Governor McAuliffe announces members of the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship


Governor-McAuliffeGovernor Terry McAuliffe has announced the members of the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which was established last month through Executive Order 47.  The Council will be responsible for coordinating and implementing youth entrepreneurship initiatives and fostering the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for young people in Virginia.

“Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship is a key part of my strategy for building a new Virginia economy,”said Governor McAuliffe.  “The members of this Council will work together to strengthen our entrepreneurial infrastructure to ensure that Virginia is the best state in the nation for young people to start a business.”

The Council, which will be co-chaired by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones, includes student innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and educators from every region in the Commonwealth. Working with higher education and other public and private sector resources, the Council will conduct a comprehensive assessment of current local, state and federal programs and services available to young entrepreneurs.  The Council will work closely with institutions of higher education and other state agencies to grow vibrant regional ecosystems across Virginia, while supporting opportunities to advance research, innovation and commercialization at Virginia’s colleges and universities.

“We welcome the advice of this outstanding group on the vital question of how we build and sustain a world class entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “Business creation is one of our key strategies for economic and job growth in every part of the Commonwealth.”

Governor McAuliffe has identified the following initial key priorities for the Council:

  1. Expand students’ intellectual property (IP) rights
  2. Promote the formation of collaborative spaces for entrepreneurs and students to meet
  3. Encourage schools to offer courses in entrepreneurship that are easily accessible to all students and to integrate innovation into curriculum
  4. Identify ways for colleges and universities to award academic credit to students for starting a business
  5. Remove unnecessary costs for students starting a business in Virginia

The initial report of the Council’s assessments and recommendations is due to the Governor no later thanDecember 1, 2015.  The first meeting of the Council will take place in the fall, and will be open to the public.  Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

The members of the Council are:

  • Timothy Sands: President, Virginia Tech; Blacksburg
  • Angeline Godwin: President, Patrick Henry Community College; Martinsville
  • Ace Callwood: Co-Founder & CEO, Painless 1099; Richmond
  • David Touve: Director, The Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at UVA; Charlottesville
  • Jay Markiewicz: Director of Entrepreneurship, VCU Business School; Richmond
  • David Miller: Director of Entrepreneurship, George Mason School of Business; Fairfax
  • Nancy Grden: Executive Director, Strome Center for Entrepreneurship at ODU; Norfolk
  • Willy Donaldson: Professor, Christopher Newport University; Newport News
  • Liz Doerr: Associate Director, New Richmond Ventures; Richmond
  • Graham Henshaw: Executive Director: Miller Center for Entrepreneurship at William & Mary; Williamsburg
  • Jody Keenan: State Director, Virginia Small Business Development Center Network; Fairfax
  • Zack Miller: Founder, Hatch; Norfolk
  • John Rothenberger: Founder & CEO, SE Solutions; Reston
  • Kristin D’Amore: President, The Entrepreneur Center @ NVTC; Herndon
  • Robby Demeria: Executive Director, Rich Tech; Richmond
  • Jade Garrett: Graduate Student and Founder, Positive Deviancy, George Mason; Fairfax
  • Adolph Brown: Student, Virginia State University; Petersburg
  • Keaton Wadzinski: Student and Founder, ReinventED Lab, UVA; Charlottesville
  • Allison Howe: Student and President, Entrepreneur Club, Virginia Tech; Blacksburg
  • Elliot Roth: COO, ViV Design Group and recent alum, VCU; Richmond
  • Caroline Pugh: Co-Founder and COO, VirtualU; Roanoke
  • Danielle Campbell: Student and President, Virginia21 at Norfolk State University; Norfolk
  • Devon Bortz: Student, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School; Richmond
  • Shahed Amanullah: CEO, Launch Posse; Fairfax

The full text of Executive Order 47 can be found here.



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