Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
Chapter 22. Authorities

§ 2.2-2357. Division of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems.

A. Within the Authority shall be created a Division of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (the Division) to support and promote technology-based entrepreneurial activities in the Commonwealth. The Division shall have the authority to (i) connect regional entrepreneurial support services; (ii) administer the Regional Innovation Fund (the Fund); (iii) coordinate marketing efforts between statewide and regional campaigns; (iv) establish entrepreneurs in residence to align local needs with state initiatives and funds; (v) compile, maintain, and promote an information portal of available public and private funding vehicles; and (vi) perform any other duties assigned by the Board. In performing such duties and responsibilities, the Division may (a) seek to build networks between regional entrepreneur support services; (b) facilitate state-wide information sharing and exchange of ideas and best practices; (c) establish a portal to highlight the availability of regional entrepreneurial support services; (d) aggregate information from national, regional, and local sources and promote available public and private funding vehicles; and (e) undertake any other activities or provide any other services relative to the purpose of the Division.

B. The Division shall be advised by an Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, to be appointed by the Board.

C. The Division may partner with the GO Virginia regional councils to offer resources and expertise related to entrepreneurial ecosystem development, to identify multiregion initiatives, and to facilitate communication regarding best practices across regional councils.

D. 1. There is hereby created a permanent fund to be known as the Regional Innovation Fund, to be administered by the Authority. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of each fiscal year, including interest thereon, shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund, which may consist of grants or loans, shall be made by authorization of the president, chairman, or vice-chairman of the Authority.

2. Moneys in the Fund shall be used for (i) competitive grants or loans to advance regional ecosystem development activities, (ii) support for enhanced capacity building projects, (iii) assistance with the creation and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for the execution of innovation and startup programming, or (iv) technical assistance to startups in regional ecosystems. Moneys from the Fund shall be used for the purposes set forth in this subdivision that further the goals set forth in the Index.

3. Awards from the Fund shall be made by the Authority pursuant to guidelines, procedures, and criteria for the application for and award of grants or loans developed by the Division in consultation with the Advisory Committee and approved by the Board.

4. Any award from the Fund shall require matching funds at least equal to the award, provided, however, that the Authority shall have the authority to reduce the match requirement to no less than half of the grant upon a finding by the Authority of fiscal distress or an exceptional economic opportunity in a region. Such matching funds may be from local, regional, federal, or private funds, but shall not include any state general funds, from whatever source.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.