The Valleys Innovation Council grew out of a simple idea: Why couldn’t the region do more with our assets together to build an innovation-driven economy? After all, we have world-class research institutions and businesses, a population of college graduates seeking employment, and a base of startup businesses that continue to grow and thrive.
We began working in 2016 to create and generate regional support for an organizational structure that would bring focus to the regional innovation economy and strengthen the region through mobilizing resources, advocating for changes, and tracking progress towards identified goals.
In January 2018, the Valleys Innovation Council (VIC) launched as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a board of regional leaders drawn from successful entrepreneurs, higher education, and other regional leaders in the finance and legal fields.
Learn more about Valleys Innovation Council in our Frequently Asked Questions.
The Valleys Innovation Council supports the region by connecting, communicating, and collaborating with stakeholders to grow and strengthen our innovation economy.
From benchtop to market, the research commercialization process requires ecosystem support and resources at each stage of the pipeline for new startups to form and scale: financial capital, talent, and mentors. VIC supports regional programs and is working to develop the regional capital ecosystem.
Tracking the Innovation Economy
VIC is working with local, regional, and state-level stakeholders to evaluate the state of the regional innovation economy and supporting ecosystem and begin benchmarking the region with peer regions around the state and nationally.
Projects & Activities
- Host a database of ecosystem support providers in the region
- Mobilize resources to support the Regional Accelerator and Mentorship Program in Roanoke
- Support a commitment to action and strategic coordination for the development and branding of the Roanoke Innovation Corridor
- Lead the Capital Ecosystem Development Project, including a Capital Landscape Study and Angel Investing Education Seminars (Event 1 and Event 2)
- Supported the Regional Entrepreneurship Summit and Star Tank event
- Led a multi-stakeholder initiative to go after federal grant funding that would support health science and technology sector pathways and ecosystem building
Board of Directors
Retired from GE Digital
Managing Partner, Bloomfield Partners
John Capps, PhD
President, Central Virginia Community College
General Counsel, Carilion Clinic
President, Common Wealth Growth
President, Brookewood Management Advisors
VIC Board Secretary
CEO, Medical Facilities of America
Michael Friedlander, PhD
Executive Director, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech-Carilion
Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology, Virginia Tech
Retired from Meridium
Pat Huber, PhD
President, New River Community College
Victor Iannello, ScD
VIC Board Co-Chair, Roanoke Valley
CEO, Radiant Physics
VIC Board Co-Chair, New River Valley
Retired serial entrepreneur
Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, Radford University
New River Valley Market Executive, Union Bank and Trust
President & CEO, Delta Dental of Virginia
Joe Meredith, PhD
President, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center
CEO, FoxGuard Solutions
President, Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC)
John Rainone, PhD
President, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
Robert Sandel, PhD
President, Virginia Western Community College
Don Taylor, PhD
Vice President for Research and Innovation, Virginia Tech
VIC Board Treasurer
Retired from IBM
Executive Director & CEO
Meredith Hundley, PhD
Chief Program Officer