Six Loudoun business were awarded Innovation Challenge grants totaling $150,000 from the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority and Department of Economic Development, the county announced on Wednesday.
A pool of 156 business applied for the grants, which were awarded based on the Loudoun EDA comparing their performance in the local economy across multiple areas, including, tech ventures, commercial ventures, launch focus, and smart community focus.
“This year’s pool of applicants represented Loudoun geographically, demographically and across our major industries. Looking ahead to next year, our goal is to continue elevating this opportunity by pursuing additional funding, marketing the challenge in creative and inclusive ways, and increasing the exposure of Loudoun innovation,” Small Business and Entrepreneurship Manager Danelle Hayer said.
In last year’s iteration of the grant program, 22 businesses expanded, creating 169 jobs, and injecting $14.8 million into the county’s economy, according to the EDA.
The first place award of $40,000 went to HelloGov, a federal artificial intelligence company in Ashburn. Runners up were awarded $25,000, including I2pure, The Difference Baker, Applied Impact Robotics, and Frontier Kitchen.
For the first time, the department held a People Choice Award competition, as the public cast votes for their favorite businesses. XCAL Shooting Sports and Fitness in Ashburn won the $10,000 prize.
For more information, go to LoudounInnovationChallenge.com