A Hub for New Businesses in Northern Virginia
If you’re a self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit, Northern Virginia is the perfect place for you and your new business ideas. Creative and innovative by nature, this region offers not just the ideal environment for Fortune 500 companies and corporate headquarters, but also for new business owners and entrepreneurs.
Northern Virginia is ripe with opportunities for startups, with plenty of statewide and county-level programs dedicated to setting up entrepreneurs for success. Here, company founders will find a rapidly growing tech community with a diverse pool of talent, access to capital and the right partners to help bring their next great idea to fruition. Over 1,000 Virginia-based startups now call this region home, with new startups emerging every day – your company could be next.
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority offers a variety of resources to new businesses and startups in Northern Virginia. Entrepreneurs can access free webinars, workshops and guides through FCEDA’s small business pages.
Rankings & Stats
Creative Co-working Spaces and Incubators
Entrepreneurs thrive in Northern Virginia’s fast-paced, creative environment, brimming with ideas and innovation. Dynamic co-working spaces in Arlington offer creative, collaborative hubs for businesses and remote workers. Spaces like Refraction in Tysons, MakeOffices in Reston, ALX Community in Alexandria and 1776 Crystal City offer workspaces for individuals and teams across the region.
Meanwhile, incubators support entrepreneurs starting new businesses in Northern Virginia by providing mentors and guidance. Startup Virginia connects entrepreneurs of high-growth startups with exceptional mentors and extensive programs to help them achieve success and support Virginia’s economy.
The Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University focuses the energy, skills, and intellectual capital of George Mason University on enterprise creation and expansion. The 90-day MACH 37 accelerator program is designed specifically for cyber product companies. Topspin Labs, a technology spinoff incubator, provides new ventures with an expert management team to help support their growth.
Supporting Growing Startups
Northern Virginia is home to a strong, well-developed local investor network. In fact, venture capital investments in the greater D.C. region totaled more than $1.55 billion in 2017. There are a number of public and private sources of capital available to startups in Northern Virginia. For example, the Center for Innovative Technology’s Growth Acceleration Program and the Virginia is for Entrepreneurs networks help connect startups with the capital needed to launch their operations or take their business to the next level.
The FCEDA Capital Attraction Program enhances Fairfax County’s visibility as a location for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. In 2021 the Capital Attraction Program invested $1.2 billion in local businesses. Learn more about the investments and companies in the FCEDA 2021 Capital Investment report.
In addition to accelerators and public programs, top venture capital firms in Northern Virginia offer support for high growth potential startups across the region. VC firms include:
- Amplifier Venture Partners (McLean, VA)
- Center for Innovative Technology (Herndon, VA)
- Columbia Capital (Alexandria, VA)
- DC Capital Partners (Alexandria, VA)
- Edison Ventures (McLean, VA)
- The GIC Group (Alexandria, VA)
- Grotech Ventures (Vienna, VA)
- In-Q-Tel (Arlington, VA)
- New Atlantic Ventures (Reston, VA)
- New Vantage Group (Vienna, VA)
- Route 66 Ventures (Alexandria, VA)
- Sail Venture Partners (Arlington, VA)
- True Ventures (Great Falls, VA)
- QED Investors (Alexandria, VA)
- Updata Partners (Reston, VA)
- Valhalla Partners (Vienna, VA)
Startup Events, Seminars & Bootcamps
Annual innovation events in Northern Virginia are designed to help entrepreneurs jumpstart their businesses and learn from others in the community. Almost every month since 2003, FCEDA has offered a free seminar called Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. More than 5,000 entrepreneurs and would-be business owners have attended one of these sessions.
Loudoun County facilitates Loudoun Tech Startups, a group of entrepreneurs who meet regularly for networking events. Alexandria County’s Alexandria Small Business Development Center offers workshops, advice and insider networking to startups and businesses in the county at no cost.
In addition to the wide variety of organized events and groups, there are a number of informal business groups active on platforms like Meetup. These groups offer opportunities for entrepreneurs, new businesses and startups in Northern Virginia to network, share resources and discuss ideas.
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