To enhance support and programming for Southwest Virginia’s technology and biotech entrepreneurs, RAMP is pleased to welcome Jessica Dunn as our new administrative coordinator.
A native of Roanoke, Dunn earned a media studies degree from Radford University in 2008, and since 2015 worked as assistant property manager for Coordinated Services Management, Inc., which manages more than 20 senior living communities.
“We needed to bolster our staff to better serve our region’s burgeoning technology sector,” said RAMP director Lisa Garcia. “Jessica’s administrative talents and organizational expertise will allow us to provide even more services and programs to technology startups.”
Formed in 2016 by a partnership between Roanoke City, Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council and Virginia Western Community College, RAMP coordinated one cohort per year from 2017 to 2020 that offered an intensive 12-week program for tech companies poised to accelerate. In 2020, the alliance received a $982,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to expand to two cohorts per year.
RAMP, or the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program, recently closed applications to its Fall 2022 Cohort and will announce by the end of August the companies that have been accepted. To date, RAMP has accelerated 35 companies that collectively employ more than 600 people and sell products and services to all 50 U.S. states and internationally.
In addition to its cohorts, RAMP also hosts a monthly Pitch & Polish that allows entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch business or fundraising plans in an informal setting to a team of expert mentors who provide immediate feedback. RAMP also provides up to three years of additional support for cohort alumni.
RAMP is an affiliate of Verge, a collaborative strategic alliance that includes the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council established to grow the region’s innovation economy.