GROWTH & OPPORTUNITY Virginia Region 4


Activation Capital secured $2.5M in seed funding from Growth & Opportunity Virginia Region 4 (GO Virginia) and others to help launch a regional accelerator cluster that went on to become the Alliance for Building Better Medicine. The goal of the GO Virginia grant is to help build a globally competitive pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D industry in the Central Virginia region. The support from GO Virginia helped fast-track regional efforts to reshore and secure the production of essential medicines in the United States, lower their costs and ensure access to quality medicines in the U.S. and around the world. Alliance for Building Better Medicine are currently supporting the GO Virginia project to assist with scale-up in infrastructure, workforce development, and supply chain development.


With as much as 73% of the raw materials used to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients manufactured outside of the United States, this initiative targets an issue of importance to national security and economic prosperity. The accelerator builds upon years of work and investments in the region to make Virginia a leader in the nation’s efforts to boost state-side production of essential medicines.

The accelerator’s work covers the 17 cities and counties that comprise the Greater Petersburg and Greater Richmond areas. The founding board represents organizations that play a wide range of critical roles in scaling the ecosystem. The project is funded in part by GO VIRGINIA, a state-funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that strengthens and diversifies Virginia’s economy and fosters the creation of higher-wage jobs in strategic industries.

    Members Involved

    The initiative is led by a multi-jurisdictional coalition of public and private sector stakeholders actively engaged in the cluster’s R&D, manufacturing, workforce development, and supply chain development. Founding leadership board includes Activation Capital, AMPAC Fine Chemicalsthe City of Petersburgthe City of RichmondCivica Inc.the Community College Workforce Alliancethe Greater Richmond PartnershipMedicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth UniversityPhlow CorporationVirginia Economic Development Partnership,  Virginia’s Gateway Region, and Virginia State University.

    The process, participants, and strategic plan for the Cluster Accelerator can be found here.

    In Their Own Words

    “Today, nearly all of the active ingredients and/or their starting materials for Americans’ essential medications come from overseas, leaving us vulnerable to shortages. VCU Engineering’s Medicines for All Institute is an internationally recognized leader in improving the manufacturing of generic drugs by curbing waste, cutting costs, and reducing pollution.” – Dr. Frank Gupton, CEO of the Medicines for All Institute

    “For far too long, the United States has been dangerously dependent on a poorly designed global supply chain for our nation’s most essential medicines. As a solution, the regional cluster accelerator will help further enhance domestic manufacturing as the private sector collaborates to create a resilient pharmaceutical supply chain in the U.S. that will provide access to essential medicines for all Americans.” – Eric Edwards, M.D., Ph.D., President, co-founder, and CEO of Phlow

     “This innovative approach to accelerate the growth of the cluster has the potential to yield thousands of high-paying jobs, attract substantial levels of capital investment, and strengthen the Commonwealth’s position as a leader in the life sciences sector.” – Stephen Moret, Virginia Economic Development Partnership President and CEO

    “With the first facilities under construction in Petersburg, we are excited to help position the city and the region as the nation’s hub for the cluster’s advanced manufacturing facilities that will bring high-paying jobs and workforce training designed to ensure success for future generations.” – Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham

    “As an emerging market for biotech and life sciences, the City of Richmond is ready to help build this high-growth cluster in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D in Central Virginia and advance our local economies, establishing our region leader in this emerging and important field.” – Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney