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F.C.-Based Solar Company Wins $225,000 in Business Plan Competition

Virginia Governor Terry McAullife (holding shirt) with (left to right) Falls Church Mayor David Tarter, F.C. Economic Director Rich Goff and City Manager Wyatt Shields. (Photo: City of Falls Church)
Virginia Governor Terry McAullife (holding shirt) with (left to right) Falls Church Mayor David Tarter, F.C. Economic Director Rich Goff and City Manager Wyatt Shields. (Photo: City of Falls Church)

ConnectDER LLC, a Falls Church-based solar energy equipment company, won first prize in the energy category and $225,000 in Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s first-ever Virginia Velocity Business Plan Competition, according to a press release announcing the winners last week.

In total, the competition provided $850,000 to five companies in the bioscience and energy sectors who were looking to expand their business in Virginia. “It is critical to support, attract and retain entrepreneurs in Virginia as startup firms are an important source of job sector growth in urban, rural and suburban communities,” McAuliffe said in a press release announcing the winners. “Virginia Velocity is one of our strategies to catalyze entrepreneurism and build a new Virginia economy.”

Another local company, McLean-based Personalized Cancer Therapy, Inc., won the second place prize in the bioscience category, for which they were awarded $175,000. The company guides advanced stage cancer patients and their physicians to the best personalized cancer treatment options available by bridging the gap between the latest advances in molecular analysis and patient therapy.

“The Commonwealth boasts tremendous assets that allow our talent to not only create, but sustain businesses, and Virginia Velocity gives us the opportunity to recognize those assets,” Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said in a press release.  “The competition also gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we need to do to cement Virginia’s reputation as the best place in the country for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.”

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