October 20, 2012
Jennifer O’Daniel will be a panelist at DCWEEK for “Ask an Investor.” She is on the investment team at the Center for Innovative Technology, a Virginia State nonprofit that helps support and fund technology, and a mentor at Founder Institute. DCWEEK is a week-long festival co-produced by Tech Cocktail and iStrategyLabs. Get your tickets here.
Tech Cocktail: What funding opportunities do you offer for entrepreneurs?
O’Daniel: CIT GAP Funds is a family of seed- and early-stage investment funds placing near-equity and equity investments in Virginia-based technology, life science, and cleantech companies. We invest in companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have been investing since 2004 and have about 75 companies in our portfolio. For every dollar we invest, we attract about $17 more in private funding into the portfolio company.
CIT also administers the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), which will grant $4.8 million this year to advance science- and technology-based research, development, and commercialization to drive economic growth in Virginia and to encourage collaboration among its institutions of higher education and partnerships between these colleges and universities and business and industry. The solicitation will be out later this fall.
In addition to funding, CIT has one of the nation’s top federal funding experts on staff to help companies obtain SBIR and STTR funding, which is a great source of non-dilutive funding.
Tech Cocktail: What other kinds of awards or programs do you offer?
O’Daniel: Earlier this year, Governor McDonnell declared 2012 “The Year of the Entrepreneur” in the Commonwealth of Virginia. To help celebrate, CIT is honoring the top 50 entrepreneurs – recognized by peer entrepreneurs – as most likely to build Virginia’s next-generation life science, technology, and energy companies. The awards will be given out on December 13 at an awards banquet.
Tech Cocktail: What do you like about your job at CIT?
O’Daniel: I’m excited to get up every morning and help grow tech startups in Virginia. CIT gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day by meeting with innovative startups, working with existing portfolio companies, and investing in new companies.
Tech Cocktail: What are you most looking forward to at DCWEEK?
O’Daniel: Last year Sean Mallon and I lost against Fortify.vc general partners Jonathon Perrelli and Adam Fazackerley in the foosball tournament, so I’m looking forward to beating them in a rematch. I’m also looking forward to DC tech’s energy and meeting with as many startups as possible.
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