Our program supports a select group of technology-driven, early-stage startups based in or around the Charlottesville area with nine months of program support, including: application for $20,000 in grant funding, dedicated workspace, experienced founders-in-residence, monthly programming, dedicated staff, a large network of industry experts, and access to nearly $50,000 in additional resources.

Industry Sectors

Our program has been funded and chartered to focus upon companies in the domains of Software, Hardware, Biotech & BioMed.

Examples might include: 

If your company is not in one of the sectors above, no sweat. We are happy to put you in touch with those organizations in our region who might be the better fit.

Local & Organic

Our particular focus is upon high potential companies already based in the Charlottesville area. Thus, core members of any team should already be living and working nearby. 

Essentially, 434 is a “hometown” accelerator program, created to support local, organically-grown teams.

If you are not located in our region, please still feel free to reach out. We are happy to connect you with programs and resources in other regions across Virginia.

Ready To Go

The 434 program is not well-suited for teams at the idea, prototype, or pre-MVP stage.

The most qualified teams will have an initial product in the market and be able to provide evidence of meaningful, yet perhaps still early demand. 

Exceptions to the above would be in the case of biomed/biotech startups (which often face lengthy and regulated paths to market) or certain high- or deep-tech projects (which face significant technical questions during development)

Rolling Selection

We select teams for the program on a rolling basis, twelve-months out of the year. Thus, we do not have any specific application deadlines.

Our application materials include answers to a small set of questions (e.g., describe your company in 144 characters or less), alongside a one-page executive summary, pitch deck, and brief bios of the founders.

Applications are first screened according to required qualifications (e.g., based in the region, target sectors, product stage, etc.).

Our selection committee is comprised of individuals from the capital communities across the commonwealth; a mix of investors, grant makers, as well as ecosystem and economic developers.

Program Format

As a long-format program, 434 is able to provide at least nine months of program support to selected companies.  

Programming runs primarily from September until May, and involves check-ins, bespoke guidance, office hours with domain experts, monthly dinners, and more. Each team is also connected to one or more local founder(s) or expert(s), to help ground the team in our ecosystem. 

Teams are invited to work out of our shared workspace on the downtown mall, and can use the space for meetings, office hours, mailing address, etc.

Participating teams are expected to attend check-ins, dinners & other events, as well as any scheduled workshops.