Arlington, VA

This article was written by Sindy Yeh, Senior Business Ambassador for Arlington Economic Development.

Workshops to Support Startups

In our work with entrepreneurs at Arlington Economic Development (AED), we often hear that one of the most challenging aspects of growing a business is attracting capital investments.

Many entrepreneurs have spent years developing innovative products and services and have created solid business plans to successfully execute and market their products. However, for many early stage companies, attracting investors to help fund and grow the company is still the most daunting challenge.

According to a study by Pitchbook, from 2010-2017, San Francisco and Silicon Valley still attracted more venture capital than almost any other parts of the country, followed by New York, Los Angeles and Boston. The Washington Metropolitan area ranked 9th on the list.

Our early stage Series A startups in the area are required to be even more resourceful since many investors in the DMV region tend to look for more mature companies with proven customer traction and revenues. They are more risk averse than investors in San Francisco and New York. Hence, early stage startups must sometimes travel outside the region to meet and connect with investors.

There are many organizations in the Washington area that serve as a conduit for investors, innovators and startups. The Mid Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) and CONNECTPreneur both provide forums for technology startups to connect with investors.

For the past three years, Arlington Economic Development has also hosted technology startup competitions such as Startup Arlington and the Dongsheng-US Global Entrepreneurship Competition to provide recognition and opportunities for winning companies to access capital and resources. We have also invited Arlington companies to participate and exhibit with us at CES, SxSW and Collision to meet with outside investors and potential customers.

Funding Opportunities for Early Stage Technology Companies

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a nonprofit corporation funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, provides equity investments to help fill the gaps for innovators and tech entrepreneurs at the early commercialization and seed funding stages of a company’s development. Its mission is to support Virginia-based entrepreneurs who are launching and developing high-growth technology companies and creating high-paying jobs for the future.

During the months of September and October, CIT has been traveling throughout the Commonwealth for a series of briefings on funding programs that are available to Virginia-based researchers and entrepreneurs. The series align with CIT managed Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund‘s upcoming Request for Proposals with approximately $2.5 million available to support high-potential technology development and commercialization activities in clean energy, cybersecurity, data analytics, life sciences and unmanned systems.

Here is the calendar of events held throughout the Commonwealth in October.   

How to Open Doors to Funding with an Executive Summary

On Thursday, October 17, the Washington Network Group will be hosting a practical workshop to teach entrepreneurs how to write an effective executive summary when pitching to investors. The event will be held at Arlington Economic Development from 4-6 p.m.

An executive summary is often the first document investors and lenders want to see before a complete pitch deck and business plan. It can be the key to opening more doors if funders seek additional information. However, many entrepreneurs overlook the importance of having a tightly-written, effective, even compelling executive summary.

Ines LeBow, CEO of Enterprise Transformation Solutions, will be teaching this valuable seminar on how to write an effective executive summary.

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