Regionerate is proud to have led the grant writing team for the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies i6 challenge for the Hampton Roads Community. Today, we learned that the region won the award to create 757 Accelerate, an accelerator program that will focus on the development of high growth, quality ventures that will attract capital, create jobs, and ultimately, diversity and grow the Hampton Roads economy in Southeastern Virginia. Through an unprecedented partnership between the region’s cities, entrepreneurship support organizations, institutes of higher education, federal labs, and economic and workforce organizations. 757 Accelerate will transform the region’s innovation ecosystem, bridging the current gap between early support services for entrepreneurs and a robust investor community and private sector support system ready to help companies grow through investment and mentorship.
The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and 757 Angels are the co-leads for 757 Accelerate. The NIA is a natural lead for this consortium, with strong in-house commercialization capabilities and a nation-wide network of universities, consultants, and incubators/accelerators. 757 Angels is a thought leader in creating a regional entrepreneurial pipeline and brings to the project an extensive regional network of investors that are interested in working with and investing in companies in the high growth space.
The level of collaboration to create 757 Accelerate is truly unprecedented. In a region with 17 cities and a historic lack of coordination among them, the partners have brought together five cities, four universities, a community bank, an angel investment group, and a group of incubators that are making a total commitment of $719,279, with $500,000 of that committed as cash match. In addition to these core partners, there is a robust ecosystem of supporting partners committed to helping 757 Accelerate succeed.