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Chandra Briggman is leaving Richmond’s Activation Capital

Chandra Briggman is exiting her role as president and CEO of Richmond’s Activation Capital.

The independent authority of Virginia that promotes research, commercialization and innovation ecosystem development in the Richmond region said Monday that Briggman is leaving “to pursue new opportunities to build innovation ecosystems and drive economic development.”

She’s been in the role a little more than four years, joining in June 2020 from a job directing Venture Café Cambridge in Massachusetts, a similar organization that focuses on enhancing and accelerating innovation across New England.

Briggman’s last day with Activation Capital was not revealed. The organization said a search for a permanent executive will be conducted, though no timetable was given.

“The opportunity to contribute to Activation Capital and the Central Virginia community has been a highlight of my career,” Briggman said in a statement. “It gave me an opportunity to sharpen the organization’s strategy, secure the growth capital necessary to flourish and align every action with a mission-centric outcome. Together, we built a team of experts who are focused on execution and excellence during the next phase of Activation Capital. My goal was always to create the team, prove our model, and then transition to the next opportunity to build.”

Activation Capital credits Briggman with implementing a new strategy focused on growing the region’s innovation economy through development, space-making and venture development and raising more than $50 million in funding for that work. Briggman has also been co-leader of the Alliance for Building Better Medicine, a coalition of Richmond and Petersburg organizations working together to build a research and manufacturing hub for essential medicines and their ingredients. In 2022, the group won a $53 million grant through the White House’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. It also scored a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Activation Capital also operates the 34-acre VA Bio+Tech Park in downtown Richmond, and Briggman has led the charge for a new innovation center there.

“Chandra is a builder and visionary, and as a result, Activation Capital has grown to be something much bigger than it was before she joined,” Michael Rao, chairman of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority board and Virginia Commonwealth University president, said in a statement.

Learn more here.

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