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Greater Washington Innovation Awards Names NOVA 2020 Education Innovator of the Year

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Northern Virginia Chamber) and Connectpreneur have named Northern Virginia Community College as the 2020 Education Innovator of the Year at the inaugural Greater Washington Innovations Awards on October 8, 2020.

Created to showcase innovations in business, the Innovation Awards highlight ingenuity and creativity in five key categories in addition to the overall awards: Biotech, Hospitality, Health Tech, Social Impact and Higher Education. Applicants submitted a one-minute video describing their innovation. A panel of 17 judges then reviewed all applications and named 11 finalists, whose videos were shown during the virtual awards show.

NOVA submitted a video based on the success of the college’s JumpStart program. JumpStart is a unique program that allows recent high school graduates to take select NOVA classes that will transfer to most four-year institutions. The classes were offered at no charge over the previous summer semester. Since the inception of the program late last spring, 2,996 students enrolled in art, computer science, English, history, IT and math courses at NOVA. While NOVA had an average class pass rate of 73%, JumpStart had an 83% pass rate. Also, 37% of students who participated in the JumpStart program continued their education and enrolled at NOVA in the fall. 

“JumpStart allowed NOVA to give back to our community in a new and innovative way,” said Steve Partridge, vice president strategic partnerships and workforce innovation. “People often don’t realize that our mission is not only to provide affordable world-class education but also to help ensure our region has a globally-competitive workforce. To be recognized by our region’s business community is a huge honor and testament to our focus on producing work-ready students.”

The link to the JumpStart innovation video can be found here.  

According to Northern Virginia Chamber President and CEO, Julie Coons, “Our Northern Virginia businesses continuously demonstrate their brilliance and resourcefulness in pushing forward, be it in product development, improving a system or process or a new approach to employee recognition programs. We’ve all experienced how invaluable an innovative mindset can be during this year’s pandemic. The Northern Virginia Chamber and Connectpreneur wanted to recognize our finalists’ achievements in a fun-filled, camaraderie-focused event.”

“Today’s Greater Washington Innovation Awards program demonstrated that, despite all of the challenges going on these days, creativity, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and well here in the D.C. region. Congratulations to the NOVA Chamber of Commerce, the finalists and the winners,” said Tien Wong, Founder and Host, Connectpreneur.

Other 2020 Innovations Awards Winners are:

  • Innovator of the Year: Micronic Technologies, Inc.
  • People’s Choice Winner: MPower Me
  • Innovation Award for BioTech: Micronic Technologies, Inc.
  • Innovation Award for Hospitality: HUNGRY
  • Innovation Award for HealthTech: VideoKall, Inc.
  • Innovation Award for Social Impact: MPower Me

Media Contact: Hoang Nguyen, Public Information Officer,

About the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce: Originally founded in 1925 as a Fairfax county-focused business advocacy organization, the Northern Virginia Chamber has grown into region's largest Chamber of Commerce, drawing members and impacting policy across the Greater Washington D.C. Metropolitan Region. Today, 700 members strong, representing close to 500,000 employees, the diversity of our community is one of our greatest assets, offering opportunities to learn from one another and form personal connections that help guide lasting business growth. For more information, visit

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls nearly 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.eduor call 703.323.3000.