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Excitement Grows for Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus

Friday, March 1, 2019  
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In November, Virginia Tech’s planned Innovation Campus in Alexandria created a buzz when it was cited as a key reason Virginia emerged as a winner in the nationwide competition to house a second headquarters for Amazon.

Three months later, the excitement in Northern Virginia continues to grow as leaders developing the new campus reach out to the community to share updates, gather feedback and answer questions.

At two different events this week, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus was showcased for its role in spurring economic development.

Last week, Brandy Salmon, founding managing director of the Innovation Campus, spoke on a panel hosted by The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria. “USPTO welcomes our new neighbors: Amazon and Virginia Tech,” read the program.
Steve Hartell, director, U.S. Public Policy for Amazon; and Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, discussed how Amazon’s new headquarters and Virginia Tech’s new campus would transform the region.

Virginia Tech and Amazon are helping to create a talent pool that will bring more companies to the region, Hartell said. “Everyone should be excited about that.”
About 200 USPTO employees attended the 90-minute session and another 80 people watched online.

That same week, Dwayne Pinkney, senior vice president for operations and administration, joined Charlie Phlegar, vice president for advancement, at a Bisnow event to discuss the impact of Amazon's location of its HQ2 headquarters and the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia. Pinkney and Phlegar were joined on stage during a session to discuss the Innovation Campus by Doug Firstenberg, founding principal of Stonebridge, and Dave Millard, principal at Avison Young.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the Bisnow event near Alexandria’s Potomac Yard which included a panel featuring Holly Sullivan, Amazon global economic development head, and Matt Kelly, JBG Smith CEO of JBG Smith the property company working with Amazon.

Kelly said Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will have a lasting impact in changing the region’s economy and attracting new companies.

“Amazon will always be one of the most important factors because it will have been the catalyst that kicked it all off,” he said Thursday. “But over time I actually envision a day when the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and the graduates its producing and all of the other employers that fill in around it and Amazon will be just as impactful and important in this market.”

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