By Tim Ryan

In a significant development for Virginia’s innovation landscape, the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) has announced the appointment of Joe Benevento as its new President and CEO. This unanimous decision by the VIPC Board follows a meticulous six-month national search, underscoring Benevento’s broad expertise in public and private sectors, uniquely positioning him to steer VIPC through a future of expansive growth and transformative innovation.

Joe Benevento, who has been serving as the Interim President and CEO since September 2023, brings an extensive background in business strategy and investment management. Benevento is primed to lead Virginia into a new era of innovation-driven economic prosperity with a career foundation at prestigious firms like Goldman Sachs and THL Partners and significant roles in governmental economic strategy.

Governor Glenn Youngkin expressed his confidence in Benevento, stating, “Joe Benevento brings tremendous leadership talent and investment experience that will greatly serve the Commonwealth of Virginia. A robust innovation-driven economy that accelerates R&D commercialization catalyzes private investment capital, and spurs entrepreneur startup growth will unleash opportunity throughout the entire Commonwealth.”

Senator Mark Warner also commended Benevento’s appointment, highlighting their collaborative efforts in advancing innovation and economic development across critical sectors such as life sciences, semiconductors, and advanced manufacturing. “I look forward to further collaborating with Joe as the new President and CEO of VIPC to support the growth of startups and entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth,” said Warner.

Local leaders in the Hampton Roads area, represented by Paul Nolde, Managing Director of 757 Collab, and Tim Ryan, Executive Director of Innovate Hampton Roads, voiced their enthusiasm for Benevento’s new leadership role. “We are excited for Joe Benevento’s selection as the new CEO of VIPC. Joe has been an engaged and visible listener and learner of Virginia’s entrepreneurial ecosystems as Deputy Secretary of Commerce. As CEO of VIPC, he will now lead a high-value organization that plays a critical role in championing founders and investing in startups and those organizations across Virginia that support them,” they stated.

Benevento’s strategic vision for VIPC involves deepening collaborations across a broad spectrum of stakeholders including entrepreneurs, startups, university research leaders, venture capital investors, and regional ecosystem leaders. His approach aims to foster an inclusive environment that not only nurtures innovation but also drives substantial economic growth across the Commonwealth.

“VIPC is well-positioned to lead Virginia in developing, attracting, and retaining talent, capital, and innovation which expands investment, growth, and opportunity across the entire Commonwealth,” said Benevento. His vision underscores a comprehensive strategy that connects governmental efforts with private sector dynamism and academic insights, aiming to elevate Virginia as a hub for technology and entrepreneurship on a national scale.

The excitement surrounding Joe Benevento’s appointment is palpable across Virginia’s technology and innovation sectors. As VIPC gears up under his leadership, the focus is squarely on enhancing Virginia’s standing as a fertile ground for high-growth startups, with an eye towards achieving Governor Youngkin’s ambitious ‘Day 1 Goal’ to create 10,000 new high-growth startups in Virginia. This bold objective reflects the shared commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth remains at the forefront of technological advancement and economic resilience.

Joe Benevento’s leadership at VIPC promises a dynamic and forward-looking phase for Virginia’s innovation ecosystem, with impactful collaborations and strategic investments poised to redefine the entrepreneurial landscape of the Commonwealth.

A copy of the press release can be found here.