Calling All Self-Starters
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 the ideal environment for entrepreneurs.
Northern Virginia is ripe with opportunities for startups, with plenty of both statewide and county-level programs dedicated to setting up entrepreneurs for success. Here, company founders will find a tech community that is rapidly growing 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 startups now call this region home, with new startups emerging every day – your company could be next.
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 like Refraction in Tysons, MakeOffices in Reston, ALX Community in Alexandria and 1776 Crystal City in Arlington offer creative, collaborative hubs for businesses and remote workers.
Meanwhile, incubators support entrepreneurs with new business ventures 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. In Northern Virginia, startups can also access capital through a variety of public and private sources like the Center for Innovative Technology’s Growth Acceleration Program and the Virginia is for Entrepreneurs network. The FCEDA Capital Attraction Program enhances Fairfax County’s visibility as a location for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. Startup Arlington along with its partners offers the lucky winner of its program free office space, months of lodging, mentoring and more. In addition, the following venture capital firms offer support for high growth potential startups across the region:
- 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.
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