Ignite Your High Growth Business

The IGNITE Startup Grant is a $1 million dollar fund offered to high-growth companies looking to expand or locate in Prince William County.

About the IGNITE Grant

The award-winning IGNITE entrepreneurial program provides greater opportunities for funding, education, and networking during pivotal years for scaling startups and high-growth businesses.


  • $25,000
    • Pre-revenue / startup phase
  • $50,000
    • Pre-revenue with institutional or investor funding, or
    • Post-revenue
  • $100,000
    • Active sales funnel for product and purchase orders from buyers
    • Business team in place
    • Other funding of at least $1,000,000

Application and Video Pitch


Funding Awarded

Minimum Requirements

  • Have a high-growth business model
  • Be for profit
  • Stay in Prince William for three years after being funded 
  • Be current on all taxes 
  • Have at least a two-member team (preference for companies with one full-time member)
  • Awardees must either:
    • Currently reside in Prince William County, VA, or
    • Reside outside of the NOVA EDA (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax City, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun, Manassas, and Manassas Park)

Ignite Your High Growth Business

The IGNITE Startup Grant is a $1 million dollar fund offered to high-growth companies looking to expand or locate in Prince William County.

Increase Your Chances to Be Selected

Never done a pitch before? You don't have to repeat your entire business plan, but you should:

  • Summarize who you are, what it is, what you do, how you make money, what you seek etc.
  • Communicate the core story clearly, efficiently and in a memorable way 
  • State the call to action

Check out some great examples here and here.

Contact Josh Green at the ICAP program for free personalized one-on-one assistance.  ICAP provides targeted assistance to inventors and entrepreneurs to support bringing new technologies and innovations to market. It is an ideal program for early-stage high-growth ventures with, or looking for, investment.

Here is a great place to start. Add your branding, information, and polish to the attached template. Now, Present!

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How To Create a Winning IGNITE Grant Pitch

Josh Green, Director of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP) – a program of George Mason University and the Virginia SBDC, provides an overview of how to structure your three-minute pitch for Prince William County's IGNITE grant program.

IGNITE your Business: Tips for Launching over the Startup Chasm

An in-depth conversation from our all-star panel of startup, equity and industry experts discussing how to best position your high growth business to successfully bridge the startup chasm.

An internal committee of County staff supported by third-party consultant shall evaluate all Company applications.  Only selected companies will be asked to proceed to the next evaluation stage.

At the behest of the County staff, applicant may be required to furnish additional information and/or access to the applicant prior to funding award. Applications are assessed on factors, including but not limited to:

  • Experience of the company’s leadership
  • Strength of the business model
  • Proof of concept
  • Potential for growth
  • Number and salary of jobs, and
  • Return on investment to Prince William County

Businesses that sell firearms, tobacco, alcohol, or other “sin” businesses will not be considered.

Ignite grants are award to the Company at the County’s discretion and are based on recommendations of the internal review committee.

By applying, companies agree to have their pitch, logo, contact information and picture available to share with the public and IGNITE grant partners.

If requested, those not selected may receive feedback from our expert judges.

 100 percent match from the company is required
  • While acceptable matches are in the form of cash, certain in-kind contributions may also be considered.
  • Prince William reserves the right to make the final determination on eligibility.

Participants must be:

  • Currently residing in Prince William County, or
  • Residing outside the NOVA EDA (City of Alexandria, City of Falls Church, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, Arlington County, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Fauquier County), including international

Funded companies must have 51% of their company’s C-suite, including the CEO, located in Prince William County for at least three years after receiving funding.

Participants cannot be previous IGNITE program grant winners

Selected companies must sign tri-part performance agreement between company/IDA and PWC; Funds will be distributed by the Industrial Development Authority.

Funds need to be used for the benefit of the corporation and not for creating liquidity for founders and/or retiring outstanding debt.  

All companies who receive the $25,000 grant must participate in the free Innovative Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP). (Waivers are available for special exceptions)

All companies who receive the $50,000 grant must meet with an ICAP program member at least once.

Company is required to sign a performance agreement outlining the requirements, grant repayment conditions if basic performance and reporting is not achieved, or if they move out of the County within three years, and reporting processes associated with the project over the three-year performance period.

Reporting requirements include:

  • Annual reporting to the County on use of funds for three years.
  • Biannual check-ins with approved subject matter expert or business counselor (such as the SBDC) for a three-year period.
The County seeks to determine whether the Company HQ is located in Prince William County, a series of tests are applied including evidence of up-to-date County registration compliance as well as proof that 51% of the Company is located in Prince William County. Prince William County may allow, at its’ own discretion, a cure period to remedy infractions and bring the Company back into compliance. 
Companies must provide receipts/ signed agreements and/or tax documents and detailed justification to showcase matching funds. Matching funds can come from:
  • Reasonable salaries and fringe benefits (paid or waived) of the project manager, other staff, consultants / contractors, and/or students working on the project.
  • Travel directly associated with the project and tied to its success.
    • Detailed receipts and documentation showcasing what you accomplished on the trip – and why it was critical.
  • Materials and/or supplies acquired for the project.
  • Time on equipment for work directly tied to the project.
  • Capital infusion including: Grants, Debt and Equity funding.

The following sources cannot be considered as part of the 100% applicant-contributed match:

  • Funds expended prior to 2020.
  • Unused lines of credit
  • Discounts on equipment and/or supplies
  • In-kind contributions