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Dominion Energy Innovation Center Receives $150,000 Stage Two Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Prize

Ashland, VA – The Dominion Energy Innovation Center (DEIC) has been awarded $150,000 as part of the Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). DEIC won $50,000 in Stage One in May 2023, along with 39 other organizations, and was one of just four winners in the Climate and Renewable Energy theme area. DEIC was also awarded GAFC prize money in 2021.

DEIC will build on work completed in Stage One, which focused on catalyzing an ecosystem around energy and climate tech innovation in Virginia. A series of listening sessions were held to connect stakeholders, identify issues, and develop strategies for partnering. For Stage Two, four primary partners were identified, including:

  • The Launch Place, located in Danville and offering business consulting services, mentoring, training, and investment;
  • Verge, a Roanoke-based umbrella organization for regional development, tech and biotech startup acceleration, and a regional technology council;
  • Manufactory Collective, a physical space in Harrisonburg which offers makers and entrepreneurs access to assembly, storage, and production space; use of specialized equipment; and mentors; and
  • Positive Deviancy, a Platinum Level Connector Organization for the Department of Energy’s American-Made Challenges, located in Sterling.

These partners were chosen for their ability to fill gaps identified during Stage One, for their diverse leadership, and to include organizations across the state. Other additional partners are also involved.

“DEIC’s goal is to knit the incredible energy and climate tech assets across Virginia into a robust, high-functioning, and inclusive statewide ecosystem that includes all stakeholders, fills the startup pipeline, leads to increased funding, and creates new businesses and jobs,” shared Adam Sledd, DEIC’s Executive Director. “This additional GAFC funding will allow us to support both entrepreneurial support organizations and founders in a variety of ways critical to building out the ecosystem.”

Stage Two funding will underwrite the cost of partner services for startups, including consulting, mentoring, and space utilization. Additionally, it will support entrepreneurs-in-residence, cover costs for events, and help create statewide marketing efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To learn more about GAFC, please visit

About Dominion Energy Innovation Center

The Dominion Energy Innovation Center, located in Ashland, Virginia, supports early-stage advanced technology companies by providing them with the collaborative space, guidance, and resources needed to accelerate their growth. Founded in November 2009, the Dominion Energy Innovation Center accelerates great ideas across a wide spectrum of industry sectors in addition to its focus on building the clean technology sector in Central Virginia. Founding partners of the Center include the signature sponsor, Dominion Energy, as well as Activation Capital, the Town of Ashland and Hanover County. More at