The GO Virginia Region 3 Council announces the launch of its Region 3 Entrepreneur & Innovation Investment Strategy. Developed by the team of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) and the Longwood Office of Community and Economic Development (LOCED), the strategy provides the Council a framework to utilize its resources to invest in projects that support business formation in the region.
As early as July 2017, the Region 3 Council identified the innovation partners in its footprint and utilized these partners as part of its input into the original Growth & Diversification Plan that was completed in 2017. In 2018 and in concert with the State GO Virginia Board and its technology consulting firm TEConomy, the Council created a standing Innovation Committee to lead stakeholder sessions for the TEConomy report which resulted in an assessment of the status of innovation and business formation in the Region 3 footprint.
In late 2019, MBC and LOCED were contracted to bring their exceptional strengths to create a region-wide EII strategy. These two entities brought a level of technical skill that was unique, including business research, mapping capabilities that demonstrated use of electronic communication platforms to engage broad stakeholder audiences. The Region 3 Council approved the strategy on October 28, 2020.
“It is exciting to see the breadth and depth of the recommendations from these two experienced partners,” Region 3 GO Virginia Council Chairman Randy Lail said. “We recognize that building an entrepreneurial ecosystem is a long-term play, and the playbook that MBC and LOCED have provided is a realistic guide for our council. We are eager to begin investing in projects that implement this strategy and benchmark outcomes, as we strive to build a healthy economy in all parts of our region.”
The EII Report emphasizes six strategies:
- Connect entrepreneurship resources
- Support existing business growth and innovation
- Develop entrepreneurship training programs to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs
- Expedite access to capital
- Expedite broadband expansion
- Fund and facilitate implementation to ensure flexibility and sustainability
“The Regional Council believes this strategy will involve many of our existing innovation partners,” said Region 3 Vice Chairman Charley Majors. “Linking creative thinking with the building of impactful partnerships is a pathway for rural Virginia to successfully create sustainable economies. This is an example of rural leadership in action.”
The Region 3 Council is also soliciting Letters of Interest from organizations interested in partnering with the council to begin implementation of this strategy. A copy of the Request for Letters of Interest and the Region 3 EII Strategy can be found here .