Averett University names chief entrepreneurship, innovation officer
John Vigouroux to lead the new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Averett University announced Thursday that John Vigouroux will join the university as its first chief entrepreneurship and innovation officer. He also will lead the new Averett Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The center will serve as a learning lab and entrepreneurial space for students. The goal of the center is to connect students to economic development in the region. Vigouroux (an Averett alum) and Averett faculty members will create an interdisciplinary system with hands-on work with local businesses, organizations and regional partners. Averett has a goal of having all students complete at least two workplace experiences before graduation.
“With this new center and John’s leadership, Averett is moving forward during a time where it seems like everything has been halted,” Averett President Tiffany M. Franks said in a statement. “It’s during these times that we must resist only looking inwardly, and move boldly and invest in strategic initiatives to support innovations that will shape a better future.”
Vigouroux was most recently a member of Averett’s board of trustees. While an Averett student, he studied business administration and played soccer — eventually becoming a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. He has also served in several executive leadership roles with San Francisco-area tech companies, including WeR.ai, NarrativeWave, Nex Cubed and ThinkIQ.
While leading the center, Vigouroux will create career development pipelines and experiential learning projects.
“This new focus and expertise on innovation and entrepreneurship at Danville’s hometown university will certainly benefit the city and the region, as well,” Danville City Manager Ken Larking said in a statement. “We look forward to developing more strategic partnerships that will provide new revenue and resource opportunities for both Averett students and for industry in the region.”