Southwest Virginia nonprofits align

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          Two nonprofits in Southwest Virginia are aligning.

          The Roanoke - Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) and Roanoke - Blacksburg Innovation Network (RBIN) announced their alignment this week. As of Sept. 1, both organizations will be headed by Jonathan Whitt, currently executive director of the innovation network. Derick Maggard headed the technology council until he became director of the Virginia Tech Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship this month.

          “This alignment with RBIN reflects our desire to strengthen the region’s entrepreneurial and innovation efforts while simplifying our message,” Sam English, chairman of RBTC’s board of directors, said in a statement.

         Whitt was hired in January as the first executive director of the RBIN. Before joining the RBIN, he headed the Region 2000 Technology Council for almost 11 years.

          The organizations say they will align their resources, including staffing and office space, to become more efficient. Their shared objectives are:

• Using resources more effectively and efficiently
• Increase technology-based startup activity
• Develop the region’s supply of technical talent
• Connect the technology community to regional resources
• Market the region’s technology assets
• Build a regional innovation ecosystem.

        The RBIN was born out of the Innovation Blueprint which focused on how to harness the region’s assets and positioning them for growth. The Roanoke - Blacksburg Technology Council is an association of 230 businesses and organizations in the greater Roanoke - Blacksburg region that work to promote the region's technology sector.

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