On Wednesday, I was in Roanoke, VA for the official unveiling of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Innovation Blueprint project, an effort to build a more innovative and entrepeneurial region in the Roanoke-Blacksburg area of southwest Virginia. The region has some great foundations in place–including Virginia Tech University and numerous other top-notch colleges, Roanoke’s Carilion Research Institute, and a very robust base of technology firms.
This project has some interesting characteristics. It was created and funded by business leaders, and it is one of the leading efforts to build a wider region that encompasses both the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley. It should hopefully become a model not just for regional collaboration, but for how to build an innovation eco-system in smaller regions that lack the size, density, and breadth of major metropolitan areas. It will be an exciting journey.
This effort is led and directed by volunteers, with the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council is serving as the “home” for the project. Yu can keep track of the project that Innovation Blueprint blog which can be accessed here.