Herndon, VA, April 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that Jennifer O’Daniel, CIT GAP Funds Investment Director, will serve as a judge for the “Shark Tank” inspired pitch competition at the 2020 Virginia Women Veterans Summit (VWVS) to be held June 17-18 in Richmond, Va. Presented by the Virginia Department of Veteran Services (DVS), the seventh annual VWVS will bring together community leaders, employers, executives, and government agencies to raise awareness about the services and benefits offered specifically for women veterans.

“Women and veteran entrepreneurs are bringing key products and services to market in the Commonwealth, all while paving the way for a new generation of female leadership in a variety of industries,” said Jennifer O’Daniel, Investment Director at CIT GAP Funds. “I am grateful for the opportunity to judge the Virginia Women Veterans Summit pitch competition and look forward to exploring new ways CIT can continue to support women veterans through our Virginia Founders Fund.”

According to the Virginia DVS, the Commonwealth has over 104,000 women veterans, the largest percentage of women veterans of any state in the United States. CIT’s Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) aims to shine a light on the creativity and impact of entrepreneurs arising from Virginia communities traditionally underserved by risk capital, including female and veteran founders seeking to maximize both the economic development and social equity imperatives of the Commonwealth. The 2020 VWVS pitch competition will showcase local innovators and bring well deserved exposure to their businesses.

“We were so pleased when CIT joined Stratus Digital Systems as an early investor and strategic partner, helping to fast track our cloud cybersecurity technology,” added Greta Geankoplis, CEO, Stratus Digital. “As a former USAF Captain and F-16 Fighter Maintenance Officer, I learned the best teams are those that embrace the unknown and are energized by the challenge to solve key problems together. CIT shares this belief, supporting women- and veteran-led technology companies bringing innovation and solutions to society.”

Tiffany Kleemann, SVP at Imperva and veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, added, “I am proud to have worked with an organization like CIT that goes out of their way to identify entrepreneurs who represent a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. CIT’s support for their portfolio companies also goes far beyond a monetary investment – Distil Networks’ acquisition by Imperva is just one example of the success a company is able to achieve when they are bolstered with the time and resources of an entire network at their disposal.”

Hundreds of women from across the Commonwealth who served in the military are expected to attend the Virginia Women Veterans Summit, which will feature presentations on a wide variety of topics such as entrepreneurship, career strategies, finance, personal health and wellness, as well as networking opportunities. To learn more about the event, please click here.

For more information about CIT GAP Funds, please visit: https://www.cit.org/.

About CIT GAP Funds
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. CIT GAP Funds’ investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.citgapfunds.org.

About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
Investing in Virginia's Growth | CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, CIT accelerates next generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development initiatives, and expansion of broadband throughout Virginia. Our programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) | Virginia Founders Fund | Broadband/Rural Broadband | Smart Communities | Cybersecurity | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71. Contact: 2214 Rock Hill Road #600, Herndon, VA 20170 | 703.689.3000 | www.cit.org | You can also follow CIT on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Dan Warren
LaunchTech Communications
443-977-9638
dan@goLaunchTech.com

Sara Pomakoy Poole
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
sara.poole@cit.org