Growing regional entrepreneurship and small business initiatives by engaging Virginia Tech faculty with entrepreneurs, small businesses and business development leaders.

We work to engage university faculty with entrepreneurs, small business, and business development leaders to support regional entrepreneurship and small business initiatives.  Virginia Tech's services to entrepreneurs include technical assistance for new product development, and business development services such as market analysis and networking opportunities. 

 Key Partners

OED has several Virginia Tech partners who provide services to entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the state, including: The Launch Place which provide business counseling and market research services to promote business development in southern and southwest Virginia, and; VTKnowledgeworks, a business accelerator that provides technical support and mentoring for high-tech start-up businesses.

Key Projects and Initiatives

Our past efforts to support entrepreneurship and small business development include projects in assessing business incubation proposals, as well as projects assisting small manufacturers in support of project development.  OED faculty are also part of the university-led DC I-Corps project which trains faculty and students in the commercialization of their technology.

Another key project done with the support of the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, and the Discovery Analytics Center, was as assessment model for measuring diverse entrepreneurial ecosystems which used the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's four indicators framework and while accounting for the needs of different types of entrepreneurs from main street to high growth firms. The report can be found here.

Looking ahead we are also working to identify opportunities for small businesses to find international markets, improve their competitiveness, and build relationships with regional partners, economic development assets, and Virginia Tech faculty.

If you want to talk more about Entrepreneurship, please contact Sarah Lyon-Hill, Sr. Economic Development Specialist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at 540/231-9940.


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Working on a better way to build a startup

A Virginia Tech team is working on a better way to build a startup, one that takes less time and money to try new ideas and find customers. 

Organizers say the approach, already being applied in a Virginia Tech classroom, will create economic opportunities in Blacksburg, in Arlington, and across the state.

The team of engineers and economic development specialists springs from the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) initiative announced Feb 21. The National Science Foundation program, part of a regional partnership with the University of Maryland and George Washington University, aims to teach researchers how to commercialize technology.  read more