The CIT GAP Funds, operated by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), provide seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Through a public-private partnership, CIT validates the science behind next-generation technology, biotechnology and energy startups across the state and leverages a modest public sector investment with private sector investments at a rate of 16 times the public outlay. The GAP Funds’ search areas include software, telecommunications, semiconductors, media and entertainment, e-commerce, networking and equipment, electronics/instrumentation, industrial/energy, computers and peripherals, biomedical and life science applications.
And it is working!
Leveraging private investment in research and innovation through new company formation has proven a successful and cost-effective funding model for achieving a self-sustaining innovation ecosystem. The Washington Post’s Capital Business recently observed that the Center for Innovative Technology’s GAP Funds “cemented its mantle as one of the region’s most active early-stage investment groups”.
Recently, CIT President Pete Jobse provided an annual update to the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) on CIT’s efforts to drive innovation and entrepreneurship. Among the key points:
- 3,000+ entrepreneurs have applied for seed investments over 10 years.
- Since 2005, CIT GAP Funds have invested in 114 companies.
- Through the CIT GAP Funds, $15 million in public funds have leveraged $233 million of private funding or 16.2X.
- The CIT GAP Funds portfolio of companies has grown in value from $1 million to $310 million in 8 years.
NVTC is a strong proponent for enhancing state funding for the CIT GAP Funds as a critical tool to grow and diversify Virginia’s technology economy. While NVTC successfully advocated for more than $4 million in annual funding for the CIT GAP Funds in FY13 and FY14, Virginia’s current budget shortfall has reduced funding for the CIT GAP Funds to $2.8 million annually in FY15 and FY16. NVTC will be advocating to prevent further budget cuts during the 2015 legislative session in Richmond. Read more about NVTC’s advocacy efforts in Richmond.