Innovation Mill Accepting New Applications

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CALLING ALL INNOVATORS – Innovation Mill powered by The Advancement Foundation is offering no fee Business Development Services to new or early stage high growth potential businesses. High Growth Potential: growth rate potential of 25% a year, potential to attract 5-% of revenues outside the region, potential to produce higher wage jobs – a focus on new information and emerging technologies, food and beverage manufacturing, life sciences & healthcare, and manufacturing.

NOW Accepting NEW Applications. Complete your Needs Assessment to see if you qualify today!

GO Virginia Region 2 has renewed funding to The Advancement Foundation (TAF) to continue expansion of the Innovation Mill, a project focused on increasing the birth rates of new/early stage potential high growth companies.

Innovation Mill supports early stage businesses in high-growth industries by providing next level resources, proof of concept, market research, industry expertise, and higher education networks in order to prepare for scaling both regionally and nationally. GO Virginia is a statewide initiative designed to encourage Virginia’s economic growth through the creation of high wage jobs. GO Virginia Region 2 includes cities of Covington, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke, and Salem; and the counties of Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke.

Innovation Mill Igniters (participating companies) complete early work through the Innovation Mill and are able to prove their concept. Some companies are then referred to next level resources across the ecosystem such as RAMP, CIT and others.  The success of the Innovation Mill Project exceeded year 1 goals and led to renewed GO Virginia funding to expand efforts.

To prove their concept, Innovation Mill entrepreneurs will be guided through several stages which may include:  360 evaluations, Business & Innovation Development Teams, Customer Discovery, Industry expertise, Higher education and/or investor feedback.  Companies may work alongside fellow entrepreneurs, industry experts, and their own Business Innovation and Development (BID) team to innovate, pivot, and expand their company.

Innovation Mill is led by Simone Knowles (Director of Business Innovation & Community Expansion), Annette Patterson (President of The Advancement Foundation), and Debbie Custer (Innovation Mill’s lead consultant on Commercialization).  Innovation Mill was the brainchild of Annette Patterson who saw an opportunity to encourage regional innovation and talent with a full support system for getting through those early stage barriers in order to prepare for accelerators or eventual funding.

Said Annette Patterson, “Our goal is to catch new/early stage potential high growth companies, shorten the learning curve, provide pathways to resources and expertise, prove concepts, and then get them to the next level resources such as the SBDC, SCORE, RAMP and other resources that support entrepreneurs in our region.”

For a link to the needs assessment/application you can go to this link