Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program (RAMP) will open applications on December 15 exclusively to health and life science companies for its March cohort — a 12-week curriculum that provides mentoring, free office space with high-speed internet, access to venture capital and $20,000 in equity-free funding.
Since 2017 RAMP has offered an annual acceleration program for technology, health and life science companies. But thanks to a recent $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, RAMP will host two cohorts in 2021 — a Spring cohort focusing on health and life science startups, and a Fall cohort focusing on technology startups. The new funding will also allow RAMP to extend resources to all alumni after their program completes.
“This is a first for us, and we are very excited,” said Dr. Mary Miller, RAMP’s Director. “Life sciences and health care are a regional focus and it makes sense to directly support startups in this space.”
Companies with two or more founders are eligible to start applying December 15 via https://ramprb.com. RAMP will select five companies, which will receive a concentrated curriculum featuring nationally known instructors, 1:1 mentoring and other resources from program corporate and municipal partners across the region.
“We are looking for high tech startups with scalability, and coachable entrepreneurs who have a desire to do the work,” says Dr. Miller.
Three years ago, Sarah Snider, Ph.D., had a vision of creating a company out of her research into human behavior and addiction at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. An alumna of RAMP’s 2018 cohort, Dr. Snider is now CEO of BEAM Diagnostics, Inc, a Roanoke-based health and technology startup, specializing in the development of screening tools doctors can use to assess whether a patient is likely to suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Her work, in partnership with Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic, is funded by more than $500,000 in Small Business Technology Transfer grants from the National Institutes of Health, Center for Innovative Technology, and Yale University.
RAMP is a regional initiative that aims to help science, technology, engineering, math and health (STEM-H) companies test the viability and marketability of their products, navigate legal and business hurdles, and develop a deep relationship with the supporting community.