On February 4, 2020, GO Virginia Region 2 council members gathered at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia for their full council meeting along with GO Virginia staff, grantees, and the public. Agenda items included discussing new and updated proposals, reporting on project metrics, discussing state board broadband, and updating council members on the January 22 Celebration event.
The GOVA Region 2 council also welcomed three new appointees: Amy Ankrum from Qualtrax, Kimball Payne from the Berkley Group, and Eddie Amos from GE Digital who recently rejoined the council.
GO Virginia Region 2 council members voted in approval of two proposals.
The first of these was the proposal for Increasing the Birth Rates of New High Growth Companies, led by The Advancement Foundation. After a successful first year, the grantees had requested funds for the project’s second year. Annette Patterson, president of the Advancement Foundation and project lead, said, “We have met or nearly exceeded all of our goals for the year….It’s been an extraordinary ten months. We have worked with a number of very talented entrepreneurs who are developing products…all amazing companies who are very appreciative of GO Virginia’s support, support they would not have had had it not been for this funding this first year.”
The second proposal the GOVA Region 2 council approved was Virginia Accelerator Network led by Lighthouse Labs, a well-regarded accelerator program in Richmond. “The [project’s] intent is to strengthen and complement things that are already going on with Lighthouse and RAMP in terms of their reach and in terms of their sustainability,” said John Provo, director of Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development.
Carole Tarrant, from Virginia Western on behalf of RAMP, said, “Part of this grant would enable RAMP to take RAMP-branded curriculum on the road so we would have entrepreneurship classes on the Dabney Lancaster campus. It’s really expanding what we learned with RAMP, just dealing with 3-5 companies, and trying to really deepen the outreach to all the institutions in higher education.”
GOVA Council members viewed the GOVA Region 2 sizzle video, created by B2C Enterprises. “The idea is really to get our grantees speaking in their own words because the purpose of the event was to reach more future grantees and give them a concise understanding of what GO Virginia is looking for,” said John Provo. The GOVA Celebration event was well attended and well covered in the media.
GO Virginia is a statewide initiative designed to encourage Virginia’s economic growth through the creation of high-wage jobs. Currently, GO Virginia has 1.4 million dollars available in funding and is looking for projects that will promote technology, talent development, entrepreneurship, or site development.