional and national level.
  • Pursue opportunities that position our organization as an active and visible champion of high-growth startups.
  • Broadcast the success of our members and Richmond’s thriving ecosystem at a national and regional level.
Participate with organizations to catalyze innovative business growth and investment throughout Virginia.
  • Be an active part of the statewide entrepreneurial community.
  • Strengthen the existing investor network, and attract and engage new investors to Virginia.
  • Support advocates for high-growth startups in Virginia

#3: Solidify our business operations, strengthen our sustainability, and increase our capacity to serve members.

Develop our operational infrastructure.
  • Select and deploy a robust data management system.
  • Develop and document operational systems and processes.
  • Develop a long-term board strategy, including the establishment of an Advisory Council.
Develop and deploy a balanced fundraising and investment strategy.
  • Create a plan to establish a balanced model for fundraising and income generation that includes a sustainable base of recurring revenue from multiple sources, and specific activities to strengthen and grow in targeted areas.
  • Identify and deploy a scalable software platform to support our fundraising activities, and develop a process to maintain the data and leverage our donor network.

Support Startup Virginia

SVA is positioned to build on the entrepreneurial momentum in Richmond and cultivate a community for founders with the essential support needed to thrive.

Your support is essential to our ability to accelerate the pace of growth for our member companies and the entire entrepreneurial community. A report from The International Business Innovation Association indicates that $1 of public investment in an incubator equals $30 in local tax revenue from alumni and member companies. Your investment in SVA will resound loudly in the region and its economic health.

Individual Donors

Join the group of visionaries committed to supporting the mission of connecting entrepreneurs to the resources they need to create, launch, and grow businesses.

Corporate Partners

Partner with SVA and engage with high-growth startups. By providing annual funding and expertise we can build a more vibrant startup community.

Startup Investors

Join our investor network and you'll be invited to exclusive events. By investing in member companies at Startup Virginia, you help shape the economic landscape of Virginia.