Tech Stars

Visits from the great and powerful and famous and infamous to Virginia Tech are everyday events as part of the university’s on-going invitation to thinkers and creators from every field to inspire and provoke through talks to students, faculty, and the community.

Since the appearance–sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association–of Eric Schmidt and Mark Warner at the Lyric Theater on October 23, 2008, I have had on-going and un-everyday observations and insights.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and Mark Warner, former governor of Virginia, visit the Lyric Theater in Blacksburg, Virginia

I first heard of the joint visit of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and Mark Warner, former governor of Virginia, now running for the Senate–an amusingly self-described “job applicant”–from an e-mail to NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC, members from Executive Director Cory Donovan.

I e-mailed him, “Do you want that news Handshaked or do you want it on the down-low?”

He replied, “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!”

So I did.  While waiting for Schmidt and Warner to arrive, Susan Mattingly, Executive Director of the Lyric Theater, said that when she searched for information on the event, it was that Handshake 2.0 blog post that answered her question.  Cool.

But that’s way ahead in the story.

Every entrepreneur has a passion underlying his or her business ventures.  The fundamental passion underlying my own ventures, particularly Handshake 2.0, is that I am a starry-eyed, starstruck, stardust-loving fan of high-tech creators.  Handshake 2.0 originated to showcase high-tech creators, their high-tech, and their businesses.  It’s that simple.

So when I heard that Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was coming to town?  Might as well have been Mick Jagger.  Rock star, tech star?  All the same to me.  I had the response any fan of any star has.

I was camping out.

No way I was going to miss getting a seat in the Lyric Theater to hear the CEO of Google.


This post is the first in a series by Anne Giles Clelland, founder of Handshake 2.0, on the visit of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, to the Lyric Theater, Blacksburg, Virginia, October 23, 2008.

Links to the series:
Tech Stars

"Highlighting Folks" with Twitter
High-Tech Fan

Jeff Sturgeon of The Roanoke Times wrote about the event in Google CEO says Virginia ripe for new businesses on  Here's coverage from Virginia Tech's Collegiate Times, the Warner campaign, and Virginia Tech Campus Gallery.

You don’t have to be Google to get your company’s story on Handshake 2.0

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