Innovative Startups Find Opportunities in the NRV

New River Valley, VA – Virginia’s New River Valley (NRV) is the perfect location for businesses to flourish. It’s not hard to see why many startup businesses choose to be part of the economic landscape in the NRV. With its easy access to talent, strategic location, and an innovative businesses community, the NRV is a natural fit for any business.

Several NRV startups are innovating in different sectors across the region.

  • Good Food Groups, LLC located in Pulaski County seeks to manufacture functional foods that contain a substance that helps individuals maintain weight, build muscle, and lose fat. They were recently selected to participate in the RAMP program that gives them access to regional resources and support. Learn more here.
  • MacroVation, LLC also located in Pulaski County designs sustainable biomaterials such as additives that rend plastics biodegradable after use and 3D printable materials from seaweed to manufacture medical devices. MacroVation was also selected to be part of the RAMP program.
  • Fermi Energy in Montgomery County is developing electric vehicle batteries that would help solve supply chain issues of hard-to-get materials like cobalt and nickel. Their goal is to create a battery that would come from locally sourced materials. Through Virginia Tech, they won $2.9 million in grant money from the U.S Department of Energy. Read the full story of them in the Cardinal News here.
  • Vegg Inc. has also found a home in Pulaski County. They are introducing novel solutions for indoor farming by repurposing old school buildings for vertical farming companies. WSLS recently featured a story on them. You can watch the story here.
  • Cowden Technologies in Montgomery County is automating the logistical requirements of uncrewed systems. This is a system that uses robotics to support the drone ecosystem. Cowden Technologies was recently accepted into the NVIDIA Inception program that will give them access to cutting edge technology, venture capitalists, and technical resources. Read the press release here.
  • MOVA Technologies in Pulaski County uses air capture technology for air purification and air pollution control. They recently closed on a $2 million seed funding round that will help with the organization’s growth. Read the full MOVA press release here.

Find out how your business can become a part of this innovative landscape in the NRV here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

FAA Conducts Drone Flight Tests at Virginia Tech

Montgomery County, VAWSLS News recently reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was at Virginia Tech conducting drone flight tests beyond the visual line of sight. The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech is one of seven different FAA approved designated test sites in the country.

The FAA came to Virginia Tech to conduct tests in complex environments as they are looking to “establish safe and reliable commercial standards for the future” of all air traffic.

Assistant Administrator for NextGen Paul Fontaine said “We expect that by 2026 time frame we’re going to have 2.66 million drones that will be here in the U.S.” With that many drones flying in the air, it will be vital to focus on how to integrate them into the airspace.

Industry leaders, researchers, and partners have collaborated to make the Virginia’s New River Valley one of the strongest regions in the U.S. for the Uncrewed Systems sector. Discover how the NRV is “A Natural Fit” for the growing UAS industry here.

Read the WSLS News story here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

VT Led Coalition Receives GO Virginia Grant

Montgomery County, VA Virginia Tech recently reported that they received a GO Virginia Grant for the Automated-Connected-Electrified (ACE) coalition. The coalition, which is led by Virginia Tech, was awarded $500,000 in state aid and $251,300 in matching non-state funding. According to the article, the resources will be used “to advance Southwest Virginia’s manufacturing, transportation, and autonomous vehicles sector by scaling up the talent pipeline to train and retain workers.”

The ACE partnership includes companies like Torc Robotics and Volvo as well as community leaders and higher education partners. With this collaboration, the expectation is that the program will fill much needed workforce gaps in the manufacturing sector and allow companies to have an education platform that will fit their requirements.

The grant will help the team to develop hands on training for the skills necessary to be successful in a manufacturing landscape that uses smart technology to enhance the industrial process.

Read the full article here.

Virginia’s New River Valley offers outstanding educational opportunities, with world-class universities and colleges throughout the region. This creates a natural pipeline of talent for any company that chooses to do business in the NRV. Explore all the NRV has to offer here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Homegrown NRV Companies Highlighted in Virginia Economic Review

Homegrown NRV Companies Highlighted in Virginia Economic Review

New River Valley, VA – Companies that were founded in Virginia’s New River Valley and continue to flourish in the region were highlighted in a recent issue of the Virginia Economic Review. The Q4 2022 issue focused on homegrown Virginia companies throughout the Commonwealth.

Here is a list of the NRV companies highlighted in this issue:

The New River Valley has many advantages for starting and growing your business. It has an innovative business community and access to a loyal, highly skilled workforce. It is affordable with a low cost of living. The strategic location with easy access to I-81 and I-77 makes travel and distribution convenient.

Explore all the NRV’s business advantages here.

Read the full “State of Success” issue of the Virginia Economic Review here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

VT Successfully Passes FAA Metrics for Safe Drone Flights Over People

VT Successfully Passes FAA Metrics for Safe Drone Flights Over People

Montgomery County, VA – Virginia Tech has issued a press release detailing that they have successfully met the criteria accepted by the FAA to fly drones over humans.

According to the release, “the milestone is a nod to the value of Virginia Tech’s testing, the product of a collaboration between the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), an FAA-designated drone test site, and injury biomechanics experts in the university’s College of Engineering.”

The article goes on to discuss the broader goals of Virginia Tech’s testing, stating,

“Identifying safe aircraft is the immediate objective of the testing under the means of compliance. But for the Virginia Tech team, the broader goal is understanding more about how to make aircraft safer, and how to test them effectively.”

Read the full press release about this exciting announcement from Virginia Techhere.

Learn more about unmanned systems in the NRV here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV Autonomous Vehicle Industry Featured in Virginia Economic Review

CNET.com Features Torc Robotics Leading the Autonomous Trucking Wave of the Future

Montgomery County, VA – TORC, a leader in the unmanned systems industry, continues to roll out groundbreaking technology that puts the growing company and Virginia’s New River Valley on the map. Cnet.com recently featured an article detailing the most exciting companies currently occupying the autonomous truck space.

The article, speaks to Torc’s goal of perfecting “level 4” autonomy. This level allows for self-driving in most conditions and environments, but a highly trained safety driver is present to take control of the vehicle at any time if required.

Why do they do it? According to Torc’s website, the answer is simply creating the supply to meet a growing demand.

There is an ever-increasing demand for moving freight safely and sustainably. Torc has over 15 years of experience delivering proven self-driving solutions in our mission to save lives. This experience and our strong partnership with Daimler Trucks make us perfectly suited to meet the demands of developing self-driving trucks.

Torc Robotics Expansion Among Virginia’s Top 10 Projects in 2020

Vehicle testing is a huge part of the process and Torc has been testing in both Blacksburg, VA and New Mexico. Their routes include public roads chosen in part for their diverse terrain, traffic, and weather conditions. They also test on closed course tracks at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and a Daimler Trucks facility in Madras, Oregon. Torc has tested numerous vehicle platforms on public roads in 20 states over the past 14 years.

 

Learn more about unmanned systems technology in the NRV here.

Learn why Virginia’s New River Valley is a great place to live, work and do business here.

 

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

 

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Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

 

Wing Featured in Bloomberg as Key Player in Emerging Industry

Montgomery County, VA – Wing, the NRV’s local cutting-edge drone delivery system, has landed a feature in Bloomberg. Wing’s drones travel the skies over Christiansburg, VA to deliver packages. The company’s drone aircraft prefer clear, windless weather and are surprisingly light (~10lbs) even loaded with controllers, lasers, cameras, and battery packs required to achieve their maximum 12-mile round-trip range.

Wing is regularly recognized as “the first drone delivery service in the country“. While this is factual, the folks over at Wing can also lay claim to utilizing their own technology to pioneer a completely untapped service industry poised to change the landscape of global markets. Wing is on the ground floor of what experts are saying could be one of the most integrated, fastest-growing, emerging industries in the world.

Per the article, “When key regulatory approvals click into place, the global market for commercial drone services could increase from nearly $20.8 billion in 2021 to about $500 billion by 2028, according to an analysis by Grand View Research Inc. Designers are preparing unmanned aircraft to assist with long- and short-range package delivery, agriculture, infrastructure inspection, fire and police services, and more. Passenger flights might not be far behind.”

Takeoff: The carefully choregraphed aerial ballet shown in the video above is a precisely controlled process that is one of many crucial steps toward building one of the trickiest elements of a successful drone delivery enterprise: consumer confidence.

The Bloomberg feature goes on to state, “crashes must become a statistical near-impossibility before the FAA will certify drones such as these to operate widely and before people will tolerate the increase in air traffic. Even the most zealous drone advocates admit that an ill-timed crash could set the industry back years.”

Uncle Sam has been keeping a watchful eye on the public facing drone business as well. Since 2017, NASA and the FAA have been collaborating to research and write new rules for US airspace. The overarching goal is to accommodate millions of unmanned drone operations below 400 feet, as well as govern next-generation light passenger aircraft blending human and AI piloting at altitudes as high as 5,000 feet. The project includes copious and detailed specifications that cover airframes, sensors, communications hardware, and, most importantly, traffic. The author of the article leaves us with a final thought to reflect upon saying:

“The aircraft will need rules that humans and computers alike can follow intuitively and that help determine who’s accountable for accidents. Done wrong, lives could be lost. Done right, the system will win the public’s trust, create massive new industries, and mark the biggest evolution in U.S. transportation since the interstate highway system.”

Virginia’s New River Valley is a hub for the unmanned systems industry. Learn more here.

Get to know Christiansburg, a town in Virginia’s New River Valley, here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Aeroprobe Featured in Virginia Economic Review

Three NRV Businesses Named Best Places to Work in VA

Montgomery County, VA – According to Virginia Business Magazine, Modea, Aeroprobe and Community Housing Partners (CHP) are some of the of the best places to work in Virginia. The three companies were featured in the magazine’s 12th Annual Best Places to Work in Virginia List.

Modea and Aeroprobe were both featured on the “Small Employers” (up to 99 U.S. employees) list, while CHP was featured on the “Large Employers” (over 250 U.S. employees) category.

Virginia Business worked with Best Companies Group out of Pennsylvania to compile the list. Employers were evaluated on categories such as number of paid holidays, retirement benefits, diversity training, and telecommuting options for employees. After evaluating the employers and compiling a list of the top 100 in the Commonwealth, Virginia Business then divided the list into categories for large, medium, and small employers.

See all the companies on the 2022 Best Places to Work in Virginia list here.

Learn more about the information technology industry in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

Explore more accolades won by NRV counties, city, towns, and universities here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.” Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.
Virginia Tech Project Named Finalist for BBB Regional Challenge

Virginia Tech Project Named Finalist for BBB Regional Challenge

New River Valley, VA – The U.S. Economic Development Administration has named a Virginia Tech proposal, titled “The Future of Transportation and Logistics”, as a finalist for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. According to the U.S. EDA, “[t]he Challenge provides transformational investments to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters across the country, all while embracing equitable economic growth, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness.”

Virginia Tech was chosen as one of sixty finalists out of 529 applications from across the country. Each finalist was awarded a $500,000 grant to help develop their final proposal. From the finalists, the U.S. EDA “will ultimately award 20-30 regional coalitions between $25 and $100 million to implement 3-8 projects that support an industry sector.”

The proposed project from Virginia Tech will bring together partners across Virginia’s New River Valley and the adjacent regions to develop three transformational projects that will grow the region’s economy. The projects are:

  1. I-81 Autonomous-Electric Testbed
  2. Advanced Air Mobility Testbed
  3. Industry network for training, talent, technology, and entrepreneurial development

Finalist proposals are due to the U.S. EDA by March 15, 2022 and winners are expected to be announced no later than September 2022. Learn more about the Build Back Better Regional Challenge here.

Read Virginia Tech’s project proposal summary for “The Future of Transporation and Logistics” here.

Learn more about advanced manufacturing, unmanned systems, and other industries in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Torc Robotics Expansion Among Virginia’s Top 10 Projects in 2020

Torc Robotics Expansion Among Virginia’s Top 10 Projects in 2020

Montgomery County, VAArea Development magazine recognized the recent Torc Robotics expansion as one of Virginia’s top 10 economic development projects in 2020. Torc came in ninth on the list, with 350 jobs and $8.5 million in investment.

Torc’s expansion project in Blacksburg helped Virginia win Area Development’s 2021 Silver Shovel Award for states with a population of 8+ to 12 million. The “annual Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize states for their achievements that will create a significant number of new jobs in the communities.”

Here’s what Area Development had to say about the Torc Robotics expansion:

“Virginia’s job activity was diverse… including 350 jobs in self-driving vehicle software development at a TORC Robotics expansion in Montgomery County.”

Learn more about the Gold & Silver Shovel Awards and see Area Development’s list of the top ten economic development projects in Virginia here.

Read about the Torc Robotics expansion here.

Learn more about unmanned systems in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.