Mark Madigan

Mark Madigan is chairman of the Loudoun Economic Development Authority.

The Loudoun County Economic Development Authority this week launched a new competition for entrepreneurs hoping to take their business to the next level.

The 2020 Innovation Challenge will award a first prize grant of $75,000 and up to three $25,000 grants to companies that are developing “truly innovative products and services in Loudoun County,” according to Loudoun Economic Development officials.

“Entrepreneurs are an important driver of the Loudoun economy and supporting the local ecosystem has been a strategic focus of the EDA,” Mark Madigan, chairman of the authority, said in a prepared statement. “This program comes out of our desire to directly impact the future of business in Loudoun.”

Small business owners and entrepreneurs who wish to apply can do so at LoudounInnovationChallenge.com before March 31.

Competition representatives said applications will be considered on a rolling basis and must include business plans and the most recent annual financial statements, which will be reviewed by the authority’s members. Finalists will be asked to make an in-person pitch to the EDA, and winners will be chosen at the discretion of the EDA. The honorees will be announced at the Loudoun Small Business Conference on May 4.

Interested applicants must have a for-profit business model and either a physical location in Loudoun or a willingness to commit to establishing future office space or jobs in the county.

A list of terms and conditions for the challenge can be found at biz.loudoun.gov/economic-development-authority/innovation-challenge-guidelines/.

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