Project Next: Regional Economic Development Initiatives Shape the Future
May 17th, 2021

Stafford, VA – Municipal and business leaders from King George, Fredericksburg, and Stafford will come together on May 25th at 9:00am ET to share an update of efforts to expand regional support for entrepreneurs and smart technology.

This virtual event, Project Next, will share how technology can benefit from the creation and expansion of business and our community. We will explore what community leaders can do Next to create a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Stafford and the Stafford EDA have led the way in fostering a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem” says John Holden, Director of Stafford County’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism. “Our focus is on tech-based business, but the support system and programs apply to all entrepreneurs—startups or expanding business owners.”

Project Next will feature keynote speakers Glenn Ricart, Founder and CTO of US Ignite, and Scott Turnbull, Director of Technology for US Ignite. US Ignite, a national nonprofit, accelerating the smart and connected communities’ movement. “US Ignite is a leader across the US in building entrepreneurial networks” says Holden.

Following the keynote will be a panelist discussion among regional Economic Development Directors including: John Holden of Stafford County, Nick Minor of King George County, and Bill Freeling of Fredericksburg. The panelists will share what they believe is Next for the region.

This event is the result of a year’s worth of dedicated discovery and careful planning led by regional leaders, funded by GO Virginia Region 6 and RIoT. RIoT is an economic development organization that specializes in helping organizations capture opportunities on the forefront of new technology.

“Thanks to the contributions of organizations like GO Virginia, who have a passion for and belief in the potential of Virginia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, regional economic development initiatives have already begun.” says Tom Snyder, Executive Director of RIoT.

After the virtual event will be a live stream video for the ribbon cutting of the Virginia Stafford Smart Community Testbed, streamed to the Project Next attendees.

Holden stated that “The Virginia Smart Community Testbed and Downtown Stafford will serve as ‘a smart place for innovation’.”  Using the Testbed, Stafford will focus its business growth and entrepreneurial development efforts around “smart” and other technology sectors.

The vision for Smart Stafford and the development of Downtown Stafford is to invest in technologies that will improve the lives of residents, businesses, and visitors. The Virginia Smart Community Testbed provides the technology that will help us meet that vision. The Testbed in Downtown Stafford will unlock critical new resources and foster business investments across Stafford County and the Commonwealth

Join Project Next on Tuesday, May 25th, to learn more about the innovative entrepreneurial programs that specialize in smart technology across all sectors.

You may access the event via Zoom live stream by registering here: Register for Project Next.

For more Stafford County entrepreneurial events and workshops visit: Stafford Entrepreneurial Programs.