HARRISONBURG, Va., Sept. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Harrisonburg Startup Company Blue Vigil has closed the $250,000 seed round, which was funded by private investors from the local community. Blue Vigil is in the process of commercializing a tethered hovering observation platform technology. This aerial platform is designed to provide a low altitude vantage point and can carry a wide variety of cameras, sensors, or radio equipment. It is mobile, lightweight and easy to deploy. Training and additional manpower is not necessary to use the platform. The tether provides the power supply, allowing the platform to stay aloft for a virtually unlimited time.
The startup was developed through an innovative economic development program managed by Herndon based InnovateTech Ventures. Working in partnership with Mary Lou Bourne, Executive Director of James Madison University’s Office of Technology Innovation and Economic Development and a small group of private investors in Harrisonburg, InnovateTech identified the technology along with this promising startup. They recruited experienced entrepreneur, Todd Stave, to run Blue Vigil.
“Blue Vigil will offer a powerful observation and communications platform to law enforcement officials, first responders, event organizers and others,” stated CEO Todd Stave. “The support from the Harrisonburg investment community and James Madison University is allowing us to rapidly bring this valuable technology to the markets.”
Blue Vigil has committed to keeping at least fifty percent of its jobs in Harrisonburg for the next three years. James Madison University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Blue Vigil to provide space as well as access to interns and research and development capabilities. Blue Vigil has contracted with a JMU instructor to lead development of the product prototype. James Madison University President Jonathan Alger stated, “Bringing together people to create locally-based technology companies is a great example of how JMU is engaged with the community.”
According to Dr. Yvonne Harris, the JMU Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship, “The launch of Blue Vigil through the collaboration of JMU, InnovateTech and Harrisonburg private investors is a private-public partnership enabling the commercialization of disruptive technology in a manner which supports regional economic development goals. JMU plans to continue working with these partners to develop more startups using this model.”