Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza.
Arlington County will pay early-stage tech startups money to keep their operations in Arlington.
The intent is to support new tech startups, particularly those owned by women, veterans and minorities, while pushing down office vacancy rates.
The Arlington County Board gave the Arlington Economic Development (AED) the go-ahead to enact this program, dubbed the Catalyst Grant Program, last Tuesday.
AED will be using $650,000 of the $1 million it received in the 2024 Fiscal Year budget for its Arlington Innovation Fund, an initiative by AED to entice companies to fill vacant offices in the county.
“What we are trying to achieve with this is to provide capital to early stage tech startups that are based in Arlington currently,” Ryan Touhill, director of Arlington Economic Development, told ARLnow. “[The goal is] to really help them in the early stage of their company formation when when they’ve raised the money, and try to give them a boost to really accelerate their growth and to entice them to stay here in Arlington.”
Companies will receive anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 in funding from the program, contingent on them remaining in Arlington for at least two years. By attracting smaller businesses, AED hopes to drive down vacancy rates, which reached 23% in the first quarter of 2023.
“We know that tech companies are one of the drivers of job growth,” Touhill said. “We have a good number of tech companies here in Arlington, and we want to grow the number of home based companies that form here and grow here.”
He noted that AED is targeting these smaller, newer companies because larger, legacy ones are not looking to relocate at this time.
AED is focused on what it calls inclusive economic development. To that end, it says it is focused on generating interest in this program among entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities and would like to see half of the Catalyst Grant Program applications come woman-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses.
“If you look at the trends, you’ll see that underserved communities receive way less in terms of the number of deals and the amount of venture capital they get compared to their white counterparts,” Adam Henry, a senior business development manager at AED, told ARLnow.
“We really want to make an intentional, concerted effort to reach out to our underserved communities to make sure that we can become a model for other communities to have the inclusive economic development approach,” he continued.
The county economic development division says it will partner with various community universities, organizations and groups to reach out to entrepreneurs and small businesses, according to a report. The application period could open as early as August.
Winners could be announced this fall. If any funds remain, there will be a second application cycle this winter or next spring.
The grants can be used to pay for costs such as salaries, benefits, training and recruitment, research and development, commercial real estate and equipment, the report said.
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At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Join us at Church of the Covenant on Military Road every other Wednesday afternoon from 4:00-5:30pm beginning on October 18th for The Backyard: After-School Kids Club. Cost is free! The program will provide recreation, snacks, Bible stories, and other fun