What a busy and exciting year 2023 has been — from new RBTC programs and tools to Roanoke’s big announcement about a new partnership that will build, manage, and develop programming in a new shared lab space in the Roanoke Innovation Corridor.
Thank you for being a part of our community and providing the inspiration for all that we do to promote the growth of the Roanoke-Blacksburg technology community.
Here’s a shoutout to the people and events behind our biggest accomplishments from 2023:
- The City of Roanoke and its partners announced a collaboration to build a biotechnology incubator — a collaboration like no other for this region. Verge hired Jess Edwards as the director of Innovation Studio for the project.
- RBTC rolled out a new member portal with enhanced functionality and streamlined access to a wealth of information. We also welcomed Jason Clayton as technology talent strategist.
- Acomhal Research, Qentoros and The Tiny Cargo Company were the first companies invited to join Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS — a program that supports innovators in the Blacksburg-Roanoke region. JLABS and its partners additionally selected Bacchus Therapeutics, Luminary Therapeutics, and QurCan Therapeutics Inc. as the awardees in the Advancing Oncology InnoVAtion QuickFire Challenge.
- RBTC got rave reviews for our first overnight leadership retreat, “Boxlore,” for women in technology. The 23rd annual TechNite 2023 celebrated those who are driving innovation and inducted Eddie Amos into the RBTC Hall of Fame, among other honors handed out. And Game Changer Week was bigger than ever and included the first Game Changer Student Pitch Competition, designed for college students who aspire to create a significant impact through innovative ideas.
- Verge President Erin Burcham is named one of Virginia Business’s top 37 “Wonder Women” of 2023. We couldn’t be prouder of her.
- RAMP, the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program, welcomed five startup companies into the fall 2023 cohort bringing the total number of accelerated companies to 48
- The ELITE (Experiential Learning in Technology Employment) GO Virginia Grant concluded at the end of September, allowing 62 students to complete internships at 17 companies and growing critical tech talent f or the region. These students also went on to fill 17 full-time positions after graduation. In the coming months, RBTC is unveiling a 12-month, cohort-based, incentivized professional development program where recent STEM graduates can find their people, their place, and live their purpose here in the region.
There’s a lot more coming in 2024 from RBTC, RAMP and the Verge alliance, and we can’t wait to get started.
Verge is a strategic coalition of organizations that lead and drive public and private collaboration on innovative projects in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region of Virginia that expand to the state level and beyond. The Verge alliance, including RAMP and RBTC, provides programming, coaching, talent attraction/development, and connectivity to elevate the greater technology and biotechnology sectors in the Roanoke and Blacksburg regions.