TI-ED’s work in Economic Development focuses on building the Shenandoah Valley’s Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. Here are the top 10 notable collaborations and accomplishments over the last 7 years.

  1. Worked with community business and education leaders to create Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition’s (SVIC) in 2012.
    • Startup Weekend in 2013 and 2014 and BizBlitz in 2016 are several activities sponsored by SVIC where students and community members came together to pitch their business ideas and worked in teams to present to judges.
    • TI-ED created and supports SVIC website for the Valley's visibility for innovation and entrepreneurship resources and collaborations.
    • TI-ED's director has been a member of the SVIC Executive team since 2015, and elected SVIC Chair in 2016.

  2. Collaborated with (August 2015) community business leaders to create organized angel capital to support entrepreneurs led to the creation of Shenandoah Valley Angel Investors (SVAI).
    • To date, SVAI has 23 angel investors and has invested $8M in 19 companies.
    • TI-ED created and supports the SVAI website.

  3. Served as Chair of Virginia's University-Based Economic Development (UBED) group (2017‑19). UBED members serve as a point of contact from each organization to directly connect with businesses and economic development organizations.

  4. Selected to serve on Virginia Research Investment Committee’s (VRIC) Implementation Advisory Team working with SCHEV and TEConomy Partners for research commercialization and entrepreneur support improvements across the Commonwealth (2017-18).

  5. Joined Staunton Creative Community Fund’s (SCCF) partnership with DHCD to identify regional entrepreneurial assets (June 2018).

  6. Selected to serve on Virginia Research Investment Committee and TEConomy Partners’ study, Regional Entrepreneurial Assessment Project for Region 8 Shenandoah Valley (December 2018)

  7. Created a community team funded by JMU’s Strategic Doing grant from the Virginia Provosts’ Initiative for Integrated Economic Development, which created the Valley Innovation Roadmap (January 2019) on the SVIC website.

  8. Appointed Chair of GO VA Region 8 Council’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Advisory Committee (E2) serving as Coordinator or “Quarterback” to connect people, knowledge & programs in the regional ecosystem (July 2019). The E2 is preparing a GO Virginia grant application for a regional acceleration program aimed at supporting entrepreneurs with high growth companies, and building the entrepreneurial network of mentors, subject matter experts and industry connections that entrepreneurs need.”

  9. Virginia Business Magazine recognized several ecosystem builders from Region 8 in their 100 People to Meet in 2020 article in categories Rainmaker (Jay Langston, Shenandoah Valley Partnership), Educator (Mary Lou Bourne), and Angel (Debbie Irwin, Staunton creative Community Fund (December 2019).

  10. Created and maintains the SVIC Resource Directory currently containing 55 organizations or programs to support entrepreneurs in the Valley. The database can be easily searched by a word, city/zip, region served, resource category, and roadmap stage to make assets we have in the Valley visible and accessible. (December 2019).

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