This resource page will be updated daily with current information and relevant programs to keep up with the changing business environment. Resources are free unless otherwise noted.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Select a topic below to redirect to that section/page.
STARTUP VIRGINIA PROGRAMS
OPEN TO EVERYONE
Improve Your Marketing Conversion Rates
Wednesday, April 28, 11 a.m. – A company’s success is hidden in the data. In this conversation, we’ll learn what conversion rates are, what the contributing factors can be, and how to make improvements to achieve your business goals. David Song, Marketing Expert and Founder of Rosie Labs based in NYC, will share actionable steps you can take to improve your marketing effectiveness.
Monthly on 3rd Thursday,
Hang out with other EdTech founders/team members to check-in on how things are going with the shift in education right now. Email Sonia to join.
COMMUNITY PROGRAMS + WEBINARS
Lighthouse Labs Fall 2021 Info Sessions
April 21, 3 p.m. / May 11, 5 p.m. / May 26, 12 p.m. – Join Lighthouse Labs virtually to learn more about startup acceleration and how to throw your hat in the ring for their Fall 2021 program! Applications close the first week of June.
About Lighthouse Labs: Lighthouse is the premier seed-stage startup accelerator in Virginia and the most founder-friendly program around! Our nationally recognized 12-week acceleration experience for high-growth startups is open to all industries and we have a particular interest in hearing from companies innovating in health.
Thursday, April 29, Noon-3 p.m. – Virginia early-stage innovative entrepreneurs: Charlottesville Angel Network (CAN) and Virginia Small Business Development Center (VSBDC) have joined forces to help you polish your pitch presentation. CAN and VSBDC are offering three pitch practice opportunities in 2021, with accredited angel investors in attendance. There is no cost to participate and presenter(s) will leave with actionable feedback from these angel investors. **This is not an application for funding or a formal presentation to request investment.**
Hire Better People Faster: Strategies for Recruiting & Onboarding Your Best Employees (Dominion Payroll)
Tuesday, April 20, 2 p.m. – In this webinar, we’ll cover:
- Where to find & recruit top talent in 2021
- How to improve the application experience to stay competitive with top applicants
- How to speed up and automate your hiring process (and save money doing so)
- Recruiting and onboarding new employees in a hybrid (or fully remote) environment
- Effectively communicating your company's values to attract employees that add to your culture
Business Funding: The SBA, Banks and the Lending Landscape (Dominion Payroll)
Wednesday, April 21, 11 a.m. – Join us as we look back at an unprecedented year of PPP loans and various alternatives with perspective from the Small Business Administration, business banking, and a small business owner who has navigated the challenges of the past year to emerge positioned to thrive in 2021. Register here.
Selecting a Trusted IT Partner with Dave Sroka (Dominion Energy Innovation Center)
Wednesday, April 28, 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Join this workshop hosted with Dave Sroka, Lead Software Developer and Mentor at Exelaration/NextUp Solutions, that provides vetting tactics for optimizing your engagement with a technology partner/vendor. During this hour and a half interactive workshop, Dave explores challenges with relationships, contracts, and pricing and imparts questions to ask and things to watch out for with an IT vendor. Register here.
VCU Demo Day
Friday, April 30, 9 a.m.- Noon – VCU Demo Day is designed to connect student innovators and founders with the Richmond ecosystem and beyond. Hosted by the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation, and sponsored by Capital One, join us to hear pitches from outstanding students who have completed VCU Pre-X, the university’s pre-accelerator program. Students will compete for funding and other prizes. This event is open to students, faculty, investors, and community members seeking to network, strengthen and support Richmond's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Register here.
Past Webinars by Topic
- Hidden in Plain Site (Feb 2021) – Featuring project co-founders Dontrese Brown, Dean Browell, and David Waltenbaugh – Recording
- Profit or Survival: How Purpose Can Drive Business Growth (July 2020) – Christian Marklow, Brand VP + Mark Brown, Brand Experience Director, Joe Smith – Recording
- Finding Your Value Proposition in Times of Disruption (May 2020) – Dan Morris, Brand VP, Joe Smith – Recording
- Cyber Security for Startups (Sept 2020) – Alexander Stein, Founder + Chief Information Security Officer, Bluetec – Recording | Slides
- Ransomware & Disaster Recovery: How Data Backups Can Save Your Company (Dec 2020) – Alexander Stein, Founder + Chief Information Security Officer, Bluetec – Recording
- Collect Data With Intention (Dec 2020) – Vida Williams, Advanced Analytics Solutions Lead + Chief Diversity Officer, SingleStone – Recording
- Valuation Workshop: The Art and Science of Early Stage Valuation Setting (Aug 2020) – Liz Doerr, Partner + Jay Coffin, Analyst, Sandbox – Recording (Members – Use your member password)
- Investor Relations + Financing During Covid (June 2020) – Tina McRae, Principal, Kaleo Legal – Recording (Members – Use your member password)
- Introduction to VentureSouth (Jan 2021) – Kevin Meinecke, associate leading VentureSouth's deal pipeline + due diligence – Recording (Members – Use your member password)
- So You Want an Intern? (Feb 2021) – Frank Allen and SK Parker, University of Richmond's Career Services office – Recording
- A Look at the Entrepreneurial Landscape in RVA (Jan 2021) – Featuring founders of MajorClarity, Trilogy Mentors, Roundtrip, and Brandefy App. Co-hosted with RVA Now and Lighthouse Labs. Recording
- Startup Compensation Strategy with Sandbox (Nov 2020) – Jill Lemon, Liz Doerr, Mike Page, founders of Sandbox – Recording (Members – Use your member password)
- How to Thrive When Working Remotely (April 2020) – Dennis Bowne, Principal, CapTech Consulting – Recording
- How Startups Can Succeed with Experienced Legal Advisors (Oct 2020) – John Failla, founder of Trilogy Mentors, and Gary LeClair, partner at Williams Mullen – Recording
- How to Design a Killer Pitch Deck (Oct 2020) – Olivia Mortensen, owner of Mortensen Designs – Recording | Slides
- Digital Marketing: Leveraging Landing Pages to Increase Your Conversion Rates (Sept 2020) – Haley Nininger, Paid Digital Marketing Analyst, Workshop Digital – Recording
- Digital Marketing: Customer Acquisition Funnel + How to Implement SEO/PPC (July 2020) – Nic Thibodeau, SEO Analyst, Workshop Digital – Recording | Slides
- MVE to MVP: No-Code Options for Testing Your Startup Product Idea (Aug 2020) – Luke Rabin, Product Lead + Brandon Lewis, Design Lead, BLDR – Recording
FOUNDER FIRESIDE CHATS
A Q&A-style conversation where we really get to know a founder within the Startup Virginia community.
Overview of the America Rescue Plan Act (March 2021)
Virginia 30 Day Fund: The nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans for Virginia-based small businesses. Apply here.
The Helm's Complete Guide to Emergency Funding: From how to access SBA Disaster Recovery Loans, to grants and relief packages, this guide is a frequently-updated list of everything women-led businesses will need to weather the impacts of Coronavirus.
COVID-19 Relief Efforts for Entrepreneurs and Gig Workers (By StitchCrew Accelerator): The Airtable spreadsheet includes funding/grant/loan resources, online tools, data/research, and more.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is an SBA loan designed to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll and closed on August 8, 2020. These loans are subject to 100% loan forgiveness if certain requirements are met. Visit the SBA website for more details on loan forgiveness. We also highly recommend visiting EDGe Business Planning's blog for up-to-date information on PPP loan forgiveness.
VCU Health Healthy Workplace Guide: Provides up-to-date information about COVID-19 and how to protect your employees and customers to comply with the VA Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) requirements.
Opening & Operating: Best Practices (Dominion Payroll) – We share practical ways for your business to safely, sanely, and effectively transition your workforce back to the workplace covering: CDC guidelines, HR best practices, scenario planning, and more.
ForwardRVA: A coalition focused on creating an innovative reopening and planning framework. Their website includes a reopening checklist and resources pertaining to reopening protocols and strategies.
Remote Work: Tools & Resources for Startups and Entrepreneurs (Hubspot) – Tips and tricks you can implement today for your startup to thrive remotely.
LinkedIn Learning Courses for Working Remotely: Discover how to be productive and stay connected when working from home or other remote environments.
Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) – The Center For Innovative Technology will provide grants up to $100,000 to advance young Virginia companies and their highly promising technologies that have traction through revenue and/or outside investment. Funding this round will support product or service development, market research, IP protection, marketing, pilots, and more.
Keiter CPA’s blog provides information and updates on the latest COVID-19-related business finances and individual tax law changes.
COVID-19 Survival Kit by Sandbox (Liz Doerr, Mike Page & Jill Lemon): Sandbox’s research, best practices, and other insights from working with 30+ local and national startups, including HR policies, expense cutting ideas, non-dilutive financing resources, etc. Download the PDF.
Startup Strategies During Uncertain Times (Amazon Web Services): Former founders on the AWS Startups team shared strategies/tactics for managing unexpected developments, including cash preservation tips, fundraising advice, and internal employee communications. Download the slides.
P&L Spreadsheet for Financial Forecasting: This P&L modeling Excel template was created by founder, Shizu Okusa (JRINK) to help entrepreneurs with financial forecasting.
ARTICLE: How To Keep Your Company Alive – Observe, Orient, Decide and Act by Steve Bank. Here’s a five-day playbook to help CEOs of cash-flow negative startups, or ones about to go negative, assess the new normal and respond with speed and urgency. (Posted April 1, 2020) Read the blog post.
Lighter Capital Guides and eBooks: Written by experts and trusted by entrepreneurs, these guides are designed to help you understand the fundraising process. Examples include, "How to Choose the Best Funding Path for Your Startup," and "Finding the Right Financing For Your Capital Needs." Check them out here.
[Article] How Startup Valuation Works and How a Company Valuation Affects Financing by Lighter Capital. Published February 28, 2019. This article covers how startup valuation works, how you should be thinking about valuation in general and what it means for you now and down the road.
AMA: Start-up Funding Options Available Now (HubSpot): Four start-up financing experts discuss the evolving fundraising landscape, how they are thinking about financing for startups and what you can do to position your company for success in the coming months and year. Watch the recording. Pass: Fw1*+A!G (start at minute 3:55)
Raising Money in a Crisis: Jason Calacanis, tech entrepreneur, angel investor, and podcast host, speaks on raising capital in a crisis. Watch the recording.
Zero to Sold with Arvid Kahl (Makerpad): During this workshop, we cover: Scaling your SaaS business, identifying a problem, finding your first users, and selling your business. Watch the recording.
Fundraising During a Difficult Time (Hubspot): 5 resources startups can use today to secure funding, even in tough economic times.
ICAP & the Future of the Virginia Startup Ecosystem: In this webinar recording, members of the ICAP (Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program) and Virginia SBDC (Small Business Development Center) team discuss the success of ICAP over the past 2.5 years, provide details about the program's future, and offer current partners and an ICAP client the opportunity to discuss their experience with the program. Representatives from CIT also provide an update on the transition to VIPA and the current entrepreneurial landscape in Virginia.
[Article] Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Sites – 2020: What are the top equity crowdfunding sites of 2020 for both investors and entrepreneurs? We have broken down the best crowdfunding platforms in terms of the number of investors, capital raised, fees, and other key areas. (Published: September 13, 2020)
VIRGINIA ANGEL + INVESTOR GROUPS
757 Angels is a select network of over 100 business and community leaders in the Hampton Roads region, who provide investment capital, strategic advice and mentoring to selected startup and early-stage companies to help them achieve market leadership. 757 Angels seeks dealflow from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Charlottesville Angel Network (CAN) is a group of nearly 70 accredited investors and family offices. The group is made up of independent investors who make independent investment decisions. CAN is not a fund. Members make no commitment to invest and are not charged a carry or management fee.
CAV Angels is a nonprofit organization housing the only angel group specifically catered towards UVA alumni. CAV Angels’ mission is twofold: first, to provide education on investment in private, early-stage companies to members of the UVA family; second, to facilitate investment by members of the organization in early-stage growth companies founded, owned, or managed by members of the UVA family.
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) creates technology-based economic development strategies to accelerate innovation, imagination and the next generation of technology and technology companies. CIT GAP Funds is a family of seed- and early-stage -investment funds placing equity investments in Virginia-based technology, life science, and cleantech companies, with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
NRV is a Richmond-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage growth companies that are post proof-of-concept with demonstrated market traction led by exceptional teams.
Trolley Ventures is an investment fund for early-stage business ventures in central Virginia. The group seeks to provide a better solution for both investors and companies by giving investors a turn-key solution whereby they can diversify across many businesses through a single investment, and early-stage businesses can effectively raise the capital that they need through a single relationship and a streamlined application process.
Virginia Tech Carilion Innovation Fund (VTC Innovation Fund) is a venture capital fund primarily funded by the Virginia Tech Foundation and Carilion Clinic. The Fund is managed by Middleland Capital with the primary goal of commercializing innovative technologies, accelerating growth, and building long term value within the Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic ecosystem by investing in early-stage life sciences and high growth technology companies. Although the VTC Innovation Fund’s primary focus is in the Central and Southeast Virginia region, it may invest in high growth opportunities across the Commonwealth.
VentureSouth operates angel investment groups and funds comprised of more than 300 accredited investors across the Southeast. The group aims to invest $250,000 to $1,000,000 in companies seeking capital to launch or scale a market-ready product or service.
New VA Workplace Regulations: Is Your Business Compliant? (Dominion Payroll): Virginia adopted the first-in-the-nation workplace safety standards for the COVID-19 pandemic. We provide an overview of these new regulations and to find out what your business needs to do to stay in compliance. Watch the recording.
Dominion Payroll Resource Page: Dominion Payroll has a comprehensive COVID-19 webinar resource page and created helpful Word templates: Sample Work from Home Agreement, a Furlough Letter, a Layoff Letter, and a Recall from Furlough Letter.
Fahrenheit Advisors Insights: Articles to help businesses navigate the changing and challenging times related to hiring.
Covid HR Practices - What You Need to Know (Sandbox): A one-page PDF detailing pertinent HR and employee-related information and resource links.
Troutman Pepper Insights: The blog provides articles related to COVID-19, as well as other posts that can be sorted by industry.
Williams Mullen COVID-19 Resource Center: The COVID-19 resource center includes alerts, recorded webinars and podcasts, an FAQ section, a 'Comeback Plan' for your business, and more.
Woods Rogers COVID-19 Legal Updates: The COVID-19 blog page shares legal updates and links to important resources.
Learn How to Use Instagram for Marketing (Hubspot Academy): It’s easy enough to use Instagram, but harder to use it successfully. Learn how to put together an Instagram marketing strategy that will make a real difference for your business. In this course, you'll learn what a successful Instagram strategy looks like, how to develop and analyze Instagram content and how to promote that content with Instagram ads. Enroll for free here.
Introduction to Social Media Marketing (Offered by Facebook on Coursera): This course lays the foundation of social media marketing. You’ll learn what social media marketing entails, including the history and the different social media channels that exist. You’ll learn how to select a social media channel that fits your needs, set goals and success metrics, and determine who your target audience is. Enroll for free here.
The Remote Sales Playbook (HubSpot): Transitioning from field sales to remote selling isn't an easy task. We've put together a collection of 30+ of our best resources for sales reps and sales managers to help your startups tackle whatever is next.
HubSpot for Startups Education Series: Grow and Scale your Startup in 2020 – A digital workshop series to educate you on ten topics startups ask about the most.
Adapt 2020: An Education Series by Hubspot – A weekly content installment series that will help you shift and build a marketing and sales strategy for today’s unique situation and tomorrow’s new economy.
How to Market & Sell When It's Not 'Business as Usual' (Northern Virginia Technology Council): This webinar presents how to stay engaged with customers and drive growth, the role of sales & marketing in the continuity of business operations, concrete steps your organization can implement today to pivot your customer engagement strategies, and the dos and don’ts of marketing and PR in times of crisis.
Prospecting in the Days of Social Distancing (Sandler Training): This webinar recording focuses on the necessary behaviors, attitudes, and techniques to turn the challenges we are facing today into opportunities for sustainability and growth. Download the slides. Download Sandler Research Center's Market View research.
Marketing Templates by Mortensen Designs: Created by SVA mentor Olivia Mortensen, these professionally-designed small business marketing templates are fully customizable to match your company’s brand. What’s Inside? 3 Social Media Templates, 2 One Pager Templates, 1 Pitch Deck Template.
ARTICLE: The Elements of Value by Harward Business Review. It’s more important than ever to demonstrate that your company, and you as an employee, can provide value to customers. Here are all of the ways you can tangibly provide value. Read the article.
Anti-Racist Resource Guide for the Tech & VC Community: This resource list was compiled by Female Founders Fund for the tech & VC community with the intention of deepening anti-racism knowledge and to share ways we can participate in creating change.
Black Venture Capitalists Confront Silicon Valley’s Quiet Racism: Interviews with Black VCs illuminate the difficulty of making a difference in a tech industry that often refuses to acknowledge the problem; the frustrations of seeking to be recognized for their work irrespective of race; and the internal conflict many face over whether they’re doing enough to create opportunities for others like themselves. Read the Bloomberg article. (Posted: August 24, 2020)
An Open Professional Network For Black Founders: Networks are a key factor in professional success, but Black individuals don't always have access to deep professional networks in the startup and marketing world. Despite 14% of the U.S. population being Black, at the top 75 companies in Silicon Valley, only 3% of employees are Black, and in advertising, less than 7% of employees are Black. Explore this network of professionals committed to creating more access for Black individuals in the startup and marketing space or consider offering up your time.
Company Culture: Fostering Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (Dominion Payroll) – As 2020 exposes long-overdue structural inequities, business leaders are asking themselves how they can push for diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own companies. Learn how your company can leverage business as a force of good and make real social impact.
Antiracism and Inclusion In Tech with Dr. Tiffany Jana (RVATech): In this session, we explore actionable ideas that, when implemented, can help make the tech industry more equitable and inclusive. Dr. Jana shares pointed and direct advice on how you can be a force for positive change.
Social Justice and Leading RVA in Uncertain Times (Metropolitan Business League): A panel of leaders discuss the current state of injustice, how we got to this point, and what actions business leaders should be taking now.
BizSense Assembly recap: Black Entrepreneurship in Richmond – A group of Richmond’s Black entrepreneurs reflected on how racism has created hurdles to the growth of their careers and companies. Read the recap. (Posted: July 23, 2020)
The Definitive Guide to Investing in Black Founders: The meeting is only one piece of the puzzle. Learn how to find more black founders and how to build a relationship that will get you in their round. Read the article. (Posted: June 8, 2020)
The Conversation And The Data: A Look At Funding To Black Founders – “Black founders are often over-mentored and under-invested,” Woodard said during the event. “If you have the ability to write a check, but you will only offer mentorship to black founders, that is only helpful to your ego.” Read the article. (Posted: June 5, 2020)
Getting Shots Up – A blog/weekly newsletter that includes essays, interviews, and more about building entrepreneurial careers. This isn’t startup advice – it’s a zoomed-out view of how entrepreneurial people can think about constructing a career that results in a lot of high-quality shots on goal. Written by Mike Wilner, a 2013 Venture for America fellow, a former startup founder, the co-author of a book on seed fundraising, and on the Early Stage Startup team at AWS.
ChamberRVA COVID-19 Resource Center –Funding and resources for the business community.
Facebook Business Resource Hub – Facebook for Business recently launched a resource page full of information and courses to help you manage through and build resilience during the outbreak.
Envoy Portfolio: Us vs. Coronavirus – Envoy Portfolio, along with their speakers and partner subject matter experts, provide practical tools for leaders. Check out the videos and resources.
ARTICLE: When, Why, & How to Pivot a Startup Business. A look at how Burbn pivoted and turned into Instagram. (Posted: March 25, 2020) Read the Hubspot article.