January 10 - 23

Startup Spotlight: Local broadcaster creates side gig with adjustable leg wrap invention to carry microphone equipment
Necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes comfort is, too.  Reba Hollingsworth says it was “some of both” that inspired her to create a product she calls the AHA Wrap, which has become a side business for her when she’s not busy with her full-time job as a television broadcaster.

Business accelerator Lighthouse Labs taking applications for summer cohort focusing on Virginia university grads
The Richmond-based business accelerator Lighthouse Labs is accepting applications for its summer 2019 cohort, which will focus on startups founded by recent graduates of colleges and universities in Virginia.

Richmond Startup Kinis Makes Great Strides in Barefoot Training
Vincent Vu knows that every race is won by simply putting one foot in front of the other. This December, the Richmond entrepreneur crossed his first major finish line when his barefoot training startup, Kinis, released the Nomad 804, a minimalistic “shoe” for indoor exercise that offers wearers as close to the barefoot experience as you can get without actually letting your naked soles touch the gym floor.

Companies thinking big after raising a combined $52M
Two local companies have kicked off the new year with eight figures’ worth of new funding. Decisiv, a Henrico-based software developer, and TemperPack, a Manchester-based packaging company, this month announced capital raises of $30 million and $22.5 million, respectively.

Sustainable Packaging Maker TemperPack Raises $22.5M Series B Round
Talk about an investment package.  Richmond’s TemperPack, a maker of sustainable thermal packaging, has raised $22.5 million in Series B financing led by D.C.-based Revolution Growth.

December 13 - January 9

OccasionGenius raised over $1 million!

Inc. magazine ranks Richmond as 35th best city to start business; Virginia Beach also on the list

Richmond Startup EdConnective is Giving Teachers a Leg Up in the Classroom
A teacher would never dream of giving students 10 months of assignments and then offer feedback two to three times during the year. But when many U.S. educators first take up their position in front of the blackboard, that’s the scenario they face.

Startup Spotlight: Maple seeks to be an all-in-one organizational tool for 'goals and visions'
New Year’s resolutions are easy to make and hard to keep.  Chris Dawson and Scott Waletzko have a startup business whose mission is to help people remain persistent and focused on whatever personal and professional goals they’ve set.

Second women-centric coworking space opens downtown
A soft shade of pink adorns many walls in the city’s latest coworking venue.  Pinq Inc., a coworking space for women only, opened last month in the newly rehabbed building at 1 W. Cary St. in Monroe Ward downtown.

Shawn Boyer's goHappy app has Facebook-like characterists but promises a quieter, more private social media experience
Shawn Boyer thinks there is a sea change coming in how people consume social media.  The big social media platforms such as Facebook have become “noisy” places, and often maligned for selling their users’ personal data without permission, said Boyer, a Richmond-area entrepreneur best known as the founder and former CEO of the job search site Snagajob.com, now named Snag.

Startup Spotlight: The Giving Wall helps people help themselves
Opportunities to help people in need often come in the form of food or clothing or toy drives, or money-raising events such as auctions or charity runs for various philanthropies.  Sometimes, though, the most effective form of giving can be providing one thing that people need the most to help them help themselves.

Hatch Kitchen RVA serving up coworking space for food makers
A former tobacco warehouse just off Maury Street in South Richmond has been converted into a coworking space designed to nurture local food businesses.  Hatch Kitchen RVA has a 9,000-square-foot kitchen designed for multiple users and outfitted with an array of cooking equipment and work stations. The coworking space is expected to be operational early in 2019 with a variety of food makers as members.

Co-founder of startup company Painless1099 returns to Richmond
Ace Callwood is the co-founder of Painless1099, a startup created in 2015 that developed a website and a mobile app that enables independent contractors and people who work freelance jobs to manage their money, including automatically setting aside money for taxes.

Larkin Garbee looks to spread support networks for entrepreneurs
Larkin Garbee has been working for more than a decade to spark the Richmond region’s entrepreneurial environment.

December 1 - 12

Three cheers for OccassionGenius, Warehowz LLC, and Outdoor Access on their raises!

Check out the Richmond Inno list of Top 19 Startups for 2019

Welcome Nick Serfass, new RVATech executive director

Quartr lets consumers earn money by watching ads and sharing their opinions
The idea behind the startup company Quartr was conceived in Johnathan Geary’s dorm room his freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University.  “I had a wall covered in sticky notes with different ideas for apps and companies,” said Geary, who confesses that he was always much more interested in starting a company than being in college.

Entrepreneur goes from selling insurance to selling flowers at Petals, Flowers & Gifts shop
Amy Carlisle Fitzgerald has come back to her roots, sort of.  Fitzgerald is owner of the new Petals, Flowers & Gifts shop in The Village shopping center. The shop, at 7019 Three Chopt Road, opened Nov. 3 and is at the end of row of stores along the shopping center's breezeway.

A Former Rock Star's Tech Startup is Teaching Music to Kids with Special Needs
When Steve Van Dam first developed the ORO Visual Music app more than two years ago, he didn’t realize that it would ultimately transform music education for children with autism and other special needs.

On-demand warehouse startup eyes $750k capital raise
A new business that’s looking to be the Airbnb of warehouses is preparing for a 2019 launch with nearly $1 million in startup capital.  Warehowz, a Glen Allen-based startup that allows companies to list and rent short-term warehouse space on demand, is raising $750,000 in debt funding.

How Snagajob Founder Shawn Boyer's Next Startup is Avoiding Facebook's Mistakes
“My wife jokes how it’s ironic I’m working on a social media company when I don’t even use social media.”  He’s referring to his latest startup goHappy, a new “backstage” social media platform he’s building with a team of five and $2 million of local funding so far.

Startup Spotlight: With a click of a button, Tablee Tap aims to innovate tableside service at restaurants 
An overseas trip sparked the idea behind Wendy Jiang’s startup company, Tablee.  About two years ago, Jiang and her husband, Kevin, were in South Korea when she noticed a seemingly simple concept that made restaurant service much more efficient and less harried for the waitstaff.

How a Richmond Digital Advocacy Firm Helps Nonprofits Strengthen Their Voice
For many nonprofits, developing a strategy to influence public policy can be a complicated and painstaking task. One Richmond-based business, Muster, is working to change that.  Founded in 2014, Muster was born out of a database of elected officials originally compiled by its founder, Alex Schettine.

November 15 - 30

Check out the winners of Venture Forum RVA's rvAwesome Founder Awards!

Congrats to ARtGlass on raising $1.3 million

Brandefy wins Lighthouse Lab Pitch Competition

What We Learned from the Inaugural UpRiver Entrepreneurship Summit
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture early this week focused on the present as Activation Capital hosted the first UpRiver Summit, a two-day event for the entrepreneurial community. The summit, designed using data from Richmond entrepreneurs to inform programming, brought in 26 speakers who provided tips and tools for navigating the startup journey.

"Why Richmond?" panel leads discussion at UpRiver summit on the startup community
After Cabell Rosanelli left his hometown of Richmond 13 years ago, he did not envision he would be back. When Lisa Ruggles first visited Richmond about 12 years ago for four weeks of work-related training, she was “not overly impressed” with the area. Yet Ruggles and Rosanelli are back in Richmond now, leading business operations in the region.

Richmond food entrepreneurs grateful for local grocers
Rosen-Long was on a panel about the marketing of super foods with representatives of two other local food startups — chia bar maker Health Warrior, founded in 2010 by three college friends and recently acquired by food and beverage giant PepsiCo, and frozen dessert company O’My Dairy Free Gelato, which launched earlier this year.

'Inspired by Joy:' Naborforce utilizes technology and gig economy to help senior citizens
Paige Wilson likes to say that her startup company Naborforce is “inspired by Joy.”

Blueswipe Adds Transparency to Payment Processing
Whether at your neighborhood coffee shop or a multilevel department store, the drill is the same: walk up to the cashier, pull out your card, pay for your item and walk out. For business owners, that simple swipe taps into payment processing, a mixed bag of different pricing structures, processor charges and interchange fees.

Buddy sees huge potential in providing accident insurance for outdoor recreation
The founders and employees at startup company Buddy Technology Inc. are the sort of people who enjoy outdoor activities and sports.

How LIghthouse Labs has Pushed the EdTech Envelope with its Latest Cohort
No one knows better than an entrepreneur that growth is a matter of learning, a process rather than a product — no one, that is, except a teacher.  On Nov. 15, education and entrepreneurialism celebrated the inaugural anniversary of what could prove a long and fruitful partnership in the River City when Lighthouse Labs hosted its 2018 pitch competition, the culminating event of its sixth accelerator and the first to take educational technology as its major focus.

November 1 - 14

Startup Spotlight: Dippy, which offers restaurant deals sent to mobile phones, is expanding into new markets
About two years after it was founded, the Richmond startup company Dippy is on the verge of some significant expansion.  Created by 20-something entrepreneurs Evan Rallis and Mike McCabe, Dippy is a mobile marketing company that enables local businesses to send special deals directly to customers’ mobile phones.

UZURV Tackles Ride-Hailing Niche to Offer Rides with "Higher Duty of Care"
As ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to plow into the market share of the taxicab service industry, they have left corners of the personal mobility space open and exposed to competitors.  One such competitor is UZURV, an adaptive transportation network company (TNC) that provides door-to-door transportation– as opposed to curb-to-curb service – for disabled, elderly and non-emergency medical riders.

Goochland entrepreneur tries on shoe business
Former corporate event planner Brianna Schwartz has created what she thinks is the ideal career shoe for women on their feet all day.  It’s stylish, leather and low-heeled with a sturdy insole. She has a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the startup.

For Got Tech's Young Founder, Technology is More Than an Income Generator
More often than not, tech companies are linked in the public mind with money: the funding for which their founders scramble, the riches they reap for early adopters and the investment communities they hope to woo after they put down roots.