March 6, 2019

Eva DossThe Launch Place (TLP) has been selected as a recipient of the Economic Development Administration’s 2018 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program competition award. The Launch Place was one of 40 entrepreneurship-focused organizations spanning 28 states that received grants from the 230 applicants. The Launch Place received a $300,000 award for a three-year time period as part of the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Program along with 15 other organizations. 

The SFS Program supports the formation, launch, or scale of cluster-focused seed funds that invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth and job creation. This award will enable The Launch Place to hire a Portfolio Manager to manage its 17 portfolio companies, market TLP’s investment funds, evaluate start-ups for potential investment, and participate in continuous fund management training. 

“We are extremely honored to receive this coveted award,” said Eva Doss, The Launch Place, President and CEO. “This EDA grant award will allow us to increase our capacity and provide additional assistance to our investment portfolio companies.” Doss went on to express how honored she was to see The Launch Place on a list with highly accomplished groups from across the US such as Chicago, IL and New Orleans, LA. 

This award will help The Launch Place continue their mission of fostering an environment for new and serial entrepreneurs to grow and raise capital, and to create an idea based entrepreneurial culture in the Dan River Region. By providing pre-seed and seed funding to startups of varying sizes and backgrounds, The Launch Place is not just investing in companies that could disrupt the Internet of Things (IoT), MedTech or advanced manufacturing industries, but looking for businesses that can boost the region’s economy. 

The RIS Program empowers communities to provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and operational support for organizations that provide essential early-stage funding to startups, building platforms from which they can best leverage public and private sector infrastructure investments in broadband and digital connectivity, transportation, education, and beyond. Through the SFS Grant Competition, the Economic Development Administration  (EDA) provides funding for technical assistance and operational costs, such as conducting feasibility studies, engaging in planning activities, etc., that support the formation, launch, or scale of cluster-focused seed funds that invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth and job creation. In total, the RIS program competition awarded $21 million.


About The Launch Place:
The Launch Place, funded through a grant by Danville Regional Foundation, provides new and early-stage business support services and seed funding for the Danville City and Pittsylvania County region of Virginia and Caswell County in North Carolina. As an entrepreneurship development organization with the purpose to plan, fund, launch and grow businesses, TLP helps companies to get started or to expand their operations by providing business consulting services, office space, and by investing in them through its investment funds.  

About the US Economic Development Administration

The mission of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.