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
- Encourage co-locating ecosystem assets in strategic locations, including the Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg and the Gill Memorial Building in Roanoke
- 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
- Hold Angel Investing Education Seminars (Event 1 and Event 2) See the news article on our first event here
- January 2019: Supporting the Star Tank Summit
- Anticipated Early 2019: Complete Capital Landscape Report
- Anticipated Early 2019: Launch an interactive dashboard to track health, growth, and success of the region’s innovation economy and supporting ecosystem
Board of Directors
Managing Partner at Bloomfield Partners
CEO of Ozmo
General Counsel at Carilion Clinic
President of Common Wealth Growth
President of Brookewood Management Advisors
VIC Board Secretary
CEO of Medical Facilities of America
Michael Friedlander, PhD
Executive Director of Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) and Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology at Virginia Tech
Retired from Meridium
Victor Iannello, ScD
VIC Board Co-Chair, Roanoke Valley
CEO of Radiant Physics
VIC Board Co-Chair, New River Valley
Retired serial entrepreneur
Vice President for Information Technology and CIO at Radford University
New River Valley Market Executive at Union Bank and Trust
Theresa Mayer, PhD
Vice President for Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech
President and CEO of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council
Joe Meredith, PhD
President of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center
CEO of FoxGuard Solutions
Robert Sandel, PhD
President of Virginia Western Community College
Raymond Smoot, PhD
Bank Chair at Union Bank and Trust
VIC Board Treasurer
Retired from IBM
CEO of EvolutionHR
Interim Executive Director & CEO
Meredith Hundley, PhD
Sam English, PhD