Innovation Challenge Finalists 2022

By September 1, 2022September 6th, 2022Blog, News Flash, General Economic Development News, Featured, Small Biz

Loudoun County Announces 2022 Innovation Challenge Finalists

The Loudoun Economic Development Authority, in partnership with Loudoun Department of Economic Development, announced the finalists for its annual Innovation Challenge, designed to recognize local companies that are pioneering new initiatives in their industries.

This year’s finalists, narrowed from an impressive list of applications, will now compete in a live pitch event for six grants totaling $150,000, including a $40,000 first place prize and a $10,000 People’s Choice Award. The open period for voting on the People’s Choice Award is now open at and the public is encouraged to support their favorite company.

The 12 finalists who will participate in the live pitch event on September 24 are listed in alphabetical order according to category:


  • Kappa AgTech, LLC
  • Wheatland Spring Farm & Brewery
  • Worm Works, LLC

Clean Energy:

  • Black Hydrovac, LLC
  • Flying Ship Company
  • Fuel & Tire Saver Systems Company, LLC

Highly Specialized Manufacturing:

  • Birdie Everything, LLC
  • FireBot Suppression
  • Periscope Aviation

Information and Communications Technology:

  • Capango
  • CodeLock Inc
  • Gigasheet

“Loudoun County is home to an entrepreneurial environment that encourages and nurtures innovative concepts by established businesses and startups throughout all stages of the business cycle. The distinguished participants in this year’s Innovation Challenge represent some of Loudoun’s finest entrepreneurs, providing transformational ideas within their fields,” Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer explained. “We look forward to seeing how these ideas perform in the next round and how they may become the next #LoudounPossible success story.”

During the live pitch event, the 12 finalists will present their concepts to the Loudoun EDA directors, which represent a cross-section of the county’s business leaders and economic stakeholders. After a brief presentation, directors will be encouraged to question the idea’s implementation and viability before scoring.

The highest overall score will be named the $40,000 Innovation Challenge winner, while individual category winners will each receive $25,000. The results of a popular vote, open to the public, will determine the $10,000 People’s Choice Award.

“We are so impressed by the quality of applications we received this year,” Loudoun Small Business and Entrepreneurship Manager Danelle Hayer said. “We are excited to see which of these businesses will join past Innovation Challenge winners like Applied Impact Robotics, I2 Pure, and Frontier Kitchen. Regardless of who wins this year, we are confident that each of these finalists will continue to progress as thought leaders in Loudoun County.”

If you’d like to turn your innovative idea into a business, please follow the steps at or call Danelle Hayer at 703-582-8651.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award will remain open until 11:45 p.m. on September 25, 2022. Learn more and cast your vote at