This article was written by Adam Henry, CEcD, EDP, Senior Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.
In April 2023, the Arlington County Board approved $1 million in funding for the Arlington Innovation Fund.
The goals of this program are to increase access to early-stage funding for tech startups through technical support and grant funding, and also to support local and regional programming that focuses on the tech ecosystem in Arlington and Northern Virginia. Due to the changing landscape in the U.S. economy with remote work, inflation, and economic pressure in the venture capital industry, AED created this fund to fundamentally transform the way we assist early-stage startups by providing resources and programming to help Arlington’s tech ecosystem thrive.
Since approval of the funding, AED staff has been working diligently to complete the design and implementation of the program. The new program is comprised of two components — Catalyst Grants and the Ecosystem Support Fund.
Catalyst Grants will help increase funding for early-stage technology startups through technical assistance and non-dilutive, co-investment grants to help companies extend their funding and gain access to larger venture capital rounds to expand their customer base, employment and operations.
Startups applying for this program must be Arlington-based technology startups that have raised a minimum of $25,000 and up to $500,000 in funding. This is a competitive grant process with the following base eligibility requirements:
- Must be a registered LLC, S-Corp or C-Corp with the Virginia State Corporation Commission and have their principal place of business in Arlington (virtual addresses and P.O. boxes NOT ELIGIBLE)
- Be a for-profit company
- Have at least one full-time employee
- Have raised a minimum of $25,000, up to $500,000, through a combination of equity investments, grants and convertible debt
- Primary source of revenue must be derived from the sale, licensure or distribution of proprietary technology
- Be current on all applicable Arlington County taxes.
Applications for the Catalyst Grants will open in the coming weeks, those interested in the program can sign up to receive updates as they are announced.
Ecosystem Support Fund
The Ecosystem Support Fund is a discretionary tool for Arlington Economic Development to support local and regional programming and strategic initiatives focused on advancing the local and regional technology ecosystem. The goal of this fund is to boost local programming for the startup community and raise Arlington’s profile as a nationally recognized tech ecosystem.
Arlington Economic Development is excited to expand our services to the startup business community through the Arlington Innovation Fund. This unique approach will allow AED to better serve the tech ecosystem and foster the growth of tech startups allowing them to flourish as office users, employers and taxpayers in the Arlington community.