Apply to Participate

About the Virginia Velocity Tour

This fall, the Virginia Velocity Tour bus will travel the Commonwealth to recruit, support, and celebrate the entrepreneurs building Virginia’s 21st century economy. The tour will highlight the distinct strengths and economic advantages of cities across the Commonwealth; provide Virginia entrepreneurs with access and connections to help scale their businesses, and award $125,000 in equity-free grants over the course of five public pitch competitions.

How it Works

Applications are now open to early-stage entrepreneurs from across the Commonwealth (see minimum eligibility requirements below). A total of 30-40 selected finalists will be selected to participate in one day of the Virginia Velocity Tour – not necessarily in the region where they are based.

From September 19-23, the Virginia Velocity Tour bus will travel to five regions across the Commonwealth and celebrate an industry that the region is proud of:

  • 9/19: Roanoke/Blacksburg – STEM/Energy
  • 9/20: Richmond – Products/E-Commerce
  • 9/21: Hampton Roads – Biotechnology/Health
  • 9/22: Northern Virginia – Cybersecurity/GovTech
  • 9/23: Charlottesville – Agriculture/Food

At each stop, we will invite 5-8 finalists from across the Commonwealth to participate in the day’s events, based on the industry they work in. Over the course of each day, the finalists will engage with local businesses; network with the region’s civic and business leaders; and participate in a public pitch competition, where one finalist will win a $25,000 equity-free grant prize.

Note that your startup does not need to be based in a particular region to participate in that region’s events.

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Criteria for Applicants

We are looking for ventures with high potential for growth and scalability, and an innovative approach to solving a problem or creating jobs. We’re primarily but not exclusively focused on the following sectors: Energy, Fintech, Health, Education, Products/Manufacturing, Agriculture, Data Science, Cybersecurity and GovTech.

Ventures must have a minimum of one full-time employee, have been incorporated and engaged in business for at least six months, and preferably have raised less than $500,000.

If you have questions about these criteria, please check the FAQ or email contact@virginiavelocitytour.org.

Perks for Selected Startups

Startups that are selected to participate in the Virginia Velocity Tour will:

  • Meet with mentors in your industry, from established business leaders to potential investors and customers
  • Participate in a public pitch competition to increase your company’s exposure and compete for a $25,000 grant prize
  • Receive feedback on public-facing materials
  • Build a network of peers from across the Commonwealth

The Dates

  • July 15: Applications open
  • August 18: Applications close
  • September 19-23: Virginia Velocity Tour

Applications Are Now Closed