Kristen Hammer named director of strategy, as fintech momentum grows in West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, WV / ACCESSWIRE / November 3, 2021 / Vantage Ventures, the leader of a series of audacious initiatives to welcome innovative technology companies to West Virginia, today announced the addition of Kristen Hammer, a seasoned business development expert from transformative transportation pioneer Virgin Hyperloop, to its leadership team.
As Vantage's director of strategy, Hammer will help develop and implement the strategies to continue to position West Virginia as a location where transformative companies and entrepreneurs will receive the resources and support to thrive. She also will seek to capitalize on the increasing momentum surrounding innovation in West Virginia.
Hammer's background with Virgin Hyperloop will be particularly valuable, as the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package recently approved by the U.S. Senate includes provisions that will support further development and deployment of emerging surface transportation innovations such as hyperloop technology in the U.S.
"At Vantage Ventures, I'll be executing on the organization's strategy to support entrepreneurs and help them build and grow scalable, investable companies in West Virginia," Hammer says. "After several rewarding years at Virgin Hyperloop, I am excited about this opportunity to help bolster entrepreneurship and innovative technology and manufacturing in the Mountain State."
Hammer joined Virgin Hyperloop in 2015, as one of its earliest employees. She started as a welding engineer, leading welding and inspection efforts at the company's Devloop test track, the world's first full-system hyperloop. She then led the materials engineering team before serving as a business development manager on the U.S. Projects, where she worked closely with local transport agencies, business partners, members of Congress, and federal regulators to move hyperloop projects forward in the U.S. Prior to joining Virgin Hyperloop, Hammer worked at leading companies, including SpaceX and GKN Aerospace, in the aerospace industry.
"We are thrilled to have Kristen on the Vantage Ventures team," says Sarah Biller, executive director of Vantage Ventures. "Her wealth of experience at cutting-edge companies, including SpaceX and Virgin Hyperloop, and her passion for using technology to solve issues and benefit communities, like those unique to Appalachia, will greatly assist our mission to help entrepreneurs excel and transform West Virginia into a start-up state."
Hammer is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders and encouraging underrepresented students to explore careers in STEM. She also is a passionate advocate for technology that makes the world a better place by creating opportunities for vulnerable people and communities and environmentally sustainable solutions that can serve the planet for generations to come.
About Vantage Ventures
Housed at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University, Vantage Ventures provides a bold new generation of entrepreneurs with a systematic and repeatable process to transform their world-changing ideas into scalable businesses. Vantage Ventures leverages its network of mentors, talent, capital allocators, academics, and committed industry partners, including entrepreneurs and the innovation engines of large companies, to forge a new path of economic growth. It is backed by globally influential technology leaders, Fortune Class companies, venture investors, and an unexpectedly cool R1 Institution. For more information, visit: https://vantageventures.io or follow Vantage Ventures on Twitter: @VantageWV, Instagram: @VantageVentures, and LinkedIn.
Kyle W. Kempf
Caliber Corporate Advisers
SOURCE: Vantage Ventures