John Kasich, a managing director of the Investment Banking Division of Lehman Brothers, 10-term former Congressman, former chairman of the House Budget Committee, and author of the New York Times bestseller Courage Is Contagious, will be the dinner speaker for Virginia's Technology Capital Access Forum (VTCAF) on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.

Kasich's comments will focus on the challenges of raising capital and on growing and thriving in the current economic climate. As host of the Fox News Network program "Heartland with John Kasich," he is able to put the weekly news from around the world in the context of the ever-changing economic picture.

The one-and-a-half-day forum, co-hosted by Virginia Tech and the New Century Technology Council, opens on Nov. 12 with an exhibit, which showcases some of Virginia Tech's most promising technology, and a networking reception at 5:30 p.m. Dinner follows at 7 p.m.

On Nov. 13, the hallmark event begins with a continental breakfast, followed by the morning session, which features a capital provider panel discussion and business model/investor pitches. A luncheon, which begins at 11:45 a.m., features Karen Kerr, managing director of ARCH Venture Capital Partners. Day two closes with company presentations and further networking opportunities>.

The objective of the forum is to foster the growth of innovative new companies in Virginia and the New Century Region, increase access to growth capital, and establish ways to successfully commercialize new products, services and technology.

The event can help inventors and new companies in two ways. First, VTCAF offers up to 15 early- and mid-stage innovation companies the opportunity to present business plans to an audience of venture capitalists and other financiers, as well as several opportunities for informal interaction with serious investors. Second, VTCAF provides a rare opportunity to gain insight into several Virginia Tech research centers (Centers of Excellence), each of which represents an important resource for sponsored research projects designed to gain or preserve an innovative edge.

"This is an effort to bring capital to an area where the economy can benefit from new, technology-based businesses," says Ted Settle, director of Virginia Tech's Office of Economic Development. "We would particularly like to see faculty connect with some of the venture capitalists who will be at the event scouting for viable projects."

Guests may register for the entire conference, for the luncheon, or for the exhibit with reception and dinner. Additional information about registration is available at or by contacting Myron Anderson, assistant director of Virginia Tech Continuing and Professional Education, at (540) 231-7887 or Additional information about the forum is available by contacting Michael P. Drzal, forum chairman, at LeClair Ryan, A Professional Organization: or (540) 961-2762), or by e-mail