Congratulations to Venture Forum RVA Companies to Watch in 2018

Congratulations to Venture Forum RVA Companies to Watch in 2018

Emerging Startup Awards

CrowdLobby LLC: A company that has adopted the Kickstarter model of online funding, enabling individuals to donate and pool their funds to be used to hire lobbyists to work on specific legislative issues.

Food Not Flowers: A company that enables people to send precooked meals as gifts for friends or family to help them through major life events such as the birth of a baby instead of sending flowers.

Outdoor Access: A company that operates an online marketplace where outdoor enthusiasts can find private landowners who want to temporarily rent their land for hunting,fishing, camping or other outdoor recreation.

Growth Award

Seasonal Roots: A company that is an online farmers market that delivers fresh produce from nearby farms to its customers, who pay membership fees.

Presented by


Microsoft is holding a $3.5 million competition to find the next great garage startup — 'like American Idol'

Microsoft, suffice it to say, is a very big company. But even with its vast resources, it can’t go out and talk to every developer working on the next big thing.

“There are many great companies pushing the boundary of [artificial intelligence] that we can’t reach, even with our efforts,” Microsoft Ventures head Nagraj Kashyap tells Business Insider.  Read more at Business Insider

Local men’s retailer completes move from Grove to Short Pump

The bow tie count is about to go up at one of Henrico’s busiest malls.

Collared Greens, a locally based men’s retailer specializing in button-downs, bowties, cummerbunds and polo shirts, opened its new shop Monday in Short Pump Town Center.

The store replaces its previous spot in the Libbie-Grove corridor, which Collared Greens had operated since 2013.

CEO Mason Antrim said the Short Pump store originally was set to be upstairs near L.L. Bean, but landed downstairs in a 1,600-square-foot space on the mall’s main level, bookended by women’s clothing store Free People and the mall services office.

The shop is open during regular mall hours – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Those are longer days than on Grove, where it was open 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Antrim said the increased hours warranted the addition of five employees to his retail staff, adding to eight employees at the company’s Henrico office. Read more at

Downtown finance firm closes $18.9M capital raise

An expansion-hungry local investment firm has just raised a pile of cash.

Cary Street Partners, a 15-year-old Shockoe Slip-based wealth management and financial advisory business, closed last week on an $18.9 million capital raise.

Tom Tullidge, founder and chief strategy officer, said it will use the money to pursue acquisitions of other firms and recruit talent from competitors. That will add to its base of about 80 employees in 13 offices in six states.

“We see an opportunity in the market,” Tullidge said. “The industry is changing away from the big wire houses. The market is moving in our direction.

“This will give us the balance-sheet strength we need to attack the market.”

The capital was raised in a private placement from about 30 investors that included both local and out-of-town contributions. It was mostly equity, but also included some debt capital. The company had the ability to raise up to $22 million. Read more at

The RVA 25 Ranked by Average Annual Revenue Growth Percentage from 2014 to 2016

The RVA 25 Ranked

CarLotz scores $30M for nationwide push

A local car consignment company looked to the Motor City to shift its expansion plans into overdrive.

CarLotz announced Tuesday it has raised $30 million in new capital from Detroit-based private equity firm TRP Capital Partners, which specializes in investments in the transportation sector.

The equity raise was finalized Monday and TRP took a minority stake.

CarLotz co-founder Michael Bor said the new money will be used to expand the company’s footprint, from its current five locations across Virginia and North Carolina to a nationwide reach. Read more at

30 Richmond-area companies make Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing businesses

Thirty companies based in the Richmond region have made this year’s Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private businesses.

They include companies in technology, real estate investment, business consulting, government services, logistics, insurance, health, pet products and pest control, among others.

Inc. magazine published its 2017 rankings of the 5,000 fastest-growing businesses by revenue on its website Wednesday. The rankings are based on the companies’ three-year revenue growth rates.  Read more at

CEOs group follows Fahrenheit to HandCraft building

As it moves into roomier digs in Scott’s Addition, a local finance consulting and business advisory firm is making sure to save space for its C-Suite-centered roommates.

The Fahrenheit Group started moving in last week to its new home, filling 6,500 square feet of the redeveloped HandCraft Cleaners building at 1501 Roseneath Road. The space more than doubles its previous office at 1700 Bayberry Court in Henrico County’s Glen Forest Office Park.

Joining Fahrenheit in the move is the Virginia Council of CEOs, which has shared space with the firm since it moved to Bayberry three years ago. The council’s full-time staff of three will occupy a room within the space and is subleasing from Fahrenheit, which signed a seven-year lease with building owners Jay, Keith and Jeff Nichols.


Is this thing on? Startup teaches tech to older generation

A mother-son duo is flipping the script on traditional tutoring, and trying to bridge the generational divide along the way.

Tammy Glotz and her son, Carter, launched TechStar Tutors, a startup that sends millennials to teach older generations how to be tech savvy through one-on-one lessons.

The company started last year when Carter, a student at Virginia Tech, spent a summer at home, looking for work and some pocket money.

“One day, his grandmother came over and pulled out a notebook, this long contact list, out of her pocket book,” said Tammy, TechStar Tutors’ COO. “He asked why she didn’t just put it into her cell phone, she said she didn’t know how to.”


Denim shop expands in the Bottom

A local blue jean maker is going up a couple sizes.

Shockoe Atelier, formerly Shockoe Denim, is expanding its Shockoe Bottom home base at 13A S. 15th St. by taking over an adjacent suite. Co-owners Anthony Lupesco and Matt Rho said they’ll be roughly doubling their current space.

“It was time to expand,” Lupesco said. “We had reached a point where Matt and I were doing our work on a ping-pong table on the retail floor,” he joked.

The added space will be used to increase production. Lupesco said the firm aims to add machinery and bring the company’s production in-house. Its handmade denim, for which the company is known, is already produced in house, in addition to being sold in building’s retail area.  Read more at