Herndon, VA, March 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- During Women’s History Month, celebrated each March, the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) is proud to highlight Virginia’s community of female entrepreneurs. Nearly 60 of CIT GAP Funds’ 200+ investments were founded by or include female executives. Bolstered by the Virginia Founders Fund, which increases access to capital for startups founded by women and other traditionally underserved entrepreneurial communities in the Commonwealth, CIT maintains a strong commitment to continue investing in women-led startups.

Women entrepreneurs make up a significant portion of U.S. small business owners, with the U.S. Census Bureau estimating over 12.3 million companies owned by women. According to a recent report from SmartAsset that set out to identify the top cities for women in tech, examining U.S. cities with 200,000 residents or more, two Virginia cities – Chesapeake and Arlington – were both named among the top five best cities for women in tech. The findings were based on a number of factors, including the city’s tech employment growth over the last three years, number of women in the tech workforce, and its gender pay gap.

“Through a variety of CIT’s investment funds, including the Virginia Founders Fund, we are committed to increasing the number of women-led startups that find success throughout all of Virginia,” said Ed Albrigo, President and CEO of CIT. “We are proud of the Commonwealth’s community of women entrepreneurs who are not only innovating their fields and bringing key products and services to a global market, but who are also making a tremendous difference for other women working in tech.”

Women in Technology (WIT), the premier professional association dedicated to the advancement of women in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia technology community, announced in January the finalists for the 21st Annual Leadership Awards. These annual awards recognize female professionals who are leaders in the technology field and bring a unique vision and talent to the industry. CIT is honored to have two CIT GAP Funds portfolio companies represented in the Corporate Mid-Market Sector category through two standout female leaders: Gigi Schumm, SVP Worldwide Sales at ThreatQuotient, and Carolyn Parent, CEO and President of LiveSafe. The final winners will be announced on May 21, 2020.

“Gigi and Carolyn represent just a fraction of what our female-owned and -led portfolio companies have been able to accomplish, and we are proud to recognize them during Women’s History Month,” said Jennifer O’Daniel, Investment Director, CIT GAP Funds. “These women are outstanding examples of what the Women in Technology community is all about – mentorship and helping to advance women in tech. Virginia’s economy is stronger because of the numerous female founders who have built their companies and created hundreds of jobs in the Commonwealth. We look forward to another year of supporting Virginia’s women in tech.”

About CIT GAP Funds
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. CIT GAP Funds’ investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has convened leading regional entrepreneurs, angel and strategic investors, and national venture capital firms in the interests of Virginia’s entrepreneurs. Membership has included New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.citgapfunds.org.

About the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF)
Launched in 2018, the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) is focused on providing venture capital for Virginia’s traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs. Proceeds from the Center for Innovative Technology’s (CIT) successful GAP Funds investment program are being reinvested into the Virginia economy through the VFF, which specifically supports female, minority or veteran founders, or other entrepreneurs located in regions outside of Northern Virginia who are emerging into sectors such as software, hardware, life science, cleantech, and technology-enabled services. The VFF works with regional startup initiatives, early-stage funds, and accelerator programs across the Commonwealth to identify strategic opportunities for investment and potential co-investment to leverage additional capital.

About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
Investing in Virginia's Growth | CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, CIT accelerates next generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development initiatives, and expansion of broadband throughout Virginia. Our programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) | Virginia Founders Fund | Broadband/Rural Broadband | Smart Communities | Cybersecurity | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71. Contact: 2214 Rock Hill Road #600, Herndon, VA 20170 | 703.689.3000 | www.cit.org | You can also follow CIT on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Taylor Hadley
LaunchTech Communications
978-877-2113
Taylor@goLaunchTech.com

Sara Pomakoy Poole
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
sara.poole@cit.org