RICHMOND, VIRGINIA — The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) announced that Robert Stolle plans to step down from his role as President and CEO. Stolle has been with VIPC and its predecessor – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) – for 13 years, including serving the last 3 as CEO. Prior to his current role, he was Senior VP for Operations.

As CEO, Bob Stolle led Virginia’s consolidation of several innovation and entrepreneurship programs into the newly established VIPC. This consolidation expanded and coordinated programs that provide support for Virginia’s entrepreneurs, tech startups, research commercialization, regional ecosystems, and new industry sectors such as Advanced Air Mobility and Smart Communities.

“Having the privilege of leading VIPC over the last three years has been the most rewarding experience of my professional career” Stolle said. “VIPC has a staff of exceptionally talented and experienced professionals. I’m very proud of where we are as a team, but I believe this is a good time to pass the baton to the next generation of leadership for innovation in Virginia”.

“The Commonwealth has benefited greatly and will continue to benefit for years to come from Bob’s many years of investing his considerable talents, time, and exemplary service,” said Caren Merrick, Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Vice Chair of VIPC.

“Under Bob’s leadership, VIPC has forged a series of integrated programs to help entrepreneurs bring their technologies to commercialization, whether the technology originates in one of Virginia’s academic institutions or in the private sector. As an entrepreneur myself, I know that these programs make a real difference in the success of our emerging and growing tech enterprise,” said Barbara D. Boyan, PhD, Chair of the VIPC Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Institute for Engineering and Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Joseph Benevento, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce & Trade, will assume the role of Interim CEO beginning in September, while the VIPC Board recruits a permanent CEO. Bob Stolle will stay on in an advisory role to assist in the transition until at least the end of October.

“I’m very grateful to the VIPC Board of Directors and to the Youngkin Administration for their trust, support, and for the opportunity to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia” Stolle said.

About the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)

Connecting innovators with opportunities. The nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia’s innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.
Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF)  |Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Smart Communities | Unmanned Systems | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit