Activation Capital appoints new CEO

Activation Capital has named Chandra Briggman as CEO.

Activation Capital has named Chandra Briggman as CEO. Her appointment begins May 1, 2020. Briggman is presently director of the Venture Cafe Foundation. Carrie Roth, current president and CEO of Activation Capital, will be the chief operating officer.


RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Following a new strategy to drive the next stage of growth for the organization adopted in 2019 and a year-long national search, Activation Capital today announced Chandra Briggman, a current Director at the Venture Café Foundation in Cambridge, Mass., as President/CEO effective May 1. Carrie Roth, current President/CEO, will be the COO.

“We are excited to have someone with Chandra’s experience take Activation Capital to the next level and to build on the successes of Carrie’s leadership,” said Dr. Michael Rao, Chairman of Activation Capital Board of Directors and Activation Council. “In the last six years, we have transformed the organization’s structure, influence, and impact, and Carrie will continue to lead and execute the significant projects already underway while Chandra leads the strategy and vision for Activation Capital 2.0. The Board took an intentional approach in selecting our President and CEO, and having Chandra join our team is an important next step for Activation Capital, our region, and our Commonwealth.”

“I am honored to assume the role of President/Chief Executive Officer and am incredibly excited to help shape a bold future for Activation Capital,” Briggman said. “Activation Capital is well-positioned to help the Commonwealth of Virginia further actualize its potential as a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation. I look forward to building upon the foundation created by Carrie and to working with the talented team, Board of Directors, Activation Council, and stakeholders across Virginia to help deliver the type of results enjoyed by top innovation economies around the world.”

Briggman’s career spans 24 years in national and regional strategy, innovation, and marketing in both startups and large enterprises. Prior to accepting the President/CEO role, she was Director with Venture Café Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to grow entrepreneurship across New England. In this role, she led the expansion of the organization’s reach and revenue. Before her work in ecosystem development in Massachusetts, she held innovation roles with the United States Postal Service in Washington, DC, culminating with her work as the Director of Digital Platforms and the Innovation Lab. Her prior experience comprised leadership roles with multiple startups, including Founder as a serial entrepreneur.

Briggman is an active member of the entrepreneurship and innovation community, including as an instructor, coach/mentor, public speaker, and Chair of the Board for Youth CITIES – a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to youth entrepreneurship. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in the Humanities from Columbia International University, a Master’s in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University, and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Roth has over 25 years of broad experience as an entrepreneur, political, and non-profit leader. At Activation Capital, she has led the organization’s efforts to develop an ecosystem to support innovation and commercialization for advanced-technology and life sciences companies throughout the region. Those efforts included working with stakeholders throughout the Richmond region and the Commonwealth to develop programs and funding mechanisms to strengthen the success of entrepreneurs.

The Search Committee was led by Mary Doswell, Founder of Doswell Strategic Consulting Services, and Gail Letts, Founder of Letts Consult, along with Carrie Roth, Eric Edwards, Co-Founder of kaleo; Robby Demeria, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth; and Todd Nuckols, Executive Director of Lighthouse Labs.

About Activation Capital: Activation Capital engages and connects the many influential players in our innovation ecosystem, and strives to give startup founders access to the tools and resources they need to navigate the entrepreneurial process. These resources include, among others, the VA Bio+Tech Park campus focused on life sciences and advanced technology companies; the Riverflow Growth Fund, a seed fund; and the Ecosystem Direct Investment Fund (EDIF), which provides grants to ecosystem support organizations. Activation Capital provides the resources and connections for any person to take an idea from start to phenomenal.