The Virginia Business Innovation Association (VBIA) was founded in 2000, as a non-stock corporation by Rob Blackmore, Lisa Ison, Harold Garrison, Chris McCollum, Dave Lohr, Anita Hines, Ron Hudson, and Donna Noble.  The first meeting was held in Lynchburg and the organization officially started at the second meeting in Hampton where officers were elected.  Lisa Ison was the first President of VBIA.  In the beginning VBIA had 25-30 members and quickly began to grow.  Originally the philosophy of VBIA was networking and education to encourage business incubation.

VBIA is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting small business development in the Commonwealth by providing greater public awareness of the economic benefits of business incubation.

Business incubation is a dynamic process that:

  • Nurtures individuals in the pre-business startup stage
  • Supports the successful development of start-up and fledgling companies
  • Aids in accelerating the development of small businesses by providing an array of targeted resources and services


VBIA is an education and networking association for professionals who support entrepreneurship, small business development, and the advancement of incubation throughout the Commonwealth.


To be the professional organization convening business leaders, government and education to expand knowledge and innovation of business incubation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


President                   Secretary                             Treasurer              Vice President
Lisa Hull               Donald Meincke                Daniel Girouard           James Martin


Shannon Blevins                                            Dale Fickett

Marjette Upshur                                             Brian Baker

Sandy Ratliff                                                                    


We serve an association of members passionate about small business.
We advance incubation as a small business development process.
We are dedicated to life-long learning and continuous professional improvement.
We are an open and transparent organization to all of our stakeholders.
We are all responsible for the sustainability of the association.


Advancing Business Innovation in Virginia