Member News

The latest news about Startup Virginia and our members.

Startup Virginia small icon

Meet Richmond Inno’s 2019 Inno Blazers

Members of Richmond’s tech, business and startup communities converged in Scott’s Addition Thursday night to celebrate Richmond Inno’s Inno on Fire, a party honoring 25 of the most innovative companies and individuals in Central Virginia. Hundreds of the area’s top entrepreneurs and innovators appeared at the packed event for networking and a celebration of the River City’s best and brightest.

AnswersNow Raises $850K to Aid Parents of Kids With Autism

Growth time has begun for a Richmond startup looking to provide answers on autism. AnswersNow has closed an $850,000 seed funding round, co-founder Jeff Beck said, as it looks to scale its platform that matches parents of children with autism to clinicians for counseling.

RVA Startup Awards: Meet Richmond’s 2019 Inno on Fire

If you aren’t yet stoked for our inaugural Inno on Fire event, this list is surely about to kindle the flame. Today, we’re officially awarding the people and companies that are crushing it in Richmond’s innovation ecosystem with the first annual Inno on Fire awards.

RVA Biotech Grenova is Cutting Plastic Waste in Science Labs

How much of a pipette has to be reused to majorly cut down on plastic lab waste? Turns out, just the tip. That’s what Ali Safavi, founder of green tech startup Grenova, discovered when he entered the field of biological engineering as a young professional. Plastic was everywhere.

DineGigs Scraps $5M Round, Refocuses as ‘LinkedIn for Restaurants’

The food service industry is a main artery in the U.S., pumping $800 billion through the economy every year and employing more than 15 million workers. One of those was native Richmonder Duncan Parker, who is now the founder and CEO of Dine Inc., a technology startup aiming to improve the way restaurants operate.

RVA Biotech Grenova is Cutting Plastic Waste in Science Labs

How much of a pipette has to be reused to majorly cut down on plastic lab waste? Turns out, just the tip. That’s what Ali Safavi, founder of green tech startup Grenova, discovered when he entered the field of biological engineering as a young professional. Plastic was everywhere.

How Richmond Startup Fringe is Making Employee Benefits Fun

Employees are quitting their jobs at an alarming rate. The Society for Human Resource Management recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that employee attrition hit an all-time high in 2018. Every month last year, American workers voluntarily boxed up their desks and walked out.

New Money: The Top Richmond Funding and Acquisition Deals of April 2019

April has been far from quiet for Richmond-area startups and tech companies, but not an awful lot of money changed hands in the region. A trio of funding deals, led by AllyAlign Health’s eight-digit haul, collected a total of $15 million.

Buddy Plants Richmond’s Flag in Growing Insurtech Field

As might be expected, a Richmond insurance startup is covering all of its bases this summer prior to its launch in 10 states. One of only 10 companies nationwide selected for the inaugural class of the MetLife Digital Accelerator carried out in partnership with Techstars, Buddy, described by its founders as a “new type of insurance,” is soaking up all of the advice and guidance it can get.

NC State Startups Awarded $50,000 in 2019 Lulu eGames Daugherty Track

Casey Boutwell, an NC State alumnus and former employee, and his startup company took home $25,000 in funding for winning first place in the Daugherty Track of the Lulu eGames. He earned his MBA from NC State’s Poole College of Management in 2016 while working for the university.

Bootstrapping in RVA: Local Founders Fuel Growth Without VC

Most founders will say it’s near impossible to launch and quickly scale a company without outside financing. Venture capital can help in a big way, providing cash to hire dozens of people and launch national marketing campaigns.

How Mobile Marketing Startup Dippy Drives Customer Engagement for Fast Food Brands

Nearly three years after its initial launch, Dippy is shaking up the quick-service food industry. Developed by Richmond-based entrepreneurs Evan Rallis and Mike McCabe, Dippy is a mobile web and text messaging platform that drives customer engagement for businesses by increasing app downloads and loyalty program signups.

Richmond Event-Planning Startup OccasionGenius Raises $2.1M

Richmond startup OccasionGenius has closed its seed round with $2.15 million in fresh funding. The company’s platform, used by hotels and other hospitality providers, coalesces event data and informs people of things to do around town. The seed funding, confirmed by founder Nate Marcus, was led by Richmond’s CVA Angels with an $800,000 investment and included participation from Virginia Beach-based 757 Angels, among others.

2 Richmond Startups Take Top Spots at IdeaFest Pitch Comp.

Young biotech companies born in Richmond took home the top two spots at a recent pitch competition in Danville, Va. After receiving nearly 100 applications, The Launch Place, a consulting and investment group, hosted 20 competitors onstage to present their startups to a panel of judges for the IdeaFest Pitch Competition.

Richmond Startup EdConnective Gives Teachers a Leg Up

A teacher would never dream of giving students 10 months of assignments and then offer feedback two to three times during the year. But when many U.S. educators first take up their position in front of the blackboard, that’s the scenario they face.

Richmond Startup Kinis Makes Strides in Barefoot Training

Vincent Vu knows that every race is won by simply putting one foot in front of the other. This December, the Richmond entrepreneur crossed his first major finish line when his barefoot training startup, Kinis, released the Nomad 804, a minimalistic “shoe” for indoor exercise that offers wearers as close to the barefoot experience as you can get without actually letting your naked soles touch the gym floor.

A Former Rock Star’s Tech Startup is Teaching Music to Kids With Special Needs

When Steve Van Dam first developed the ORO Visual Music app more than two years ago, he didn’t realize that it would ultimately transform music education for children with autism and other special needs. Van Dam, a former member of the ’90s rock band Everything, initially launched ORO with his partner, Craig Honeycutt, for entertainment purposes.

UZURV Tackles Ride-Hailing Niche to Offer Rides With “Higher Duty of Care”

As ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to plow into the market share of the taxicab service industry, they have left corners of the personal mobility space open and exposed to competitors. One such competitor is UZURV, an adaptive transportation network company (TNC) that provides door-to-door transportation- as opposed to curb-to-curb service – for disabled, elderly and non-emergency medical riders.

PivotPass Helps Richmond Companies Develop Healthier Workers

Three years in, PivotPass is at a tipping point. The app, co-founded by self-described “life partners” April Palmer and Brig Leland II, recently inked deals with Apex Clean Energy and the Martin Agency, boosting its usage and raising its profile in the Central Virginia tech ecosystem.

Learning Curve: Meet the Startups Boosting Richmond’s Fast-Growing Edtech Industry

Maybe it’s the high-rated public school system. Maybe it’s the great universities. Maybe it’s the water. Whatever it is, something in Richmond’s soil is perfect for growing edtech startups. The area has given rise to a wealth of fast-growing companies focused on education, many of which are just getting started on their best school year to date.

This Richmond Edtech Startup is Tackling America’s Biggest Misconception About College

Since its founding in 2015, the career exploration platform MajorClarity has become one of the most recognized household names in the Richmond startup ecosystem. Richmonders might recall the edtech company’s founder and CEO Joe Belsterling as a mentor at Startup Virginia, a top graduate of the accelerator Lighthouse Labs, or most recently, featured in Richmond Inno’s own 25 Under 25 list.

Richmond Inno’s 25 Under 25

One of the best ways to gauge the potential of a tech ecosystem is to take a look at a region’s youngest entrepreneurs. From the hallways of Richmond high schools to universities, coworking spaces and incubators, the newest generation entering the workforce has more startup resources than ever – and is making good use of them.

The Naborforce App is Supporting Aging-in-Place in Richmond

As the U.S. prepares to grapple with the “silver tsunami,” a term used to describe the wave of baby boomers in or entering retirement, one Richmond startup is looking close to home to meet this group’s emerging needs.

Richmond Note-Taking App Maple Taps Into Your Psyche

After almost three years of quietly putting down roots, an online platform that aims to help individuals organize their thoughts and embrace personal growth is beginning to branch out. This fall, Maple, which has been operating under the radar during an extensive buildout, is rolling out a new version called Maple Pro and starting to aggressively take its product into the public sphere.