December 21, 2021
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded a grant of $52,076.23 from its Innovation Fund to Reston-based NOVA Labs. The Innovation Fund uses a venture philanthropy model of grant-making in which donors to the Innovation Fund, in partnership with the Community Foundation find investment opportunities in Northern Virginia.

“This grant to NOVA Labs supports innovation and entrepreneurship in the maker community throughout the region, and we are particularly pleased to be supporting the expansion of that mission with its new location opening in Fairfax City,” said Eileen Ellsworth, president and CEO, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Nova Labs is a multifunctional space enabling the maker community to learn, create and collaborate. The makerspace allows our member community to access resources, tools, advanced machining, and technology equipment to craft, make, prototype, and fabricate. The nonprofit recently launched a capital campaign to help fund its move to a new location in Fairfax City, Virginia in 2022.

"The move and expansion to Fairfax City are made possible in part by the $52,000 awarded to us through the Community Foundation Innovation Fund grant. Over the past decade, we’ve been fortunate enough to leverage our facilities and community of makers to support creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation, as well as contribute to a number of projects benefitting both our local and global communities. We are incredibly appreciative to the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia for your consistent support,” said Derrick Washington, Executive Director, NOVA Labs.

NOVA Labs mission is to be the ultimate workspace for the hobbyist, tinkerer, engineer, artesian, and entrepreneur to create and collaborate with others.

"Nova Labs is a thriving community of creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs, and I’m incredibly excited to have joined the organization as its new Executive Director. My hope is to build upon the mission on which our organization was founded; to empower this region to rediscover the joy of making things. We’re in a pivotal moment in the life of our organization, and as we transition to Fairfax City, my hope is to expand our reach into untapped communities that could greatly benefit from our capabilities and culture to grow to the next level,” said Washington.  

The Innovation Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia promotes inventiveness, creativity, and new design, seeding a more innovative ecosystem in the region. Established in 2012, it became a component fund of the Permanent Fund for Northern Virginia in 2016 when community donors contributed $500,000 to create an endowment that will forever allow this fund to seed innovation throughout the region.