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Virginia's economic development machine, the Center for Innovative Technology, has become a major early- and seed-stage investor. But with a smaller budget this year, will the investment pace continue?
CIT president Pete Jobse's annual report says CIT's GAP Funds put $4M toward 28 new companies in 2012, a huge increase from six companies in 2011. But the legislature's allocation toward GAP fell this year, from $4M to $3.2M.
Managing director Tom Weithman says the funding drop shouldn't make it any harder to get funding from GAP. Interest in GAP funding has grown in the last seven years, with CIT getting "lots" of pitches and business plans. Tom didn't get specific about how many entrepreneurs pursue the state funding, but he thinks CIT sees more deal flow than any other investor in the region. But investment competition is friendly with CIT, with many traditional VCs going in on deals. "We're a known entity," he adds. Since the program's launch in 2005, $8.5M worth of GAP funds have gone toward 72 Virginia-based tech companies.