On Wednesday, November 29, the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Department of Economic Development awarded grants to five local companies totaling $150,000 as part of the fourth annual Loudoun Innovation Challenge. The winners were selected from a group of twelve finalists who presented their pioneering business ideas during the day-long event in front of a live audience and a panel of judges comprised of EDA Directors.

Held at River Creek Club in Leesburg, this year’s Innovation Challenge consisted of presentations by entrepreneurs representing the Agri-Tech, Information & Communications, Clean Energy, and Highly Specialized Manufacturing industries. The winner of each individual category was awarded $25,000 and the top overall business applicant was granted $40,000, while the popular People’s Choice award winner, as voted on by the public, received $10,000.

“The quality of applications received this year made judging incredibly difficult, but the winners who rose to the top represent some of the brightest innovators and thought leaders in the county,” Loudoun EDA Chair Bernard Mustafa explained. “These winners have applied innovation to their respective industries and this Challenge allowed them to showcase those fresh ideas.”

“We always look for new ways to cultivate the next generation of #LoudounPossible success stories. The Innovation Challenge competition gives us the platform to encourage companies to think outside the box and find creative solutions to modern problems right here in Loudoun. We believe investment in these forward-thinking companies will help stimulate our local economy, while bringing attention to the diverse business ecosystem that is present in our County,” Buddy Rizer, Executive Director of Loudoun Economic Development said. “Congratulations to all of our winners, and we look forward to working with the entire pool of applicants to find continued success in Loudoun.”

This year’s Innovation Challenge winners are:

Overall Innovation Challenge Winner ($40,000) – Blue Vigil, LLC

Agri-Tech Innovation Category Winner ($25,000) – Route 7 Provisions

Information and Communications Technology Innovation Category Winner ($25,000) – CodeLock

Clean Energy Innovation Category Winner ($25,000) – Mehrdel, LLC

Highly Specialized Manufacturing Innovation Category Winner ($25,000) – Intalus, Inc

People’s Choice Award Winner ($10,000) – Route 7 Provisions

More information about all finalists and the Innovation Challenge program can be found at