February 24, 2023 (ROANOKE, Va.) – Through funding from the Truist Foundation, Verge, The Launch Place, and Appalachian Council for Innovation are advancing the region through access to startup capital. The grant award from the Truist Foundation, which first launched in early 2022, gave multiple localities the opportunity to create and design new resources to include microgrants, educational resources, and connections to business mentors.

The grant allowed project partners to award $50,000 in microgrants to startups to assist with state and federal grant writing. Seventeen regional technology and biotechnology companies applied for over $8 million as a result of the microgrant awards. Funding of this caliber will bring additional jobs and higher wages into these communities.

Verge, the Roanoke-Blacksburg regional technology alliance, launched a video series called “Access to Capital” aimed at educating startup businesses about financing. The new educational video series covers a variety of lessons from federal grant opportunities to equity investment, with nine core video lessons featuring successful business leaders and experts in new venture financing from across the state. The curriculum is free and provides actionable insights and information about the changing landscape of investments and startup financing and is designed to help entrepreneurs understand concepts in an easily digestible format.

“As an ecosystem builder and supporter, Verge often hears the need for additional educational, expertise, and networking resources for local technology and biotechnology startups,” Erin Burcham, president of Verge said. “With the help of our partners and the Truist Foundation, “Access to Capital” is now one more resource available to help support local entrepreneurs looking to grow or expand their businesses. We look forward to providing similar and on-going opportunities like those mentioned through this grant for years to come.”

The program was made possible by a grant from the Truist Foundation, in partnership with the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC), Regional Accelerator & Mentoring Program (RAMP), The Launch Place, Appalachian Council for Innovation, and Blue Ridge PBS.

The “Access to Capital” training series can be found at https://vergeva.org/accesstocapital.

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About Verge: Verge supports entrepreneurs in the GO Virginia Region 2 and works to form collaborations with government, business, academia, and other organizations to advance the region. Verge aligns the strengths and programming efforts of the RBTC (Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council) and RAMP (Regional Accelerator & Mentoring Program).  Learn more at www.vergeva.org.

About the Truist Foundation: The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on leadership development, economic mobility, thriving communities and educational equity. Learn more at www.truist.com/purpose/truist-foundation.

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