The Pamplin College of Business has appointed Sean Collins as Innovate director in the college’s Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Collins will lead and support Virginia Tech’s Innovate living-learning community focused on entrepreneurship, a key program of the Apex Systems Center, in partnership with Housing and Residence Life.

Collins, who received an MBA from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Military Institute, was vice president of product development at Victory Media, a private talent management and workforce development company.

At Victory Media, he led the development of digital products to help individuals from the military, high schools, universities, and vocational programs make career decisions and to help educators and employers connect with them. 

“I am excited to engage with Innovate students and apply my background in product development to help students better understand the process of transforming ideas into viable business opportunities,” Collins said. 

The Innovate community provides an opportunity for students to gain insights into the entrepreneurial process, interact with successful entrepreneurs, and learn from Virginia Tech faculty and community partners with expertise in areas related to entrepreneurship.

Innovate will launch its Entrepreneur-in-Residence program under Collins’ leadership. The new program allows alumni entrepreneurs to live, teach, and mentor Innovate students. “These alumni entrepreneurs and innovators have the opportunity to revisit Virginia Tech while engaging with students in a robust exchange of ideas as they learn and work together,” said Collins.

Innovate, he adds, will also be opening a new Venture Lab, a collaborative space for students to “ideate, create, prototype, and launch new products and companies.”

Collins will work closely with center executive director Derick Maggard. Maggard says he aims to make the center “a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation programs across the country by inspiring and empowering students to turn their passion, purpose, and ideas into action, while connecting them with innovators, investors, and others involved in entrepreneurial ventures.”