May 2 - 15

Roundtrip raised over $5M!

Lighthouse announced the nine teams participating in its summer cohort for recent college/university grads

Startup credit card company setting up operations center in Chesterfield with plans to hire 80 workers
Startup credit card company Petal has opened an office in Chesterfield County, where it plans to hire about 80 people over the next three years.

Fringe Fixes the Employee Retention Problem by Making Benefits Fun
“Where are the benefits you don’t have to be 65, sick or dead to benefit from?” he mentioned to a close friend, Jason Murray, now CFO of Fringe. “Wouldn’t it be a good business idea to offer a menu of ‘fringe’ benefits that people actually use, like Netflix, Spotify, Lyft or Dollar Shave Club?”

Startup Spotlight: CrowdLobby founders looking to rethink and relaunch lobbying operations
Eight months after CrowdLobby went live with its website designed to give ordinary people a bigger voice in political lobbying, the startup company is looking to pivot.

A 'complex, beautiful web' of support
Investor support is crucial to innovators at every stage of the development of a device or technology, but it is especially crucial at the inception of an idea.

Coworking space Venture X has opened location in Scott's Addition
A new coworking space has opened in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition offering shared workspaces and private offices.  The latest addition to the region’s growing inventory of coworking offices is Venture X, which had a soft opening on April 22 and a grand opening Thursday of its $1.8 million, 18,211-square-foot space at 1806 Summit Ave.

Getting to know: Austin Green with Hatch Kitchen RVA 

Bootstrapping in RVA: Local Entrepreneurs Fueling Growth Without Venture Capital
Most founders will say it’s near impossible to launch and quickly scale a company without outside financing.  

Paymerang values passion, positivity, simplicity, teamwork and customer focus
Paymerang, a provider of electronic vendor payment processes, says it provides a simple, secure and profitable way for companies to automate their accounts payable disbursements — saving time and resources for their clients.

April 13 - May 1

Congrats to Kilo Medical Solutions for winning the SCORECard Competition!

CarLotz co-founders are finalists for EY Entrepreneur of the Year award!

Dominion Energy Innovation Center two to lead business incubator
The Dominion Energy Innovation Center, a business incubator in Ashland, has hired a new director and a new program manager.

Startup Spotlight: In a 'growth phase,' Richmond-based Grenova has opened a new office and production plant
It's taken some time, but the startup business that Ali Safavi founded in 2014 with a mission of reducing plastic waste in laboratories is gaining traction.

Shockoe Bottom startup offers insurance for the adventurous set
A local insurance startup aimed at outdoor enthusiasts is gradually making its way east as it plans a launch in its home state.

College student entrepreneurs win Something in the Water pitch competition
Severe weather forced the cancelation of musical performances at Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water Festival on Friday, but it didn’t dampen a business pitch competition organized by the festival, Old Dominion University and Cox Communications.

Making the 'pivot' is among key topics for entrepreneurs at the DownRiver summit
Knowing when to pivot and how to handle the consequences were some of the main topics on the agenda Wednesday at the DownRiver Summit, a gathering of almost 200 Richmond-area entrepreneurs and other businesses, professionals and organizations that help support them.

Startup Virginia's Richard Wintsch strives to be a supporter of entrepreneurs
As executive director of Startup Virginia, Richard Wintsch works daily among entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of building new business ventures.

Startup Spotlight: New Henrico business makes and sells keto-friendly meals and desserts
Vicki Alexander makes a keto diet-friendly cheesy pepperoni pizza with a crust that tastes nothing like cauliflower crust, a substitute sometimes used in low-carb pizza.

April 4 - 12

Startup Spotlight: Handy Ma'am Goods designs workwear for women from South Richmond studio
Being an entrepreneur is often a learn-as-you-go experience, and that’s been especially true for Bella Weinstein, the founder of workwear company Handyma’am Goods.

How Mobile Marketing Startup Dippy Drives Customer Engagement for Fast Food Brands
Nearly three years after its initial launch, Dippy is shaking up the quick-service food industry.  Developed by Richmond-based entrepreneurs Evan Rallis and Mike McCabe, Dippy is a mobile web and text messaging platform that drives customer engagement for businesses by increasing app downloads and loyalty program signups. It also leverages vital marketing data for its clients by providing incentives for customers to participate in surveys or promotions.

Six startups selected as finalists for SCOREcard competition
Six startup businesses have been selected as finalists for the SCOREcard 2019 business pitch competition on April 30.  The program seeks to identify and reward Richmond-area startups and emerging businesses that have a high potential for growth and success.

Richmond startup Zoozil pivots in e-book realm
Inspired by his childhood, Joe Heinzen founded Zoozil in 2013 with a mission to turn young reluctant readers into avid readers.  Zoozil is an educational software developer that offers original, downloadable e-books for children. In 2015, the company participated in the Lighthouse Labs business accelerator in Richmond, but it has since done what many startups do as they evolve: It has pivoted.

Startup Spotlight: FinTech firm Paymerang adds people and space
After raising $26 million in investments last year, Chesterfield County-based financial services technology firm Paymerang has added jobs and moved to a bigger office.  “Things have been going well — we are growing fast,” said Nasser Chanda, Paymerang’s chief executive officer. “We are signing on new clients and new partnerships.”

March 21 - April 3

OccasionGenius closes $2M round!


Two Richmond startups win at Danville pitch competition

With $2 million investment round done, startup tech company OccasionGenius plans wider rollout
The Chesterfield County-based tech company OccasionGenius has completed a $2.15 million investment round that will enable the company to roll out its “event discovery” service to more customers.

Startup Spotlight: Bitcubs founder wants to make computer coding fun for young students
Amber Manry has collected a stack of notes that she received from school children about her cartoon called Bitcubs.  A handwritten note penned by one child says: “I can teach my dad what coding is, thanks to you.”

Local distillery Virago has raised $180,000 in private investment round
One of the Richmond area’s newest craft distilleries is raising money from investors.  Virago Spirits LLC has raised $180,000 out of a planned $1 million capital raise, according to a filing the company made this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The equity investment round opened on March 4 and eight investors have invested, according to the filing.

Startup Spotlight: Inspired by her son, Carousel Skin makes soaps for 'fun time' bath time
Carousel Skin is Latifah Crenshaw’s part-time gig for now.  A parenting conundrum was the inspiration behind Latifah Crenshaw’s startup business, Carousel Skin.

March 7 - 20

Dip It Good
A local startup, Sustainable Sunflower Urban Plant Powered (SSUPP) Foods, is rethinking the role of the tiny sprouts with the release of a line of dips called SunPower, whose base ingredient is micro sunflower greens.

Q&A with Belle Isle Moonshine
For 5-year-old liquor maker Belle Isle Moonshine, expansion is a way of life.  Since its beginning in 2014, Belle Isle has grown to become the fifth-largest craft distillery in Virginia by volume, according to data provider IWSR. Last year it signed a lease to double its Manchester production space and office, and sales were up more than 150 percent year-over-year for most of 2018.

23 startups picked for SCORECard business pitch competition
Twenty-three startup businesses have been selected to be part of the SCORECard 2019 Pitch Competition.  The competition seeks to identify and reward Richmond area startups and emerging businesses that have a high potential for growth and success.

Richmond-based Harbert Growth Partners leads $11 million investment round in Stella Connect
Richmond-based investment firm Harbert Growth Partners has participated in an $11 million funding round for StellaService, a New York-based company whose software platform Stella Connect helps companies improve customer service and employee engagement.

Richmond-based WayForth, a senior relocation service, grows with two new acquisitions
WayForth, a Richmond-based company that specializes in assisting seniors with decluttering and moving to smaller residences, is expanding with its third and fourth acquisitions in less than a year.

Startup Spotlight: Light the Music wants to expand 'visual music' learning tool to more schools
Light the Music’s co-founder Steve Van Dam, along with Richy Jones, a music teacher for Chesterfield County Public Schools, guide the students through the basics of music creation using computer tablets. The startup’s software tool, called the Oro Visual Music app, provides an intuitive way to create music by selecting from an array of sounds, instruments and beats available on the app.

Area crypto startup purchases peer 
A young local startup has dropped some coin to acquire a fellow cryptocurrency firm.  Coin Savage, a Shockoe Bottom-based cryptocurrency financial services startup, has acquired Vite.Money, a D.C.-based crypto company.