Meet Tech-Trailblazer and local golfer, Justin Yalung from Inorganic Ventures!
Originally from Virginia Beach, Justin Yalung landed in the Roanoke-Blacksburg area around 10 years ago. Justin is the COO of Inorganic Ventures (IV) – a manufacturing company specializing in almost any inorganic CRM for ICP, ICP-MS, IC, atomic absorption, wet chemistry, and QC applications, delivering ultimate standards across multiple industries. To put it simply, IV makes the calibration solutions used in various kinds of chemistry labs for multiple purposes. We asked Justin some questions to get to know him better.
What do you love most about your work?
With my professional roots beginning in finance, I’ve had the fortune of working across many industries including energy, software, biotechnology, and now chemistry. Being a specialty chemical and materials manufacturer with Inorganic Ventures, I get to expand the privilege of helping just about every corner of the world that perform sample testing including environmental, pharma, food and consumer safety, mining, and industrials, and now the ever-growing cannabis industry. I love serving people, so it’s incredibly fulfilling to provide opportunities for our team at IV while also helping make the world safer.
What surprised you the most about Inorganic Ventures (work culture, technology capabilities, etc.)?
I believe IV is the employer of choice in the New River Valley. We are a privately held company founded 36 years ago with a passion for science, helping people, and caring about each other. Our leadership team has intentionally built a collaborative culture focusing on the value and significance of every individual, relationships across departments, and the important work we do for our customers. We do this through a relentless pursuit to be better in all phases, whether it be in our transparency and communication with each other, or by challenging our processes so that we can be more efficient and provide more time to think, collaborate, and innovate. I’m proud of our facility and beautiful grounds here in the Falling Branch Corporate Park, the investments we continue to make in our core software platforms, and production equipment automation in the pursuit of getting better.
Who is your top tech-trendsetter and why?
For me, it’s the electric vehicle (EV) makers. Ford just came out with a truck that has the battery capacity to power a house for three days! The biggest trend right now is sustainable energy and what you do with it. Imagine the future of how energy will be stored and utilized.If you think about it, the elements in battery solutions – lead, zinc, lithium (etc.) – and their reactions are basic chemistry.
Our core business supporting analytical chemistry came from the birth of the EPA regulation and the invention of emission and mass spectroscopy lab instruments in the 1970s. Since then, as safety regulations have grown, we’ve been attuned to our growing customer base in helping develop high purity solutions customized to their changing and complex needs. And today, of course, the world is not getting any less complex. I’m excited about our position in the near future as I aspire to have IV be the trendsetter in our industry. We plan to build off our expertise in pure materials and focus on expansion to other commercial applications that help solve world problems.
If you could develop a technology that solves a problem in society, what would it be and why?
It’s clear to me that IV has a role in the important future of energy. I would love for our chemists to be part of the novel approaches to electrochemical energy storage when it comes to EVs, residential and industrial batteries, and power grids. To take all the possibilities of chemistry before us and connecting the dots to creating the most efficient, secure, and sustainable solution would be world changing. We could have a modernized grid with more reliable distribution, better reserve power management (both at home and across localities) and continue to scale up the future of EVs.
Tell us something about yourself people may be surprised to learn.
It might not be surprising, but I am extremely passionate about my alma mater and our region with respect to economic development and its natural beauty. Therefore, over the past decade I have sought to volunteer my time and perspective on boards including the RBTC, Onward NRV, and the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and supporting the important work of the New River Land Trust.
Additionally, I like to play golf in my spare time. I was twelve years old when I first watched Tiger Woods make his pro debut in 1996, and I’ve been playing ever since. I also like to spend time with my wife and kids, and I’m glad to have planted roots here to experience all the things we love within our region.