Jim Flowers, executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks, and Mike Drzal, partner with VT KnowledgeWorks sponsor LeClairRyan, are noted regional technology community leaders and have been selected as GAP 50 Regional Ambassadors.
The Center for Innovative Technology has launched the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards, a new statewide entrepreneur award program, designed to identify and celebrate Virginia's next generation of entrepreneurs in the areas of life sciences, technology and energy.
Seeking nominations from all corners of the Commonwealth, CIT wants to honor innovative business entrepreneurs creating high-growth companies.
CIT GAP Funds is the driving force behind the entrepreneur awards. They provide seed-stage equity investments in Virginia's top life science, technology and energy enterprises, propelling economic development and bolstering innovation statewide. Exemplary regional companies that CIT has recently invested in include: Lujure Media (Blacksburg), iTi Health (Charlottesville), Brazen Careerist (McLean) and ARCSys (Hampton Roads).
A select group of regional technology community leaders have been named as GAP 50 Regional Ambassadors. This group will help promote regional nominations and include:
- Jonathan Aberman, Managing Director Amplifier Ventures, McLean, Va.
- Bob Bailey, Executive Director Center for Advanced Engineering and Research, Lynchburg, Va.
- Ed Barrientos, CEO Brazen Careerist, McLean, Va.
- W. Mark Crowell, Executive Director, UVA Innovation Associate Vice President for Research University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
- Kristin D'Amore, Director, The Entrepreneur Center Northern Virginia Technology Council, Herndon, Va.
- Mike Drzal, Partner LeClairRyan, Blacksburg, Va.
- Jim Flowers, Executive Director VT KnowledgeWorks, Blacksburg, Va.
- John Freminella, Chief Technology Officer Cardagin Networks, Charlottesville, Va.
- C. Mason Gates, Founder InterDirect, Richmond, Va.
- Charlie Gause, Founder & President Axnano, Danville, Va.
- Frank Gruber, Co-Founder and CEO Tech Cocktail, Arlington, Va.
- Marty Kaszubowski, President General Ideas, Norfolk, Va.
- Andy Krouse, President and CEO TAU Therapeutics, Charlottesville, Va.
- Derick Maggard, Executive Director Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, Roanoke, Va.
- Zack Miller, Project Director We are Titans, Norfolk, Va.
- Kenneth Newbold, Director of Research and Innovation James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
Final GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards recipients will be determined through a peer voting process. CIT will send an electronic ballot to nominees to vote. The final 2012 GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards recipients will be honored at an awards banquet in McLean, VA on October 18, 2012.
“Virginia is known nationally for its vibrant and visionary entrepreneur community, which fuels growth in almost every business sector statewide,” said Tom Weithman, Vice President and Managing Director, CIT GAP Funds. “We look forward to promoting the Commonwealth's next generation leaders through the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards and celebrating Virginia's 'Year of the Entrepreneur' with this prestigious group of visionaries.”
Nominations for the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards can be submitted here.
About CIT GAP Funds
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. CIT GAP Funds investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel and strategic investors, and venture capital funds such as: New Enterprise Associates, Rotech Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Harbert Venture Partners, HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Cariion Clinic, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric and Alpha Natural Resources.
About the Center for Innovative Technology
The Center for Innovation Technology, CIT, is a nonprofit corporation that accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies. CIT creates new technology companies through capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers.
About VT KnowledgeWorks
VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).