On April 26, 2016, W2 Communications Principal and Co-founder Evan Weisel joined a contingent of Virginia Tech leaders and supporters in New York taking part in the traditional New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ringing of the closing bell. Also on hand for the event was Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands, Pamplin College of Business Dean Robert T. Sumichrast, recently retired football coach Frank Beamer, current students and a group of alumni, including advisory board members of the Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Virginia Tech alumni at two NYSE-listed companies – HubSpot and On Assignment – sponsored the bell ringing. In 2012, On Assignment acquired Apex Systems, an IT staffing company founded in 1995 by Weisel’s fraternity brothers, Brian Callaghan, Win Sheridan and Jeff Veatch. In 2014, Callaghan, Sheridan and Veatch contributed $5 million to advance entrepreneurship and innovation at the university. The Apex Systems Center is named in recognition of their gift.
Part of the Pamplin College of Business, the Apex Systems Center encourages students to get involved with entrepreneurialism. The center has launched a dynamic, professional network and also serves as a resource for outreach to the business community, while supporting faculty research related to technology commercialization and new venture formation/growth.
“This was an amazing opportunity to talk with students, faculty and alumni about entrepreneurism, and how Virginia Tech can facilitate and provide a platform for future business owners,” Weisel says. “Being part of an event held at the NYSE was very special. I look forward to giving back to the students by offering input based upon my personal, 15-year journey as a business owner and entrepreneur.”