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Entrepreneurship center plans aggressive growth

The Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech (Apex CIE) plans to grow rapidly over the next three years to serve more students and achieve a national ranking.

In 2016-17, the center served more than 900 Virginia Tech students through entrepreneurship courses and experiential-learning programs and had a hand in launching more than 80 student-led ventures.

The center “enables Virginia Tech students to put their passion, purpose, and ideas into action,” said executive director Derick Maggard.

At a recent meeting with Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and key Apex CIE advisory board members, Maggard and others from the center outlined a comprehensive growth strategy.

“Aggressive but achievable”

Maggard called the plan’s objectives “aggressive but achievable,” citing the center’s trajectory and accomplishments since it was launched in 2015.

The 2-year-old center, he said, stands to meet or exceed benchmarks of other entrepreneurship programs, particularly those of land-grant universities similar to Virginia Tech. “The demand we are experiencing from students, faculty, alumni, and industry professionals is unprecedented.”

Administratively housed in the Pamplin College of Business, which provides funding and faculty support, Apex CIE offers programs and resources that are open to all students on campus. Its programs enroll students from each of the seven colleges.

“This new plan is intended to challenge our center and the greater university over the next several years to triple the number of students served through academics and experiential programs and to benchmark Apex CIE at a national level,” said Pamplin dean Robert Sumichrast.

Read the VT news item.