Hart of the Entrepreneur

In memory of Entrepreneur Bonz Hart

The Hart of the Entrepreneur Impact Award recognizes an outstanding entrepreneur in the region who demonstrates high impact through their work. The honor is chosen by committee and presented annually at TechNite.

Hart of the Entrepreneur

Fueling the Spirit of Innovation

A trailblazing, serial entrepreneur and pioneer for the region’s innovation ecosystem, Bonz Hart was a loyal champion of RBTC and served in various leadership roles, including the first technology entrepreneur president. 

RBTC members and friends closest to Bonz created an endowment that will continue Bonz Hart’s tremendous spirit and contribution to the Roanoke-Blacksburg technology community. The endowment funds The Hart of the Entrepreneur Impact Award, which will be given annually to an outstanding entrepreneur in the region.

The Hart of the Entrepreneur Impact Award is a $10,000 award granted to an outstanding entrepreneur in the region who has demonstrated high impact through their startup. The first award was given at TechNite in May 2023.

“Bonz Hart was a kind and generous person as well as an entrepreneur of extraordinary talent,” said William C. Fizer, president of Lodging Technology. “I grew up with Bonz during elementary school. Our paths crossed again when I moved Lodging Technology next door to where Bonz was writing energy management software with his brother and Dad. However, Bonz moved far ahead with his failure prediction analysis software. The rest is history.”

The fund is managed by the Community Foundation of Western Virginia. Endowment contributions are encouraged and can be made at any time. The committee aims to raise $250,000 and distribute $10,000 annually so this award can be provided in perpetuity. To contribute to this high-impact award, contact info@rbtc.tech.


Martin Angst, Rendyr, Inc.

Founded and led by Virginia Tech alum Martin Angst, the Blacksburg-based desktop robotics startup Rendyr, Inc. is developing a first-of-its-kind portable laser cutter that dramatically improves access to rapid prototyping and digital fabrication. The Optic Portable Laser Cutter works with hundreds of materials (plastics, wood, fabric, stone, metal, and more), can process projects of unlimited size, features integrated filtration and other safety features, and folds up for compact storage until the next use.

Rendyr is an alumni company of RAMP, Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program, and Martin was the 2022 Tech Nite Entrepreneur Award winner. Currently, Rendyr is focused on serving U.S. and Canadian customers with plans to expand internationally.