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Petersburg Founders Fund

The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), in collaboration with Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce & Trade and local stakeholders, has established the Petersburg Founders Fund (PFF), a new competitive grant fund, that supports the launch and growth of scalable companies in Petersburg.

VIPC is actively engaged with key stakeholders in the Petersburg region to establish, promote, and administer the PFF to assist creative entrepreneurs with high-impact potential in the community.

Applications are closed.

Petersburg Area

Entrepreneurship Resources


Funding Programs

Tri-Cities Small Business Capital Access Program

LISC Virginia and the Longwood SBDC are partnering to provide Petersburg businesses with 0%-interest loans up to $50,000. Businesses can use the loan funding to grow their operations or refinance high-interest debt. Business owners can learn more about the program here or contact George Piazza at

Crater PDC Revolving Loan Fund

The Crater PDC Revolving Loan Fund support for-profit commercial, service, manufacturing and distribution businesses. The RLF Program is for fixed asset and/or working capital projects that range from $50,000 to $500,000+. You can learn more about the program here or contact Thaddeus Huff at

Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union

Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union is a financial cooperative owned by the members committed to helping everyday people get ahead. PAFCU provides financial solutions – checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and more – to help underserved and unbanked people achieve their goals. You can learn more about the credit union here or contact Christina Cain at

Business Assistance Programs

The Petersburg Founders Fund (PFF) is a competitive direct grant program, and VIPC will not take an equity stake in the companies. However, via the PFF, the Commonwealth will invest in the future growth of Petersburg’s economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Services for founders will also include mentoring, access to markets, business acceleration and incubation, introduction to potential lenders and investors, and other important benefits. The PFF will connect to and build on existing entrepreneurship programs in the City and surrounding communities.

Grants of up to $25,000 will be available from the Petersburg Founders Fund.
VIPC anticipates offering at least two grant application cycles in 2023.

PFF Program Guidelines

The Petersburg Founders Fund supports startups and small businesses in the city of Petersburg. It focuses on high-potential, early-stage Petersburg entrepreneurs or established, mature Petersburg-based compa-nies seeking to innovate toward new operations, markets, products, and services (specific eligibility criteria follows).

Grants of up to $25,000 can support activities that include but are not limited to: hiring or promoting employees, customer discovery, market research, finance and accounting system upgrades, business model validation, development of prototypes or minimum viable product (MVP), customer pilots, intellectual property protection, staff development, website development and e-commerce, leasehold improvements and renovations, purchase-order fulfillment, inventory replenishment, business credit enhancement and debt repayment, purchasing new or refurbished equipment, and securing business investments or loans. Funding cannot be used for property management or real estate investment.

Business-owners may only apply for one PFF grant per solicitation cycle and may only receive one PFF grant per year.

Applications will be accepted starting on December 1, 2022, and they will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until  January 31, 2023.



Distinctive and bold

For-profit, Virginia-based companies that meet the eligibility criteria set forth below are invited to seek PFF grant funding. Eligibility criteria include:

The company is headquartered in or has a primary business address (if different than company headquarters), within the city of Petersburg, OR The principal business owner(s) is a resident of the City of Petersburg.


Administrative and strategic operations are performed within Virginia. Chartered in or duly registered to do business as a foreign entity in Virginia. Virginia is the primary state of residence or principal office location for the business owner. The proposed activities are in compliance with federal and state laws. Have an active business checking account.

Applicants should be in good standing with the Federal Government and Commonwealth of Virginia as evidenced by:

A valid Federal Tax ID number (Employer Identification Number), A Virginia State Corporation Commission entity ID number, with “Active” status (only required for Corporations and LLCs), and A valid, unexpired City or County business license.

Operate in one of the following targeted industries:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture and Aquaculture
  • Automotive
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Childcare and Family Caregiving
  • Communications and Media
  • Construction
  • Consumer Products and Packaged Goods
  • Energy
  • Environmental and Natural Resources
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Processing
  • Healthcare Services
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Personal Services
  • Professional Services
  • Retail and Wholesale
  • Skilled Trades
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Visual and Performing Arts



An application will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Clear description of the company’s business model and products or services.
  • Clear explanation of why the funding is needed and how the grant will support the company’s growth.
  • Clear explanation of the customers and markets for the product or services and whether the applicant has a clear understanding of the competitive landscape.
  • Clear understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the proposed activities.
  • Clear description of the budget with transparent and efficient use of funds.
  • General strength of the project and overall potential of the applicant to scale into a successful Virginia-based company.
  • Historical and/or prospective financial performance of the company.
  • Description of the applicant’s current or prior business experience.
  • Description of applicant’s current or prior participation in business education and training programs.
  • Description of projected impacts of funded activities to the Petersburg economy such as: jobs created, jobs retained, employee wages increased, new and/or expanded products or services offered to the community, additional funding secured, and new businesses formed.