The Loudoun Economic Development Authority and Department of Economic Development have announced the opening of applications for the 2022 Loudoun Innovation Challenge business pitch competition, which will award a total of $150,000 to businesses dedicated to investment in Loudoun County. The initial application period will remain open until July 28, 2022.
For more information and this year’s application, please visit LoudounInnovationChallenge.com.
“The EDA’s goal with the Loudoun Innovation Challenge is to promote entrepreneurship by investing a total of $150,000 into six trend-setting companies,” Chairman Bernard Mustafa explained. “Every successful business starts with a good idea and the funding to make it happen. Fresh ideas are always worthy of investment, and we’re excited to support the next generation of homegrown entrepreneurs.”
This is the third year for the Challenge, funded through revenue generated from the EDA’s tax-exempt bond financing, which supports commercial development in Loudoun.
Following a new format this year, the 12 selected finalists will make their presentations for funding at a live, in-person pitch event on September 24, 2022. Winners will be announced at Segra Field during the Loudoun United FC vs. Detroit City matchup on October 1, 2022.
Winners for this year’s challenge will be selected from the following categories:
- Innovation Challenge Grand Prize Winner ($40,000): the business with the top overall scores, regardless of industry.
- Agri-Tech Innovation ($25,000): businesses developing technology that improves yield, efficiency or profitability for agriculture, horticulture or aquaculture businesses and growers.
- Information and Communications Technology Innovation ($25,000): businesses providing technology that allows people and organizations to better interact with the digital world.
- Clean Energy Innovation ($25,000): businesses developing renewable, less environmentally invasive forms of power, including solar, wind, water, geothermal, bioenergy, natural gas and nuclear.
- Highly-Specialized Manufacturing Innovation ($25,000): businesses improving quality control, shop floor management, inventory management and worker training processes and designs, which increase quality or productivity.
- People’s Choice Award ($10,000): the business that receives the most votes from attendees at the live pitch event.
“We are expecting this year to be the largest and most competitive field of applicants for the Innovation Challenge,” Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “Over the past two years, this contest has introduced us to outstanding innovators in every industry and corner of the county, resulting in a plethora of #LoudounPossible success stories.”
“We’re excited to meet this year’s applicants and see what the future holds the entrepreneurs and innovators in our county.”
Applicant businesses are not required to have a real estate presence in the county, but winners must prove their commercial investment in Loudoun before funding is received.
For more information, and to apply before July 28, 2022, please visit LoudounInnovationChallenge.com.