Virginia is known for its robust entrepreneurial community that heralds innovation and ingenuity from all corners of the state. CIT GAP Funds honored 50 entrepreneurs – recognized by peer entrepreneurs – as most likely to build Virginia’s next generation life science, technology, and energy companies on December 13, 2012.
Nominating criteria included:
- Individuals who are most likely to found a high-growth tech, life science or energy venture in the next 5 years
- Individuals both with or without current involvement in a start-up
- Individuals with strong ties to Virginia (but not required to be Virginia residents)
- Individuals must exhibit substantive involvement in Virginia’s technology or entrepreneurial ecosystem
- In order to qualify for final voting individuals must be nominated by 3 people
- CIT Board members and employees are not eligible
Among the 2012 Honorees were Dr. John Herr, founder of SpermCheck and Dr. Crystal Icenhour, founder of Phthisis.
John Christian Herr, Professor of Cell Biology at University of Virginia
Dr. Herr is a cell, molecular, and developmental biologist with basic and translational research experience in academics and industry, including research and corporate management. His research is focused on novel genes involved in spermatogenesis and oogenesis in mice and humans including naming more than 35 genes in the human genome. He has directed a 35-person academic research center in contraceptive and reproductive health [funding > $40 M over 16-year period] and is an inventor on more than 25 issued patents; multiple pending patents. He has served as member of Boards of Directors of corporations and foundations, including 11 years as a Director of the University of Virginia Patents Foundation and five years on the Coulter Translational Partnership Board.
Crystal Icenhour, President and CSO of Phthisis Diagnostics
In 2006, Crystal Icenhour, PhD, became President and Director of Research for Phthisis Diagnostics, located in Charlottesville, VA. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Duke University Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Diseases in their Department of Medicine. She has demonstrated business leadership in addition to her scientific capabilities and is focused on “bridging the translational gap between these two worlds.” Dr. Icenhour currently serves on the board of Virginia BIO and is a member of Charlottesville Business Innovation Council, Sigma Xi, Medical Mycology Society of the Americas, National Postdoctoral Association, American Society for Microbiology, and Association for Molecular Pathology.