The Hokie nation encompasses founders, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. For many, the journey to startup began through experiences at Virginia Tech, such as the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs.

For many, it continues at the university as alumni come together to tackle pressing issues and share stories and strategies with the next generations of Hokie entrepreneurs. In navigating this unprecedented year, there is no better time to convene Virginia Tech’s small business community.

Many of the risks that small businesses face are well-known. From managing cash flow to investors to sustainable growth, there is plenty of advice and mentorship out there for entrepreneurs and teams embarking on new ventures. And while there has never been a playbook for the unexpected disruption, small businesses are better positioned to quickly adapt when faced with the unknown.

Join fellow Hokie, president and CEO of Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center Brett Malone, for a live Aluminate event as he facilitates a dynamic discussion on small business strategy and survival with four alumni: 

  • Bill Boebel, ’01, CEO and co-founder, Pingboard, and co-founder of Capital Factory.
  • Chiny Driscoll, ’91, CEO and founder of MetiStream.
  • Erik Gatenholm, ’12, CEO and co-founder of CELLINK.
  • Pat Matthews, ’02, CEO and co-founder of Active Capital.

Hear from the panel how COVID-19 has impacted their work, how they have pivoted in 2020, and their unique perspectives on strategies for companies just starting, those stable or scaling, and those approaching a sale or initial public offering.

Malone will also share how the Corporate Research Center is equipped with facilities and an ecosystem that uniquely positions the center to support small businesses during this challenging time. Hear about some exciting updates on the ways Malone and his team are helping the next generation of entrepreneurs make an impact.

When: Thursday, Nov. 05, 2020 | 2:00 - 3:00 p.m

Register for the live event.

Submit questions for the panelists in advance.

Event contact: Gwen Harrington,


About Aluminate:

Aluminate (aˈlo͞oməˌnāt) is a dynamic series founded on a simple premise: when Virginia Tech alumni and industry get together, we get to work.

Under the umbrella of LINK + LICENSE + LAUNCH, Aluminate is the platform, the stage, the forum that lights our path to advance industry. We not only tackle big questions and pressing issues, we bring light to new possibilities. 

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