Virginia Tech’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will launch an investor group to fund high potential start-ups at a special event on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Virginia Tech Research Center -- Arlington.

The group, known as VT Investor Network, seeks to finance promising start-ups in which a founder, board member, or active investor is a Virginia Tech graduate, student, or faculty member, said Derick Maggard, director of the center, which is based in the Pamplin College of Business.

“It’s about Hokies funding Hokies,” Maggard said. “We are seeking start-ups for seed and early-stage investments between $250,000 and $1 million.” For start-ups that require larger investments up to $2 million, the group will syndicate with other angel investors and venture capitalists. Start-ups, he said, can be located anywhere in the country.

The group currently anticipates a national membership of more than 100, said the center’s executive director, Linda Oldham. They would include entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and business leaders, she said, “who have founded, funded, and built world-class companies and are now looking for innovative, technology-driven start-up companies addressing a significant market opportunity where their investment and expertise can make a difference.”

The launch event, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will feature opening remarks from the group’s founders — Pamplin alumni Jennifer O’Daniel, a seed and early-stage investor with CIT GAP Funds, and Jonathon Perrelli, a serial entrepreneur — and a keynote address from John May, chair emeritus of Angel Capital Association and co-chair of World Business Angels Association. 

“VTIN enables Virginia Tech’s successful alumni to help build the next generation of Hokie-led technology companies,” said O’Daniel, who received a bachelor’s degree in business information technology in 2002. “Jonathon and I are excited to lend our investing and operation experience to help grow Virginia Tech’s entrepreneurial community.”

The investor group’s launch is the latest activity undertaken by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which began operations this past summer. “We are focused on providing experiential learning opportunities for students and entrepreneurs and connecting entrepreneurs to resources — and access to capital is key,” said Oldham.  

Oldham will organize the investor group’s events, manage the deal flow process, and integrate Pamplin MBA students in the National Capital Region campus into the deal screening and due diligence process.

“VT Investor Network provides an extraordinary opportunity for alumni to provide students support, inspiration, and hands-on experience in working with entrepreneurs and investors to learn the innovation and entrepreneurial process,” said Perrelli, who received a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1995.

Find more information about the VT Investor Network and RSVP for the upcoming launch event here. Media Inquiries: Derick Maggard, 540-231-9452.



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