Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE · August 5, 2021
Office of the Governor
Contact: Alena Yarmosky
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Contact: Suzanne Clark
Contact: Jim Hodson
Phone: (443) 822-7379
Governor Northam Announces Robotics Software Startup to Expand in Norfolk, Creating 37 New Jobs
~ SVT Robotics to establish equipment demonstration laboratory ~
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that SVT Robotics, a Norfolk-based software company that accelerates the deployment of industrial robotics, will invest $101,400 to expand its operation at 730 West 20th Street in the City of Norfolk. The company will construct a laboratory to house robotic equipment used to demonstrate its proprietary SOFTBOT™ Platform’s capabilities for clients and industrial robotic manufacturers. Virginia reinforced its position as America’s Top State for Business by successfully competing with California and Texas for the project, which will create 37 new jobs.
“SVT Robotics is a prime example of the success that innovative technology businesses can achieve in our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “With a diverse ecosystem of entrepreneurs and startups along with global industry leaders, forward-looking companies are attracted to Virginia because of our unmatched combination of tech talent, world-class education institutions, and competitive operating costs. We look forward to supporting the company’s continued growth in Norfolk.”
Launched in 2018 by co-founders A.K. Schultz and Michael Howes, SVT Robotics develops products that expedite and streamline the deployment of industrial robotics in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. SVT Robotics’ SOFTBOT™ Platform allows companies to connect and integrate their enterprise systems to any robot or automation in just days, rather than months or years.
“SVT Robotics’ proprietary software advances the technology industry and creates jobs of the future, and we applaud the company’s vision and success,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Norfolk has fostered the business and innovation environment needed to propel small tech businesses like SVT forward, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the company and the City in this next phase of growth.”
“We are thrilled by the ongoing efforts from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Norfolk to create an environment that is extremely friendly to tech startups,” said A.K Schultz, CEO and Co-founder of SVT Robotics. “The VJIP jobs grant will make it easier for SVT to create tech jobs right here in Virginia. The ability to recruit the best technical talent is the lifeblood of tech companies and we applaud Virginia’s efforts to create strong tailwinds for firms like SVT.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Norfolk and the Hampton Roads Alliance to secure the project for Virginia and will support SVT Robotics’ job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.
“Norfolk continues to lead in the development of innovative technologies,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. “SVT Robotics is a trailblazer in the deployment of enterprise robot technology, and we are excited about its plans to invest in an expansion that will create 37 new jobs. The city greatly appreciates SVT Robotics’ support of the Norfolk Innovation Corridor, and we are proud of the support the company has received from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.”
“It has been a privilege for our team to work with SVT Robotics and the City of Norfolk and to watch SVT’s tremendous growth from a 757 Accelerate program graduate to a nationally-recognized robotics software developer,” said Doug Smith, President and CEO of Hampton Roads Alliance. “SVT Robotics has been committed to the Hampton Roads region and has used its considerable expertise to help foster an environment where other tech startups will thrive. We look forward to watching SVT Robotics continue to grow and to helping other innovative companies emerge in the 757.”
“The Hampton Roads region is quickly becoming a tech hub due in no small part to the investment from companies like SVT Robotics,” said Senator Lynwood Lewis. “Norfolk is proud to have SVT call the city home, and we look forward to its continued partnership with us to support high quality jobs in the region and accelerate innovation in the Commonwealth and beyond.”
“I’m thrilled to see SVT Robotics expanding its presence in our great city,” said Delegate Jay Jones. “This investment will create more jobs within our workforce and accelerate new technology and innovation from this company. I look forward to continuing our city’s relationship with SVT Robotics.”
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