Professional Development
Career development / Municipal government / Startups

Robert Stolle is stepping down from VIPC’s top position

The president and CEO spent 13 years heading up the Virginia innovation funding organization.

Robert Stolle. (Courtesy photo)

As of Thursday, there are changes happening in the Virginia funding scene.

Robert Stolle, the president and CEO of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), announced his departure from the organization. Stolle has worked with the funder for 13 years and was promoted to the top role three years ago after serving as the senior VP of operations.

During his tenure, Stolle most prominently saw the organization’s rebrand from the Center for Innovative Technology to VIPC, which included consolidating programs created to help boost tech and entrepreneurship in the state. In his time with the organization, Stolle said that VIPC has gone from making under $3 million in investments each year to bringing in $12 million annually.

“I’m delighted that VIPC has become a mainstream part of Virginia’s economic development strategy,” Stolle said. “We are responsible for the early-stage companies, for the startups, the founders, and so I’m really glad that that has all come together and that we’re in the position we’re in right now.”

Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade Joseph Benevento will take over as interim CEO starting in September while a permanent replacement is found. Stolle will continue on in an advisory role until the end of October.

Stolle said that he’s not retiring after leaving the organization, but felt that now was the right time to look for someone new who could lead VIPC through its next phase. He hopes to continue working in the space in a less demanding role going forward.

For VIPC, he’s hoping that the funding arm can push forward in research. He noted that one of Virginia’s biggest issues is that it’s “middle of the pack” with research, with many folks opting to complete their work at powerhouses like Johns Hopkins, Stanford and MIT. He sees this prowess happening through commercialization, with programs to recruit and retain eminent researchers to help build labs and spaces for innovation.

“Our goal is to make sure that we’re providing support for that because that’s where the innovation begins,” Stolle said.

In the meantime, though, he’s grateful for the work he’s been able to do with VIPC and beyond.

“I’ve been there for 13 years now, three as the CEO, and sometimes it just boggles my mind that I have had the opportunity to do those things,” Stolle said. “And I’m grateful to the staff who does so much for Virginia.”

Companies: Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


The Trump rally shooter perched on a building owned by American Glass Research. Here’s everything we know about it.

Quantum computing could be the next hot tech — if only that breakthrough would come

New tech hub Station DC is launching with a $2M government grant

Here’s how the global tech outage impacted many of the vital systems across the mid-Atlantic region

Technically Media