The Dominion Energy Innovation Center in Ashland has doubled its office space, just as it prepares to welcome the third cohort of its accelerator program.
The Ashland-based coworking and startup incubator at 201 Duncan St. recently moved members into its newly added office space in the same building, which brings the center’s total size to 5,500 square feet.
DEIC now has 12 offices in its space and the expansion also brought with it a kitchen and new conference room.
DEIC Director Adam Sledd said the additional square footage became available as the center was outgrowing its previous space. The center now has 23 members, up from 16 in 2020.
Sledd said that members only began to move into the expansion in January and the center has since maxed out its capacity, as there is continued demand the center isn’t able to handle.
“We’re seeing a pretty steady stream of requests for coworking space, more than we can accommodate because we have a limited number of offices,” he said. “Our highest priority is to provide space and resources to climate and tech entrepreneurs.”
DEIC charges $125 per month for a membership. In addition to coworking space and startup incubation, the center also offers networking and professional development events.
The new space was previously used by the Town of Ashland for offices, Sledd said. DEIC leases its space from the town.
The center started its lease on the new space in January 2021 but it took about a year before it decided it wanted to use the space for offices and members moved in. It spent about $10,000 on renovations.
“There was a lot of modernizing the space and with COVID going on, we weren’t 100 percent sure how we wanted to use it,” Sledd said.
Among the center’s members are the Downtown Ashland Association, marketing software company Upseed, and drone attachment startup Linebird, which recently closed on a $350,000 capital raise.
DEIC now turns its attention to its upcoming third class of the accelerator program it launched in 2020. The program, called DEIC Accelerate, runs June 6 to Oct. 7 and is open to six to eight companies.
The 18-week program is aimed primarily at energy and environmental startups. Applications are open through at least March 31, as Sledd said Monday he expected to extend the deadline.
“I think like previous years it’s going to be mostly virtual and a mix of Virginia and non-Virginia -based companies,” he said.
DEIC is a collaboration between Dominion Energy, the Town of Ashland, Hanover County and Activation Capital. The center was founded in 2009.