VT KnowledgeWorks is a kind of one-stop shop of entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech. As part of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, it offers an incubator for startups founded by students and members of the local community and a range of resources for startups as they begin and grow—such as classes, mentorship and desk space. It’s also started to get involved with investment in startups through the VT Investor Network. Founded in 2004, the incubator’s site lists 84 startups as either alumni or current participants.
We’ve picked out six of the most intriguing startups to come out of Virginia Tech to highlight the kind of innovation going on in Blacksburg.
VirtualU – Originally a shopping app, VirtualU pivoted successfully to creating a 3D scanner to model, measure and track a user’s fitness program. The company closed a $625,000 seed round fund last year and has started to work with gyms and even Whole Foods to promote its tech.
Koofers – Koofers built a platform to help students get access to study materials when it was first founded. It’s been used by more than a million students since its inception. In 2013, Koofers expanded its offerings to include a way for students to find jobs more easily with its Campus Recruiter service. Most recently it’s built a professor rating service into its platform for students to evaluate their teachers.
PowerHub Systems – A green energy startup, PowerHub offers ways to lower dependence on power grids for its clients using distributed storage. The company has also developed software to make it possible to send power where its needed, when its need in a way that is designed to be cheaper and generally safer than traditional system.
Aeroprobe – Aeroprobe designs and builds tools to measure and analyze airflow. That might seem like a limited market, but its designs are used by car and airplane makers, wind turbine designers and by NASA for rockets tested by the agency. It’s managed to build an impressive portfolio of miniaturized devices that are still able to calculate air speed, angle and other measurements critical for engineers.
Smart College Visit – Smart College Visit is a combination or digital and real-world resources for helping people search and plan visits to colleges and universities. It includes aid in arranging visits as well as a mobile app and website with information on what colleges and universities are like. It’s a pretty exhaustive source for the colleges it sources, and its adding new school and new information all the time.
Riff Digital – Riff is an app for iOS and Android that acts as a kind of music messenger. Whenever a user is listening to something and they want to share it with their friends, Riff lets them send it along to any of their contacts. If they send it to someone else with Riff it can be opened directly, but if not, it comes as a text message with a link to open in a browser.