Verge, the parent organization of RAMP and RBTC, is thrilled to announce the hiring of a new Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development and Director of RAMP.
Lisa Garcia is expanding her role with RAMP, beginning July 1, bringing a wealth of educational and entrepreneurial knowledge to the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program. She’s a familiar face to the organization, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary in the region.
“She knows what it takes to help companies begin to commercialize technology and propel their ideas forward,” said Erin Burcham, President of Verge and Executive Director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. “We can’t wait to see what the next phase of RAMP looks like with Lisa leading the charge.”
RAMP is a 12-week regional business accelerator for STEM startups located in Roanoke, VA. A non-profit, RAMP’s mission is to propel high-potential startups in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region to expand and create jobs in the STEM-H fields. RAMP is an affiliate of Verge, a collaborative strategic alliance established to grow the region’s innovation economy.
“Lisa has been deeply involved on the entrepreneur programming side of RAMP since our first cohort,” said Verge board member Kevin Bloomfield. “Lisa’s passion for entrepreneurs is obvious. She brings a deep understanding of the I-Corps and Lean Launch programs, she has important connections throughout our region, including Virginia Tech, and she has long-coached many start-up founders. The future of RAMP is bright, and we are excited to have Lisa lead us to even greater heights.”
Garcia is an educator, business and executive coach, and passionate technology advocate. She has served as the instructor for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, where the mission is to commercialize technology developed inside universities. She is also an Instructor at Virginia Tech, where she works to empower the university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in its role as a partner of the Mid-Atlantic I-Corps Hubs program.
Additionally, she serves as an adjunct instructor in the Pamplin College of Business, teaching members of the Innovate LLC, where she also serves as a board member. She has also taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the College of Engineering for students focused on product development, leadership and research focus, and ideation.
Focused on the fuzzy front end of innovation and business and sometimes professional development, Garcia has worked with the founders of startups and small and medium-sized enterprises to expand client companies’ social and financial capital, business development, and business intelligence.
Current RAMP Director Mary Miller is set to retire at the end of June.
Verge is a collaborative strategic alliance established to grow the region’s innovation economy, technology and life sciences sectors, and the supporting professional communities. It aligns the strengths and programming efforts of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) and the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program (RAMP). Verge serves GO Virginia Region 2 and works to form collaborations with government, business, academia, and other organizations to advance the region and grow a thriving innovation economy.