CIE Starts Operations

Pamplin’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship began operations this summer, with the appointment of two experienced professionals in business development and technology partnerships.

Linda Oldham
Linda Oldham

Linda Oldham, former executive director of Georgia Tech’s Denning Technology and Management Program, has been hired as the center’s executive director. She will develop a plan to promote the center and raise its visibility in Blacksburg and the Washington, D.C., area.

Connecting innovators and entrepreneurs

Derick Maggard, former executive director of the Roanoke–Blacksburg Technology Council, is the center’s director. He will focus on activities related to undergraduate education in entrepreneurship.

Derick Maggard
Derick Maggard

The center seeks to connect Virginia Tech’s innovators and entrepreneurs and coordinate and develop related activities in the Blacksburg–Roanoke area and the National Capital Region.

It will maintain strategic partnerships that can increase resources for Virginia Tech and establish interdisciplinary partnerships that create a collaborative and an experiential learning environment.

Expertise, experience and contacts

The center will enhance student education in entrepreneurship; support faculty research related to entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and new venture formation and growth; and promote new venture development.

We are committed to discovering, preparing, connecting, and celebrating Virginia Tech’s innovators and entrepreneurs, said Maggard. The center is equipped with the expertise, experience, and contacts to bridge the gap between innovation, the commercialization of intellectual property and launch of new ventures, said Oldham.

Innovation through entrepreneurship

Activities being planned include lunches that bring together Virginia Tech students and local entrepreneurs, participation in events sponsored by the regional Innovation Corps program, a student–run investment fund for ideas with commercial potential, advisory boards, mentor networks, faculty scholar programs, academic minors, field trips, and annual awards.

The center, established in December 2013, will help guide such programs as the college’s minor, Entrepreneurship — New Venture Growth, and the university’s entrepreneurship living-learning community, Innovate, both of which were also launched last year.

Innovation through entrepreneurship is one of three academic themes in Pamplin’s strategic plan (the other two are business intelligence and analytics, and international business).

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