STAFFORD, VIRGINIA – After a nationwide search, Stafford’s Virginia Smart Community Testbed and the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) are pleased to welcome Uma Marques, as the Technology Specialist. Marques began her new position on March 14.

The Technology Specialist will act as the Testbed’s liaison for businesses, entrepreneurs, state organizations, and local municipalities looking to pilot their products and services at the Testbed.

The Testbed serves to accelerate technology solutions for the Commonwealth, and is the place for companies seeking to test their IoT or “smart” technology solutions for public infrastructure challenges. Paired with the entrepreneurial programming by RIoT served from the Testbed, Marques will support the mission and vision of the Testbed by providing input and advice on the use of technology and technology-related resources to entrepreneurs. RIoT will be launching their intensive Virginia RIoT Accelerator Program from the Testbed to foster entrepreneurial business development and Marques will be available to advise on technology-related issues.

Marques says she’s “eager to work with entrepreneurs, businesses, and leaders to bring technology solutions to market, ultimately driving economic growth and workforce within those projects.”

Marques brings over 28 years of technology experience that spans for-profit, not-for-profit, entrepreneurial ventures, and local government to the Virginia Smart Community Testbed. Uma holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the College of Engineering from Anna University, India and two master’s degrees; Computer Engineering from Clemson University, and Technology Management from George Mason University.

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About the Virginia Smart Community Testbed: The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) and Stafford County opened the Commonwealth’s Virginia Smart Community Testbed in 2021. The vision of the Testbed is to make the Commonwealth of Virginia a leading state in Smart Community implementation, focusing on the economic, and social benefits of the digital transformation. The Testbed in Stafford serves this vision while also home to the Virginia RIoT entrepreneur accelerator program. It is the first Smart City Testbed involving an IoT platform, fully integrated with 5G and other new and emerging technologies for Smart Cities around the country. For information on the Testbed, to pilot a project, become a sponsor or investor, visit www.VirginiaSmartCommunityTestbed.com.

About the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC): Connecting Innovators with opportunities. The nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure and policy initiatives to support Virginia’s innovators, entrepreneurs, startups and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Smart Communities | Unmanned Systems | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit www.VirginiaIPC.org. Follow VIPC on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

About Stafford County & the Department of Economic Development & Tourism: Stafford County is located halfway between Washington, DC and Richmond, VA. The Department of Economic Development & Tourism is the sales arm for the community, committed to advancing expansion and investment to Stafford County. The Testbed is a key component to “Smart Stafford.”  Stafford is a smart place for innovation and entrepreneurship in smart and cyber technology. Stafford’s role in the Testbed focuses on improving the lives of residents, businesses, and the visitor experience. For more information on Stafford’s Economic Development & Tourism, visit www.GoStaffordVA.com or www.TourStaffordVA.com.