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VIPC Regional Innovation Fund Grant Awarded to Dominion Energy Innovation Center to Strengthen the State’s Energy Sector

RIF funding will help DEIC Accelerate programing to better support clean energy entrepreneurs and startups while expanding new SPARK Virginia program

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA , UNITED STATES, September 27, 2023 / — The Virginia Innovation Partnership Coporation (VIPC) announced today that it has awarded a $200,000 Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) grant to Dominion Energy Innovation Center (DEIC). Based in Ashland, Virginia, DEIC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the Commonwealth’s cleantech and energy industry sectors. .

The RIF grant will support DEIC’s SPARK Virginia program which include four sets of activities that will take place during 2023-2024:

  • Regional Innovation Challenges to identify ideas and IP with commercialization potential
  • A new Energy Entrepreneurship Certificate program
  • A Statewide Business Competition Connecting early-stage energy companies with entrepreneurial support resources, including the DEIC Accelerate program.

“We are pleased to provide a Regional Innovation Fund grant to DEIC to support its efforts to grow Virginia’s energy startup ecosystem through engagement, resourcing, and education,” said Conaway Haskins, Vice President for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems at the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation. “DEIC partners with a number of organizations and communities across Virginia to support founders and innovators in the renewable energy marketplace.”

“We are excited to receive this RIF grant to continue and expand our work to support early-stage advanced technology companies, particularly in the energy space,” said Adam Sledd, executive director of DEIC. “This grant will enable us to build on the early successes of our SPARK program to better support clean energy entrepreneurs and startups across the Commonwealth.”

Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) is a state-funded program administered by the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation that provides competitive grants to entrepreneur support organizations that have a strong track-record of assisting early-stage Virginia science and technology entrepreneurs and companies. RIF grants provide operational and program funding for successful ESOs and ecosystem building initiatives. It is managed by VIPC’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Division.

Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
Connecting innovators with opportunities, the VIPC is the commercialization and seed-stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia’s innovators, entrepreneurs, economic developers, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Smart Communities | Unmanned Systems | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | Virginia Accelerator Network | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit Follow VIPC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Dominion Energy Innovation Center
The Dominion Energy Innovation Center is a nonprofit entrepreneur support organization that provides early-stage advanced technology companies with the collaborative space, guidance, and resources needed to accelerate their growth. Founded in November 2009 in Ashland, Virginia, the Dominion Energy Innovation Center supports great ideas across a wide spectrum of industry sectors in addition to its focus on building the energy technology sector in Central Virginia. Founding partners of this program include the signature sponsor, Dominion Energy, as well as Activation Capital, the Town of Ashland and Hanover County.


DEIC Accelerate and Hyperscaled applications are now accepted until May 22, 2024