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Virginia Founders Fund

The Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) is focused on providing venture capital for Virginia’s traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs. Proceeds from the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation’s (VIPC) successful Virginia Venture Partners investment program are being reinvested into the Virginia economy through the VFF, which specifically supports female founders and founders of color developing companies in such sectors as software, hardware, life science, cleantech, and technology-enabled services.

VFF Investment Considerations

The Virginia Founders Fund is administered by the Virginia Venture Partners team. Both VFF and VVP programs follow the below general investment criteria.

Management Team
VVP invests in founders who have a made a full-time commitment to their business, demonstrate integrity, passion, coach-ability and creativity, and demonstrate a record of high achievement.

Investment Stage
VVP targets seed-early stage, pre-venture investment opportunities with a clearly articulated business plan, in which Commonwealth funds serves as a critical enabler of company growth. Generally, VVP invests 12-36 months in advance of a Series-A venture investment.

Investment Range
VVP initially invests up to $125,000 alone, or in larger syndication rounds. Focusing use of proceeds on specific technology or business development milestones, the achievement of which will enable recipients of raise larger sums of private capital, VVP seeks to participate in the earliest stages of company formation.

Proprietary Advantage
VVP seeks portfolio companies that have a proprietary advantage such as a unique technology development approach, intellectual property position or a difficult-to-replicate business model.

VVP invests in companies capable of generating returns aligned with the expectations of angel or venture capital investors. Specifically, VVP looks for evidence of large-scale buying power and the company’s ability to capture, rapidly grow and sustain a dominant market position.

Geographic Focus
VVP invests exclusively in companies headquartered, and with an express desire to grow in, the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Contact Us
For consideration by the Virginia Founders Fund or the Virginia Founders Fund, please:

​1. Apply for VVP through Gust provides a single common application for hundreds of angel groups across the world.
2. Or email your executive summary or pitch deck to

  • All submissions will be reviewed timely
  • ​Additional questions may be addressed to the Virginia Venture Partners Investment Team

-Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) Investments-

A list of current and past VFF investments in alphabetical order.​


​Resources for Historically Underrepresented Entrepreneurs
Funding Sources

Resources for Historically Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

Networks |

Virginia and Regional Resources

Black BRAND is a Hampton Roads-base 501c3 organization focused on Business, Research, Analytics, Networking, and Development. As Hampton Roads’ Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, its mission is to promote group economics through professional development and community empowerment.

The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation
VIPC is a nonprofit corporation funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia that accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies. VIPC’s early stage grant and investment programs provide seed funding to emerging high growth potential tech companies. The Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) invests in Virginia start-ups formed within the Commonwealth’s traditionally undeserved communities.

Central Virginia African American Chamber of Commerce
The Central Virginia African American Chamber of Commerce (CVAACC) is a non-profit organization serving the African American community of the Richmond Metropolitan Area. The CVAACC is established for the purpose of progressing business development and growth in the African American community.

City of Charlottesville Minority Business Program
The Minority Business Program is designed to promote the startup of minority- and woman-owned businesses in the City and the growth and expansion of existing City minority- and woman-owned business.

ICAP Program 
Based on the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.

Mid-Atlantic Venture Association
The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association represents the full spectrum of private equity and venture capital firms with investment interests in the mid-Atlantic and beyond, entrepreneurs, and their strategic partners. Through its annual Forefront event, MAVA champions the cause of minority entrepreneurship.

NSU Innovation Center
The Norfolk State University Innovation Center offers entrepreneurship and innovation services and support to the community as well as a periodic accelerator cohorts.

Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce
The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) is nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the growth and development and economic empowerment of black-owned businesses in Northern Virginia and the success and development of the region.

Virginia Community Capital
Virginia Community Capital is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with a mission to create jobs, energize places, and promote an enhanced quality of life for Virginians. VCC subsidiary LOCUS empowers place-focused foundations to invest their capital locally to build prosperous, vibrant communities.

Virginia Department of Small Business Supplier Diversity
The Virginia Department of Small Business Supplier Diversity is dedicated to enhancing the participation of our small, women- and minority-owned businesses in Virginia’s procurement process. The Department’s financing arm, the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA), fosters capital formation through loans, credit enhancements and an equity incentive grant program.

Virginia Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Virginia’s HBCU network consists of Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia state University, Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Virginia Small Business Development Centers
The Virginia SBDC Network provides of customized counseling and education for small businesses in the Commonwealth.

​Nationwide Resources

Black and Brown Founders
Black and Brown Founders provides community, education and access to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, enabling them to launch and build tech businesses with modest resources.

The Black Founder List
The Black Founder List is an initiative by a group of Black founders, VCs and tech professionals to create a network around black-founded, U.S.-based, venture-backed companies. Black founders can add their startup to be assessed for inclusion by editing the The Black Founder List.  

Black Founders
Black Founders exists to increase the number of successful black tech entrepreneurs. Black Founders does this by developing global programs that connect entrepreneurs, equip entrepreneurs, inspire innovations and allow sharing of global resources.

Black Girl Ventures
Black Girl Ventures provides Black/Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital and capacity building in order to meet business milestones that lead to economic advancement through entrepreneurship.

The Black Upstart
The Black Upstart teaches aspiring Black entrepreneurs how to start a successful and profitable business through an intense, culturally-relevant popup school.

BLCK VC was formed in 2018 to empower and support Black investors while increasing diversity in venture capital.

Through events, trainings, early-career programs, and knowledge sharing, Code2040 equips Black and Latinx technologists and their allies with the tools, connections, and the care they need to advocate for and achieve racial equity in the tech industry.

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports inner city economic development through entrepreneurship.

NewMe is an entrepreneurship education program, serving early-stage business founders and their teams through mentorship, specialized curriculums, and for those companies chosen – capital investment.

People of Color in Tech (POCIT)
People of Color in Tech is a platform designed to highlight the current achievement of ‘people of color’ within the sphere of technology & startups to inspire others.

Transparent Collective
Transparent Collective is a non-profit helping African-American, Latinx, and female founders access the growth resources and connections they need to build successful tech companies.