New Business Support Services

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1 New Business Support Services An overview of agencies and organizations providing services for Richmond s entrepreneurs Richard Montague Dale Fickett July 2014

2 Purpose of this Document We are providing this document to our stakeholders entrepreneurs, investors, lenders, government agencies, corporate partners, non-profit practitioners, foundations, associations and academics. It is designed to clarify the landscape for new business support services. There are over 50 organizations providing support services which are relevant for the founders of new businesses in the Richmond region. We have heard from many of our constituents that the landscape is difficult to navigate, and as such we are endeavouring to provide an overview of the services on offer. We are also aware that this snapshot represents one facet of our start-up ecosystem, and it is simply one part of a range of efforts to foster increased collaboration. Note: This document is subject to change. Richmond has a dynamic landscape of those providing new business support services. As we become aware to changes, we will continue to update this report.

3 Foreword We have undertaken an effort to transform our incubator; to escalate the pursuit of our mission to create jobs and to support economic growth in Richmond. We are embracing an opportunity to achieve urban revitalization through entrepreneurship; and we re taking steps to continue the EDA s long history of investing in our city and improving our community. We are fostering the growth of those new businesses that have a positive impact in the community. This includes work to collaborate with policy makers, and across the startup ecosystem. This report is one example of our effort to support the clear dissemination of information and to avoid duplicative efforts. It is our hope that this report will help inform discussions across the region regarding opportunities for partnership. It will also serve as the starting point in our forthcoming efforts to provide more value through dynamic information relevant to our fellow entrepreneurs. We welcome dialogue on economic development, and cooperation to achieve our joint aims. We are also developing innovative programs to support our local job creators, to increase access to finance, and to support the impact of our social entrepreneurs. It s important that we remain diligent in laying the internal foundations, which enable the external engagement and the resultant benefits that we seek. We are building the internal capabilities to measure and promote our impact from capturing client data to creating a new brand identity. Entrepreneurs are inspired to establish a business in Richmond when there are strong levels of inclusiveness, diversity, creativity, collaboration, and market discipline. It is a great time to improve our community through new ventures. As good stewards, let us continue to build businesses that work for people and improve livelihoods, particularly where it is most needed. Most importantly, we would like to express our gratitude for all of those who have submitted the contributions which have made this document possible. Warm regards, Dale Fickett Executive Director, Advantech Richmond EDA 3

4 Table of Contents Overview 6 Profiles & Contacts 1E / Richmond Times-Dispatch 8 80amps 8 804RVA 8 Bizworks Enterprise Center 8 Blue Heron Capital 9 Bon Secours SEED Program 9 Business Owners Institute 10 The Center for Women s Enterprise 10 Center for Innovative Technology 10 City of Richmond Economic & Community Development 11 City of Richmond Office of Minority Business Development 11 Community College Workforce Alliance 11 Dominion Resources Innovation Center 12 Encorepreneur 12 FundRoom 13 Gangplank 13 Gather 13 Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce 13 Greater Richmond GATE 14 Greater Richmond Small Business Development Center 14 Harbert Ventures Partners 15 InnoVA Partners 15 J. Sargeant Reynolds 16 Kitchen Thyme 16 Lean Startup Circle 17 Lighthouse Labs 17 LISC 17 Maxx Potential 18 New Dominion Angels 18 New Richmond Ventures 18 Randolph-Macon College 18 REDC Community Capital 19 Richmond Entrepreneur s Assistance Program 19 Richmond Startup Digest 20 Richtech 20 RVA Works 20 4

5 SCORE Service Corp of Retired Executives 21 SeedRVA 21 Small Business Administration 22 St. Paul s Baptist Church 22 StartRVA 23 Sync RVA 23 Tech Hatch 23 University of Richmond 23 Urban League of Greater Richmond 24 VCCS One Stop Career Centers 24 Virginia Commonwealth University 24 Venture Forum 25 Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce 25 Virginia Biotechnology Research Park 25 Virginia Capital Partners 26 Virginia Community Capital 26 Virginia Community Economic Network 27 Virginia Department of Business Assistance 27 Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 28 Virginia Innovators Network (VINE) 28 Virginia State University 28 Virginia Union University 29 Workforce Investment Board 29 Other Related Organizations 29 5

6 Overview We have compiled a list of 50 organizations that provide support services relevant for a new business. We are including support services targeting both small, community-based businesses; as well as those targeting high growth, high potential startups. The scope of services covered in this report, includes: networking events, classroom instruction, startup finance, physical spaces and equipment, market research and data aggregation, mentorship, and other support services. Also, geographically, this work covers the greater Richmond region and those organizations domiciled in the region. It does not include the multitude of online resources also available, nor does it include all related meetup groups, commercial lenders, attorneys or other professional services providers. The table below provides a quick snapshot of the landscape. This is followed by a section covering the profiles of the providers, as well as contact details for each. 1E / Richmond Times-Dispatch 80 amps The Martin Agency 804RVA BizWorks Enterprise Center Blue Heron Capital Bon Secours SEED Program Business Owners Institute The Center for Women's Enterprise CIT (Center for Innovative Technology) City of Richmond, Economic & Community Development City of Richmond, Office of Minority Business Development Community College Workforce Alliance Dominion Resources Innovation Center (Ashland) Encorepreneur Fundroom Gangplank Gather Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce Greater Richmond GATE Greater Richmond Small Business Development Center Harbert Ventures Partners Innova Partners J. Sargeant Reynolds Kitchen Thyme Lean Startup Circle Networking Events Startup Finance Classroom Instruction Physical Spaces & Equipment Market Research & Data Mentorship Other Support Services 6

7 Lighthouse Labs LISC Maxx Potential New Dominion Angels New Richmond Ventures Randolph-Macon College REDC Community Capital Richmond Entrepreneur's Assistance Program Richmond Startup Digest RichTech RVA Works SCORE Service Corp of Retired Executives SeedRVA Small Business Administration St. Paul's Baptist Church StartRVA Sync RVA Tech Hatch University of Richmond Urban League of Greater Richmond VCCS One Stop Career Centers VCU da Vinci Center Venture Forum Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce Virginia Biotechnology Research Park Virginia Capital Partners Virginia Community Capital Virginia Community Economic Network Virginia Department of Business Assistance Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Virginia Innovators Network (VINE) Virginia State University Virginia Union University Workforce Investment Board Classroom Instruction Networking Events Startup Finance Physical Spaces & Equipment Market Research & Data Mentorship Other Support Services Figure 1 Map of Support Services (cont d.) 7

8 Profiles & Contacts 1E / Richmond Times-Dispatch Physical Space & Equipment. The Richmond Times Dispatch has shared office spaces for startup businesses. John Sarvay (804) amps 804RVA Mentorship. Provides advisory services in legal, PR, branding, financials, human resources and other elements of market entry strategy (e.g. value proposition, market sizing, business model, and funding approach). They also provide assistance in building social capital through introductions to their network of industry experts and investors. Charles Merritt (804) Networking Events. 804RVA holds periodic events, such as those in partnership with Lighthouse Labs, Startup America, the Startup Weekend, LeanStartupMachine and other meetups. Physical Spaces & Equipment. They offer open workspace where you can work, meet other likeminded people, share resources, and attend sessions designed to help businesses grow. Larkin Garbee BizWorks Enterprise Center Networking Events. Provides networking opportunities with all current resident and virtual members, graduate members, incubator staff, and special guests. Scheduled the third Friday of every month. Lunch is provided. Classroom Instruction. BizWorks brings in professionals to give training on specific business topics on a periodic basis. 8

9 Physical Spaces & Equipment. Conference room, training room, office space and warehouse space is available to tenant companies. Other services include phone services, internet access, office furniture, copier, printers, postage machine, scanner and fax machine, binding machine and audio-visual equipment. Mentorship. Up to four hours a month, business plan assistance is provided free of charge. Other services include introductions to industry experts, and a team of advisors for tenant companies. Other Support Services. Members have access to the resource page on BizWorks website, which includes small business development articles, information on networking opportunities, and a FAQs section. Also, BizWorks staff provide human resources assistance with writing job ads, job descriptions, and staffing assistance. Suzanne Cormier (804) Blue Heron Capital Startup Finance. Blue Heron Capital provides growth equity investments in companies at an inflection point and lower market buyouts in proven businesses with untapped growth opportunities. Mary Davis (804) Bon Secours SEED Program Startup Finance. Entrepreneurs in the zip code can apply for grant funding to establish their business. Applications are evaluated and judged by SEED s Blue Ribbon Panel, comprised of representatives from Bon Secours, LISC, Virginia Community Capital, East End business owners and others. Melissa Jones (804)

10 Business Owners Institute Classroom Instruction. The Business Owners Institute offers a variety of classes that offer practical advice for the business world as well as helping a small business decide what its next step should be. Every Wednesday the BOI hosts a Wednesday Lunch and Learn. Jim Roman (804) The Center for Women s Enterprise Classroom Instruction. This women s business center is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and it holds various training sessions in areas such as selling to government agencies. Mentorship. Provides one-on-one counseling for women entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses. Sarah Williams (804) Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Startup Finance. CIT GAP Funds is a family of seed- and early-stage investment funds placing near-equity and equity investments in Virginia-based technology, life science, and cleantech companies. CIT GAP Funds invests in companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Other Support Services. CIT conducts research and advocacy efforts to shape the dialogue regarding the use of technology in Virginia, and the public sector s role in its utilization within communities. This work spans: health information, education, broadband access, and strategic planning. Kevin May (703)

11 City of Richmond Economic & Community Development Classroom Instruction. The Entrepreneur Express workshops provide Richmond entrepreneurs information regarding the city s loan programs, licensing and zoning requirements; as well as opportunities to sell goods and services to the government at local, state and federal levels. Startup Finance. In partnership with the Richmond EDA the city provides several loan programs and other business incentives to assist entrepreneurs as they establish and grow their business, including: the Mayor s Opportunity Fund, Enterprise Zone Program, Tax Abatement Incentive Program, Commercial Area Revitalization Effort (CARE), Citywide Revolving Loan Program, Contractor Assistance Loan Program, and the Arts & Cultural District Micro-Enterprise Revolving Loan Program. Other Support Services. The Business First program utilizes face-to-face interviews with leaders of existing businesses to gather feedback on doing business in Richmond. This feedback helps the City and its regional partner, the Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP), connect businesses with the resources they need to stay and grow in Richmond.Business Location Services assists those businesses considering a Richmond location. Assistance includes site selection, customized information packages, and connections to contacts throughout the city. Richmond Workforce Pipeline Program assists businesses recruit and develop the talent they need, as well preparing and training prospective employees. Lee Downey (804) City of Richmond Office of Minority Business Development Classroom Instruction. Minority Business Development offers the Money Smart Program for entrepreneurs considering the establishment of a new business in Richmond. The Money Smart curriculum includes: banking services, credit reporting, financial management, insurance, risk management, organization formation, record keeping, selling a business &succession planning, tax planning, and time management. Mentorship. Richmond entrepreneurs are able to schedule a meeting to review their intended business, motivations, and the applicability of the Money Smart course material. Pat Foster (804) Community College Workforce Alliance Classroom Instruction. The Alliance holds a range of courses relevant for those attempting to start a new business, including: workplace technology, leadership training, business writing and 11

12 communications, customer service skills, human resource management, language skills, interpersonal and organizational skills, productivity and process improvement, project management, and six sigma &lean techniques. Other Support Services. Assists in employment search services, such as examinations of work history and career interests, as well as introductions to relevant business contacts and job seekers. Louis L. McGinty (804) Dominion Resources Innovation Center Classroom Instruction. Collaborates with InnoVA Partners to deliver the Kauffman FastTrak instruction program for entrepreneurs establishing a new venture, and those growing an existing enterprise. Physical Spaces & Equipment. For member companies, facilities and services include: private offices and cubicle options, wet labs and medical equipment assembly area, two conference rooms, flex space / light warehousing, conference room and reception area, high speed internet, janitorial services, copier and printing center, free parking, use of an LCD projector, phone service, and assistance with marketing exposure. Mentorship. Providing initial concept consultation, a business advisory board, and one-on-one consulting with the entrepreneur-in-residence. Mentorship is focused on preparation for angel and other seed stage equity funding. Also, introductions are made to a range of local experts in legal, business and financial issues relevant for the early stage venture. Other Support Services. Introductions for access to interns with Randolph Macon College, Virginia Commonwealth University, College of William & Mary, and the University of Richmond. William Daughtery (804) Encorepreneur Networking Events. Encorpreneur holds monthly morning networking sessions for seasoned executives, entrepreneurs and investors. 12

13 Stan Maupin FundRoom Gangplank Startup Finance. FundRoom.com is a social media website which links entrepreneurs with potential investors. Startup businesses may create a profile which describes their business goals on a platform with high investor visibility. Matthew Dellorso (804) Physical Spaces & Equipment. Gangplank, "The Community Center for Entrepreneurs," offers free collaborative working space for entrepreneurs creating new innovations who are interested in alternative co-working alternatives in the Richmond area. Other Support Services. Gangplank is building a community of RVA entrepreneurs through Gangplank RVA on meetup.com, Facebook, and Twitter. Gather Mike Vizdos Physical Spaces & Equipment. At Main and 5 th Gather offers flexible and affordable downtown work space alternatives for professionals. They offer shared desk co-working spaces, designated desk spaces and single office spaces. It is anticipated that professionals will complement one another offering support for fellow entrepreneurs. Justin Paley (804) Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce Networking Events. An array of events provide Richmond entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with others in the business community, including: 804UM, IMPACT Awards Dinner, Annual Meeting, Bernard Savage Awards, Business After Hours, Business Council Events, 13

14 Chamber U, Extraordinary Women s Exchange, Connect 4 Lunch, HYPE, and SchmoozaPalooza. Also, the i.e.* Trilogy is a collaborative initiative to discover, support and showcase creativity and innovation in the Richmond region. It includes a series of events designed to foster entrepreneurism and culminates with an annual Start-Up Competition. (Note: the Small Business Development Center is covered separately.) Classroom Instruction. The Leadership Lab is a program to build leadership skills, such as selfawareness, social awareness, and influence. This is a five month program that features four full day workshops and four half-day coaching sessions. Mentorship. Mentor Richmond provides a team-based mentoring program for young professionals and mid-level managers, which provides them time with local leaders. Along with the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce there is the Chesterfield Business Council, the Henrico Business Council, the Hanover Business Council and the Richmond Business Council. Chrystal Neal (804) Greater Richmond GATE Classroom Instruction. GATE provides a number of courses, including: Getting Started in Business, CORE FOUR Business Planning, Understanding Credit, Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers, QuickBooks Premier, Networking for Small Businesses, Marketing for Small Businesses, Social Media for Small Businesses, How to Build Your Own Business Website, Entrepreneurial E-learning courses, Startup Finance, Physical Spaces & Equipment, Market Information. Mentorship. Greater Richmond GATE provides a Mentorship and Advisor Program in collaboration with the Virginia Employment through Entrepreneurship Consortium. Martin Short (804) Greater Richmond Small Business Development Center Classroom Instruction. The SBDC holds a range of courses for those starting or growing a business, including: Starting a Business 101, Sales Simplified, Social Media and Marketing Series, 14

15 Building Website Traffic, Lead Generation, Analytics to Tract Results, Elevator Speech, Twitter Training, Human Resource Training, and Financial Options Business Succession Planning. Market Information. Online resources provide access to numerous articles, business intelligence reports and other research covering topics related to small business establishment and growth. Mentorship. Richmond entrepreneurs are able to schedule a meeting to review their intended business, motivations, and the applicability of various SBDC courses. Other Support Services. SBDC provides access to a number of webinars Strategies for Growth, Capital One Connections, Small BizU, Driving Cash Flow, Capital One Virtual Advisor, Business Debt, and other online training. Mike Leonard (804) Harbert Ventures Partners Startup Finance. HVP identifies and invests in emerging companies with high growth potential. The group invests in seasoned entrepreneurs building early growth stage companies with defensible positions in large and growing markets. HVP typically invests $500,000 to $4 million initially, and continues to invest and build value through the growth of portfolio companies. HVP typically seeks board representation in investments; and provides constructive, strategic, operating and networking support to the portfolio companies. Brenda Mustian (804) InnoVA Partners Classroom Instruction. InnoVA Partners is an affliate of Kauffman FastTrac and delivers a range of workshops and courses for entrepreneurs. There are two four-hour FastTrac workshops available: The Intentional Entrepreneur program to help those considering the establishment of a new business, and Listening to Your Business, a strategic planning workshop for owners who want to grow their business. FastTrac offers three courses of instruction lasting 10 weeks each and consisting of 30 classroom hours of dedicated instruction and coaching that focus on the business that an 15

16 entrepreneur intends to build or grow. The FastTrac New Venture program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business, but need a plan and framework to successfully start a company. The FastTrac TechVenture program is designed for those developing a technology or science-based business and need help navigating the factors that go into starting such a company. FastTrac GrowthVenture program is designed for entrepreneurs who currently own companies and are looking for proven strategies and processes for healthy growth. Steve Hutcherson (804) J. Sargeant Reynolds Kitchen Thyme Classroom Instruction. For students of the college, the School of Business provides a wide range of programs designed to prepare students for transfer to a business studies course at a fouryear university. The School of Business also offers career-oriented programs in small business entrepreneurship, e-commerce, real estate, and information technology. David Barrish (804) Physical Space. Kitchen Thyme provides commercial kitchen space for rent by the hour. Kitchen Thyme was created with the very purpose of providing a critical opportunity to our culinary community with the first and only licensed incubator kitchen in Richmond offering commercial kitchen spaces for rent to aspiring entrepreneurs, chefs, students and people by the hour, day, week or month. This facility enables hopeful culinary professionals to build a reputation, provide professional and licensed catering and cooking, and build their business skills to one day own a thriving, successful, and independent business. Melissa Krumbein (804)

17 Lean Startup Circle Networking Events. Provides meet-ups for entrepreneurs to discuss and share ideas about business formation. The focus is the use of Lean Methodology and improving efficiencies in launching new businesses. Will Anderson Lighthouse Labs Mentorship. Lighthouse Labs works with select high growth tech startups as a mentor-driven, short term acceleration program. Lighthouse leverages a network of over 100 experienced entrepreneurs, business specialists and investors to launch new startups over a three month period. The first month focuses on uncovering the full potential of the business idea. The second month focuses on building the idea and perfecting its processes and means of production. The third month is centered around scaling the concept and preparing for seed stage funding. (Note: Lighthouse Labs, SeedRVAand StartRVAare all a part of Power Plant.) Todd Nuckols LISC Startup Finance. LISC is a national nonprofit that builds strong communities by providing residents and community partners with the resources and technical assistance needed to transform distressed neighborhoods into great places to live, work, and raise families. Virginia LISC supports neighborhood small business development through the Church Hill SEED Entrepreneurship Program, small business lending and technical assistance. Candice Street (804)

18 Maxx Potential Classroom Instruction. Maxx Potential is a workforce development company that helps locals acquire software development skills and utilize those skills for IT projects for global entrepreneurs. Maxx Potential is a New Richmond Ventures company. Kim Mahan (804) New Dominion Angels Startup Finance. The NDA is a group of investors who help to capitalize early-stage Virginia based companies. NDA seeks to help the communities and the economy of Virginia by bringing new services to the market and by supporting start-up businesses in both financial and nonfinancial ways. Frank Ball New Richmond Ventures Startup Finance. New Richmond Ventures aims to jumpstart Richmond as a hub for a new breed of startups by making equity investments in small companies. Target companies include those that serve a social purpose, embrace a scalable model, and which will grow the economy in Central Virginia. Mentorship. In addition to funding sources, New Richmond Ventures can also provide a connection to a network of consultants and advisors in Central Virginia. Matt Rho Randolph-Macon College Classroom Instruction. Randolph-Macon College offers majors in economics, business, and accounting, all of which are designed to provide a student with a wide perspective and the ability to meet the challenges of the future. 18

19 Other Support Services. Faculty experts are available to discuss areas related to a new venture, including: economics, local environmental issues, and social entrepreneurship. Also, students are available for internships. Richard Meagher REDC Community Capital Classroom Instruction. The REDC offers a class entitled Creating Winning Entrepreneurs Training Course on pre-scheduled Tuesdays for $100. The class covers a wide range of topics from evaluating a business s feasibility to understanding business finances to managing the growth of the business. Completion of this course is necessary to apply for loans from the REDC s Microenterprise Development Program. Startup Finance. REDC is a non-profit organization whose goal is to grow Richmond s economy and aims to do so by offering loans to small businesses. Some of REDC s available loans include: Microenterprise Development Loan, 504 Development Loan, Business Enterprise Zone Loan, and the Neighborhoods in Bloom Revolving Loan Program. Other Support Services. The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) is a service provided by REDC, and helps clients evaluate their business model. The program assists the business owner during the planning phase, and offers post-loan guidance. Tanner Collins (804) Richmond Entrepreneur s Assistance Program Classroom Instruction. REAP provides comprehensive job training and meaningful employment for individuals with disabilities. Training includes: computer training, inventory management with scanning system, website storefront and cash register system. REAP aims to train people for more than entry level positions. Karen Hannon (804)

20 Richmond Startup Digest Other Support Services. Members receive a curated of the best startup events in the Metro Richmond area, tailored reading lists, updates on major developments happening in the local startup community, and access to special offers from a global online network. Will Anderson RichTech Networking Events. RichTech offers technology centered networking events for Virginia s technology-centric businesses. The Richmond Tech Showcase Series is a breakfast meeting in which members share technological advancements taking place within Richmond businesses. WomenEtc is a statewide event for women who work with technology. During the Virginia General Assembly RichTech hosts Celebrate Technology an annual reception that brings businesses and elected leaders together to celebrate Virginia s technology industry. Robby Demeria (804) RVA Works Networking Events. Working in partnership with VCU to launch the Kauffman Foundation s 1 Million Cups program (1MC). This is a free weekly networking event of entrepreneurs pitching their business to other entrepreneurs for recommendations, and to establish new professional connections. Launching summer Classroom Instruction. Entrepreneur Institute is a program for those aspiring to a business launch, or those re-starting an existing company. It provides participants the Workshops in Business Opportunities (WIBO) curriculum to develop core business skills, and access to a mentor with experience launching a small business. Startup Finance. The Kiva Zip loan program is available to program participants and building residents. The Kiva Zip loans are crowd-funded microloans at 0% interest. Also, a forthcoming loan fund will assist Entrepreneur Institute participants qualify for their first business loan. Physical Spaces & Equipment. Individual office spaces and shared conference rooms are available. Also, services include office furniture, internet, phones, copy and fax center, and mailbox service. Auxiliary memberships are available for access to training and conference 20

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