We believe a good idea can come from anywhere. And that a smart push from the right place makes the good, great. We are that push. We bring together the best thinkers and makers in Central Virginia to create one of the most active, vibrant innovation communities in the country. When these business luminaries, creative stars and thought leaders bring their experience to bear on a new idea, the idea becomes stronger. Conviction becomes unwavering. Plans become airtight. And the chance for success increases exponentially. And when it does, the possibilities expand for all of us. New companies change the course of industries, and new products can change lives. Research can redirect history. We believe in the power of many to light one fire, and that one fire can set the world ablaze.

What, exactly, is the Activation Capital?

We are how small ideas become big. We’re a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of bringing great passions to life and fostering a vibrant creative culture in RVA. Every day, we connect makers, thinkers and doers to people in the business community who help turn a spark of an idea into a blazing fire. As a result, individual successes make the Richmond region one of the most exciting innovation centers in the country.

But who are you, really?

We are key players in the current regional innovation scene: entrepreneurs, product developers, researchers, financiers, university and non-profit thought leaders, and corporate leaders. We are makers, thinkers and innovators ourselves – offering our experience and expertise to others who need help getting started. We are mentors and incubators. And we believe our region’s startup culture is an environment where fledgling ideas can thrive.

What, exactly, can you do for me?

Need to talk to someone who’s done this before? Need legal advice or a business plan? Need money, marketing expertise or research? A prototype? Or a patent? Just a place to sit? Whether you need a push to get started or a reboot to remain competitive, we connect you to the resources that will help you move to the next level. And we even have maps and databases that make it extra-easy for you to find them. Just go to www.activation.capital.

Do I have to be a startup?

You don’t have to be a startup. These resources are available to anyone who wants to be part of the region’s entrepreneurial scene – including entrepreneurs, product developers and established businesses innovating to stay competitive and disrupt the market.

Is this just a Richmond thing?

The Richmond region is sought after for its diverse culture, stellar food and art scenes, and strong independent business community. But we know these attributes extend beyond the city limits. Our reach encompasses nine localities in central Virginia: the City of Richmond; Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, New Kent, Powhatan, Charles City and Goochland counties; and the Town of Ashland. If you’re thinking of creating or moving a business to central Virginia, this is the perfect place to start.

Why do we need this?

We believe that while competition is healthy, collaboration is even healthier. And while the Richmond region is full of talent and resources, it’s hard to know where to find them. We bring all that local passion, experience and expertise together in one place to make it easier for founders and others to access. And when ideas survive, the region thrives.

Ok, sounds like you’ve got practical, concrete things I can use. Where do I find you?

There’s no GPS setting for the Activation Capital. It’s a vast network of innovators and entrepreneurs waiting to plug in where needed. The first step is to contact us at info@activation.capital, and we’ll guide you to the right place.

I’m not sure I can afford all this expertise and advice. How much does it cost?

Getting help from the Activation Council costs nothing. When you succeed, the whole region succeeds, and that’s enough for us.

Who supports the Activation Capital?

The Activation Capital is supported by the Activation Council and partners.

Wait, what? What’s the Activation Council?

The Activation Council coordinates innovation activities among stakeholders in the region. Members identify gaps in the innovation ecosystem and find sources to fill them. They prioritize projects for funding and ensure the Council’s goals are met. This advisory board includes regional accelerators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and innovative businesses. It also includes the President and Vice President of Research and Innovation at VCU, Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Mayor of the City of Richmond, the Henrico County Manager, Chesterfield and Hanover County administrators, and representatives from Virginia community colleges.

I remember something called the Innovation Council. Is it still around?

The Innovation Council and the Activation Council are one and the same. The Innovation Council was renamed the Activation Council to better align with the intent and brand of the ecosystem.

I’d like to help startups. How can I get involved?

The Activation Council welcomes all ambassadors! Go to www.activation.capital and send us your information. We’ll include you in the resource network and send you Activation Capital brand identity you can use on your promotional content and in your business.

How long have you been around?

Our foundational organization is over 20 years old. Two years ago, we embarked on a new journey to better define the components of our regional ecosystem and ensure we include the unique perspectives of those who help drive our regional success.