Entrepreneurs who want to speed up their companies’ growth are encouraged to apply to become the next participants of the RAMP-in-Residence business accelerator program. RAMP - which stands for Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program - is a new technology business accelerator program for the Roanoke-Blacksburg, Virginia region that launched in the Spring of 2017. Its mission is to propel high-potential startups to expand and create jobs in the STEM-H (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health) fields. The organization is supported by a broad public/private partnership that draws on leaders in higher education, government, and the region’s growing technology community.
The RAMP-in-Residence program is housed in the renovated Gill Memorial Building at 709 S. Jefferson St. which sits along the emerging downtown Roanoke Innovation Corridor. Participants will benefit from the mentoring program, networking opportunities, business education, and access to capital. The program’s model, based on best practices garnered from existing successful business accelerators, will continue to focus on accelerating three to five technology or life science-focused companies in the next cohort. Companies accepted into the RAMP-in-Residence program will work closely with mentors to focus on building, testing, improving, validating product-market fit, and launching their product for the market.
To be considered for the RAMP-in-Residence program, applicants must:
- Agree to locate their company, rent-free, inside the accelerator for a six-month residency;
- Have a minimum viable product, preferably with sales traction;
- Work full-time on their startup during the program;
- Have a product or service employing workers in the STEM-H field with scalability potential;
- Be willing to consider operating their company in the region after graduation.
The deadline to apply is March 15 and the program is expected to begin on May 15. More information is available on RAMP’s website at: www.ramprb.tech.
The first Ramp-in-Residence Cohort received a warm send-off at a RAMP Wrap Part on January 4th. “Those selected for our second cohort will have an excellent opportunity to focus on their business,” said Mary Miller, RAMP Director. “The mentoring support and business connections that these companies make will last long beyond the six months in residence. Our goal is to help these companies grow right here in our region, and we are prepared to do whatever is necessary. I am excited as the nomination process opens. If you are ready to work on your company, I certainly hope you will apply.”
RAMP has just completed its inaugural year, and its support comes from founding partners including the City of Roanoke, Virginia Western Community College, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council.