Babylon Microfarms Member Spotlight

Babylon Microfarms, former member of the Dominion Energy Innovation Center and RMC Pitch Competition winner in 2018, is now one of Virginia’s leaders in the sustainable agriculture space. Based in Charlottesville, Babylon is connecting people who want to live a healthier lifestyle with an easy and innovative way to have access to high-quality produce with their state-of-the-art indoor hydroponic farming system.

This automated hydroponic system is user friendly and makes personal farming a reality for many individuals and local restaurants. The startup was named one of the Richmond Times-Dispatch “Faces of 2019”. They were also awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation and were one of the startup companies featured in Forbes. Last year, Babylon Microfarms raised $2.3 million dollars, most of which came from new investors. With the money they have raised, Babylon plans on using 2020 to expand the installation of more automated hydroponic systems into new industries, as well as invest in even more horticultural research.

According to Richmond local, Marc Oosterhuis, who is now the COO of Babylon Microfarms, the business has plans of investing money in new product development and expanding sales throughout the upcoming year.

GOGO Band Member Spotlight

After a successful 2019, current member and DEIC veteran, GOGO Band, a leading innovators in family life technology, is setting the bar even higher for 2020. The holidays didn’t slow this team down, as they are already one of the featured companies showcased at the upcoming CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES 2020 is a conference for innovators of consumer technology, and it is predicted that over 170,000 people from 160 countries will be in attendance. GOGO Band CEO, Jon Coble, is one of the guest speakers at the conference, and he will be sharing the innovative way in which GOGO Band is advancing the predictive technologies industry.

Currently, the accuracy of the device is 70-85%, and while thousands of parents have already seen improvements in their children, GOGO Band plans to improve their system testing tenfold in their pursuit of becoming the leading bedwetting solution on the market to-date. Immediate feedback from the device-wearer will allow for constant improvements that will be used to help anticipate when an incident is about to occur based on key indicators recognized in each user’s biometric report. 

The GOGO Band team is growing, and their production is beginning to vamp up significantly. It’s safe to assume you can expect a monumental year for GOGO Band, one of Richmond’s most-talked-about startup companies.

Come See Us at the Dominion Energy Innovation Center

Adam Sledd, Director of the DEIC ruminates on his recent Richmond repatriation…

“My family and I moved back to the Richmond area three months ago after nine years in Washington D.C., and it’s been amazing to spend the summer re-learning the Richmond region. Every corner of our community has sprouted something new while I was away, whether that’s the budding of a local industry like the brewery scene or major residential and commercial developments cropping up all across Hanover County. Every time I sit down with an old friend to catch up I hear about a new business or project that has its own plan to help grow some piece of the region’s economy. Ultimately, this is why I’ve moved back -- because while this has always been a great place to work and raise a family, it’s also continually evolving as a fantastic place to grow a business. I joined the Dominion Energy Innovation Center because I am excited about playing a part in this region’s continued economic growth story, and because DEIC is just beginning to define the next stage of its impact in Ashland and beyond.”

DEIC marks its ten-year anniversary as an organization this October, and although the name and key players have changed a few times the organization’s core mission remains largely unchanged. DEIC was envisioned as a space for companies to start, grow, and receive the resources they need to eventually expand beyond our walls and into the community. Initially the focus was on clean energy innovation, making this one of the country’s first non-academic cleantech incubators. Over time that focus has grown to include all types of innovative startups from agricultural technology to cybersecurity. Through our programs and partnerships with Dominion Energy, Activation Capital, and Randolph Macon College, DEIC has proven itself as an attractive collaborator for some of the region’s brightest startup companies. 

Today we are looking ahead to the next evolution in DEIC’s growth. The central Virginia entrepreneurial picture looks a lot different now than it did in 2009.  Downtown Richmond is home to organizations and spaces that can stand toe to toe with anyone in the country. The Commonwealth provides millions of dollars in funding for entrepreneurship programs. Our venture capital ecosystem is strong and growing every year to fill the gaps between seed and series A/B/C funding for Virginia startups. From Lighthouse Labs to SCORE mentoring, downtown Richmond offers all the resources a business founder needs to thrive in 2019. What I’ve found in the past three months is that those resources don’t all extend from the downtown area out into the rest of the region. Not every new business will build around a high-tech model, and not every entrepreneur will find time to drive to Short Pump or downtown for a coworking space, a networking event, or a panel on how to improve your digital marketing. There needs to be a bridge that connects the abundance of resources downtown with entrepreneurs—and future entrepreneurs—in Ashland, Hanover, and further out.  

DEIC is expanding outward to be that bridge. In addition to myself, Ian Ragland has joined DEIC as our Program Manager and marketing expert. Ten years into DEIC’s mission we are going to open our doors a little wider, develop new programs to serve the business community, and continue to be a place for entrepreneurs to build the future. We hope that you’ll join us in that endeavor as a member, a mentor, or an event participant. If you would like to learn more about the space and what we’re working on please check out the website at www.koreanlaw.com.cn or come visit us on Duncan Street.

Dominion Energy Innovation Center: New Hires!

Please Join the DEIC and affiliates in welcoming Adam Sledd (Director) and Ian Ragland (Program Manager) to the team. Adam and Ian will be available on-site for mentoring during standard business hours, and will be contributing to all day-to-day functions of the center, including all events held inside the space as well.