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RAMP alumnus awarded NIH Grant 800 597 RAMP - Roanoke Business Accelerator

RAMP alumnus awarded NIH Grant

Congratulations to RAMP alumnus Dr. Robert Gourdie who has received a prestigious National Institute of Health NHLBI R35 Outstanding Investigator grant award!

The grant will provide up to seven years of continuous support and up to $700,000 a year for Dr. Gourdie and his lab at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. From this lab, Dr. Gourdie and Spencer Marsh spun out Tiny Cargo, which extracts exosomes from milk to serve as drug-delivery devices for people with heart disease. Tiny Cargo participated in RAMP’s Health & Life Sciences Cohort in Spring 2021.

The intent of the R35 program is to free up NHLBI-funded scientists to pursue their research interests without being encumbered with continuous grant writing and narrow project-based goals, Gourdie writes.

“I feel very fortunate to receive this award. I wish to offer my thanks to my wife and family, my lab, my colleagues at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion, my scientific collaborators and NHBLI program staff for their support and help. I also wish to express my profound gratitude to U.S. taxpayers for their support of the NIH and its important mission to improve the health and well being of Americans.”

Mentor Month Appreciation 1024 768 RAMP - Roanoke Business Accelerator

Mentor Month Appreciation

In honor of January being “Mentor Month,” please join us in thanking all of RAMP’s dedicated mentors who selflessly give of their time and talents to help the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

They include: Mark Lucas, Russ Ellis, Victor Iannello , Doug Juanarena, Cynthia Rancourt, Greg Feldmann, Geoff McCarty, Chris Moore, Bart Wilner, Cynthia and Mark Lawrence, Kelly Woolwine, Jim McAden, John Schott, Dan Sable, Troy Keiser, Cathie Brown, Tom Piccariello, Kevin Bloomfield, Leon Harris, William Fralin, NextUp Solutions, Allan Tsang (88 Owls), Dan Summerlin and Fourd Kemper (Woods Rogers PLC), Danielle Hart (VA Career Works), James Ramey (VTC Seed Fund), Member One Federal Credit Union, Carilion Clinic, Brad Denardo and Harvey Brookins (National Bank of Blacksburg), Lisa Garcia, Mike Abbott, Kody Cobb, Tom England, Cheryl Giggetts, Jill Loope, Scott Pleasants, and Tom Rowley.

RAMP Demo Day is Dec. 9 900 506 RAMP - Roanoke Business Accelerator

RAMP Demo Day is Dec. 9

RAMP is excited to invite you to our 2021 FALL DEMO DAY on December 9 at 3:00 pm at VCOM II where we will showcase the 4 companies from our current Technology Cohort!

RAMP director Mary Miller will open with a few updates on RAMP followed by introductions of our cohort companies and their mentors. Each company will pitch its business idea live on stage.

  • ArchiveCore (Lennox McNeary): providing cloud-based software that uses distributed ledger technology to simplify healthcare credentialing.
  • Corvus Labs (Spencer Leamy): utilizing machine intelligence to augment and enhance human performance.
  • Cowden Technologies (Mickey Cowden): designing smart docking stations for drones, enabling remote environment management without requiring human supervision.
  • ThermaSENSE (Ali Roghani): providing real-time, accurate, and non-invasive measurements of internal temperature and properties of almost any object.

In celebration of Demo Day and this cohort’s completion of the RAMP Program, we invite you to stay for the RBTC Holiday Social following the event. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided.

All attendees are asked to wear a mask during the Demo Day presentations as well as the social. For those attending virtually, a link will be sent closer to the event date after you have registered

Applications now open for Spring 2022 Cohort 1024 575 RAMP - Roanoke Business Accelerator

Applications now open for Spring 2022 Cohort

RAMP is pleased to announce that applications are now open for our Spring 2022 cohort that will be focused on Health and Life Science startup companies. 

We are looking for companies with scalability, and coachable entrepreneurs who have a desire to do the work.

RAMP will select up to five companies for the 12-week cohort that provides:

  • Expert 1:1 mentoring with the region’s top entrepreneurs and executives
  • Free office space with high-speed internet in downtown Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge
  • Access to venture capital and equity-free funding
  • Free membership in the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council
  • Three additional years of ongoing support

Why RAMP?

“Participating as a RAMP cohort member will transform your company,” says Sarah Snider, CEO of BEAM Diagnostics, which was one of three RAMP alumni to recently win a $100,000 Commonwealth Commercialization Fund award. “You will learn to ask and answer the right questions and find the perspective you need to accelerate growth. The wisdom, advice, and support from the mentors of RAMP is truly unmatched.”

Or from Martin Angst and Kaelum Hasler, co-founders of Rendyr and winners of the $20,000 grand prize at the American Evolution Innovators Cup: “RAMP provided us with the mentorship, resources and network we needed to prepare for our product launch and take on funding. The attentiveness to the startup’s individual needs makes RAMP invaluable.”

Or RAMP alumni Rob Gourdie and Spencer Marsh, whose startup Tiny Cargo is among five companies to receive a Washington, DC Health Innovation QuickFire Challenge award, which includes $50,000, the opportunity to reside at JLABS@Washington, D.C., for one year, and mentorship from experts at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

More about RAMP

Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, RAMP offers two cohorts per year with an average of five STEM-related companies accepted. 

Cohort companies must fully participate in the program and locate to the Roanoke region. The accepted companies can expect to be engaged in the program two full days a week for the entire 12-week program.

As a proud member of GAN, each founder is also given access to playbooks, mentors and other resources across hundreds of other accelerators and companies around the world.

Founded in 2017 with funding from GO Virginia, the City of Roanoke, and Virginia Western Community College, RAMP through 2021 has nurtured 32 startup businesses. 

In September 2020, RAMP received a major endorsement by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which awarded a nearly $1 million grant to Valleys Innovation Council — a nonprofit organization dedicated to growing the region’s innovation economy — to double RAMP’s output.

Meet the Cohort: ThermaSENSE 600 383 RAMP - Roanoke Business Accelerator

Meet the Cohort: ThermaSENSE

Blacksburg born and bred, Ali Roghani has earned undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. degrees in engineering from Virginia Tech along with an MBA.

In 2017, he founded ThermaSENSE Corp., which makes non-invasive “AccuTemp” sensors that measure the internal temperature of objects from the surface – such as insulated walls, water pipes, even live tissue – accurately and in real-time. As a result, AccuTemp has a number of applications in the agricultural, healthcare, and wearable technology sectors.

ThermaSENSE is a member of RAMP’s Fall 2021 Technology Cohort.