Virginia Tech Foundation, Carilion Clinic form $15 million Innovation Fund

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The Virginia Tech Foundation and Carilion Clinic announced the formation of a $15 million VTC innovation fund.

The private fund will focus on investing in life sciences and new technology companies. The fund will support late-seed and growth-stage companies in efforts to commercialize groundbreaking science and research as well as innovative products and solutions.

Rob Vaughan, Carilion Clinic Senior VP of Finance and Treasurer, said the fund will allow Carilion to take research in life sciences and technology to the next level, the marketplace.

"You're going to have ideas that will come out of those areas and we want to be prepared to take advantage of those because they do present good investment opportunities," Vaughan said.

Some of the areas most innovative ideas in science, technology and health come from Virginia Tech, Carilion and the Roanoke Innovation Corridor.

As Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands said, "it's providing students and faculty an opportunity to take their work and make a start-up company."

"It's an area where you see a lot of activity and you see a lot of potential for great return on investment," Vaughan said.

A good investment for Virginia Tech, Carilion and Middleland Captial who's managing the fund.

James Ramey with Middleland Capital moved to Roanoke to support the VTC Innovation fund.

"They are actively looking to monetize and actively ramp up some of that research, which I think helps both students, professors and other stakeholders within both institutions. It's mutually symbiotic. We are looking to make good investments. So are they. It's a match made in heaven," Ramey said.

He's reviewing potential companies now and says around ten will be chosen with a $2 million investment potential.

Most of the companies will be from Central and Southwest Virginia, within a 150-mile radius of Roanoke or will have a tie to Virginia Tech or Carilion. The outlook so far on potential companies has been promising.

"We've been busy. It's a high-class problem to have more deals than time but that's the situation that we are in right now and it's great," Ramey said.

Those chosen companies will be announced in the coming months

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