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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


TechConnect West Virginia Appoints Richard Giersch Executive Director

Rich Giersch

Seasoned executive and entrepreneur educator Richard “Rich” Giersch has been appointed executive director of TechConnect West Virginia.

“On behalf of the board of directors of TechConnect West Virginia, I am very pleased to announce that Rich Giersch, a nationally recognized leader in the field of technology-focused entrepreneurship, has been chosen to lead TechConnect WV,” said Michele O’Connor, the organization’s Board Chair. “Rich’s experience in venture capital, as an entrepreneur, leading technology commercialization at major universities, and in economic development is the perfect blend of experience to move the organization, and West Virginia’s technology ecosystem, forward.”

O’Connor noted that Giersch has a career-long track record as both an entrepreneur and technology startup assistance provider. In addition to co-founding West Virginia-based Valtari Bio, he is the current board chairman for the West Virginia Bioscience Association.

Giersch is a strategic advisor to Life Science Washington Institute, works as a commercialization consultant for a university in the California State University system and is the co-creator of TechConnect’s BEST in WV program, an initiative focused on helping high technology small businesses secure federal grants.

He previously served as founder/director of the Health Sciences Innovation Center at West Virginia University and has worked in venture capital, fundraising and entrepreneurial assistance roles for multiple well-known firms and universities across the United States.

“I’m honored to have been selected for this important role and I am excited to get to work,” said Giersch. “With the retirement of Anne Barth, I know I have big shoes to fill.  I look forward to working with the TechConnect board and the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow West Virginia’s technology economy.”

Giersch resides in Morgantown with his wife and children.

TechConnect offers high-value technical assistance to West Virginia entrepreneurs engaged in tech-based ventures. With support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the State of West Virginia, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the organization has aided in the launch of 76 new companies, the creation of 157 jobs and the retention of 245 jobs.

For more information, contact Michele O’Connor at (304) 288-4279 or Rich Giersch at (304) 502-2004.