Innovation Mill now accepting applications from five entrepreneurs running early-stage companies in high-growth industries


Innovation Mill supports early-stage businesses in high-growth industries by providing next-level resources, proof of concept, market research, industry expertise, and higher education networks in order to prepare for scaling up both regionally and nationally.

Thanks to assistance from a GO Virginia Region 2 grant, Innovation Mill will work to increase the birth rate of new high-growth companies by helping five companies per quarter validate their proof of concept.

During their time at Innovation Mill, entrepreneurs will be guided through six stages to prove their concept.

Those stages include: 360 evaluations, Business & Innovation Development Teams, Customer Discovery, Industry expertise, Higher education and investor feedback. Companies will work alongside undergraduate students, fellow entrepreneurs, and their own Business Innovation and Development (BID) team to innovate, pivot, and expand their company.

Innovation Mill is led by Chief Innovation Officer, Sheri Winesett, President of the Advancement Foundation Annette Patterson, and Innovation Mill’s lead industry expert, Debbie Custer.

Innovation Mill was a brainchild of Annette Patterson who saw an opportunity to help early stage businesses that weren’t ready for an accelerator program, but needed guidance on how to plug in to the entrepreneurial resources in our region.

“Our goal is to catch early stage companies who need direction and expertise to get to the next level while creating an additional funnel for entrepreneurs to be routed to other business resources such as the SBDC, SCORE, RAMP, co-working spaces, pitch events and other resources that are here to support entrepreneurs in our region,” Patterson said.

For a link to the application, you can go here:

Contact: Sheri Winesett Contact: Annette Patterson

Innovation Mill The Advancement Foundation, 202.253.2830, 540.815.6106