Now is the time to consolidate authority for tech-based economic development in the Commonwealth. Article includes resources to comment on critical proposed legislation...

Dear Members and Future Members:

Earlier this year, Governor Northam’s office correctly identified a need to support the entire life cycle of innovation, from translational research, to entrepreneurship, to pre-seed and seed stage funding, to acceleration, growth and commercialization.

For the past 8 months, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade has deployed a collaborative, consistent, and consolidated approach to identify the Commonwealth’s entrepreneurial strengths, including the talents and resources that make the Commonwealth a unique place to grow new innovation-based businesses.

Hundreds of stakeholders were engaged in this process, including myself as Executive Director of both CBIC and the Charlottesville Angel Network. As an actively engaged ecosystem builder for our community for more than two decades, CBIC twice hosted Robby Demeria, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Technology, in Charlottesville for Town Hall meetings to facilitate input from its members and the greater community.  

All of this collaborative work has culminated in the proposed Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (working title), a hybrid of best practices from across the nation and Virginia’s unique assets. 

CBIC’s board of directors recently passed a resolution in support of this proposed legislation. CBIC Vice Chairman, Craig Honick, also Chair of CBIC’s Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee, explained, “CBIC believes that a vibrant technology and innovation-based entrepreneurial ecosystem is fundamental to the Commonwealth’s future competitive economic growth and success. We support this legislation that consolidates, restructures, and transitions programs related to commercialization and venture-backed, research-driven entrepreneurship. We encourage the formation of a new authority that ensures an environment that vigorously promotes technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation. We look forward to working with forward-looking policies and investments strong public-private partnerships within a framework of regulatory restraint.”

CBIC’s Chairman of the Board, Adrian Felts, added, “In support of the imperative to grow Virginia’s competitiveness and expand our digital ecosystem, CBIC supports legislation to increase statewide support for startup activity through consolidating research, commercialization, and entrepreneurial ecosystem initiatives under one authority.”

This structural legislation drafted was informed by an immensely transparent, inclusive, strategic, and thoughtful approach. You can read all about the process and review the proposed legislation in their recently released VIRGINIA INNOVATION REPORT: Recommendations for 2020 General Assembly Session.

If you want to provide your input into this draft legislation, it is not too late.  Mr. Demeria is hosting several more town halls in other regions of the Commonwealth. Further, if you want to add your endorsement of this effort, you can complete this form to pledge your support and stand with your peers, CBIC, and Virginia founders also in favor of this new partnership.

We hope that you will join us at our holiday party on Tuesday, December 10th to celebrate our region’s successes and share your thoughts with us over a festive beverage. Are you registered?

Tracey Greene

CBIC Executive Director

About the Author
Tracey Greene
Author: Tracey GreeneWebsite:
Executive Director, Charlottesville Business Innovation Council and Charlottesville Angel Network
Tracey's passion for igniting the Charlottesville area’s entrepreneurial and high-tech community is evident by her extensive volunteer roles over the past 15 years, coupled with her current roles as Executive Director of CBIC and the Charlottesville Angel Network, which she founded in 2015. Tracey has served for more than 25 years in sectors including biotechnology, start-ups, trade association and non-profit management delivering results in a variety of roles –communications, public relations, marketing, legal, fundraising, investor relations, technology training, operations, conference and event management, leadership development, and more. Tracey’s enthusiastic community building stimulates personal and group excellence. She is probably best known as an influential connector who seemingly knows everyone and inspires thoughts into action.