NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, March 10, 2005 – Heike Mayer, of Blacksburg, assistant professor of urban affairs and Planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has received a 12-month, $24,660 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to study high tech women entrepreneurs in four regions in the United States that differ both in economic maturity and industrial organization.
Mayer, who works out of both the Blacksburg and Alexandria campuses, will survey women-owned businesses founded between 1995 and 2004 in Washington D.C., Boston, Portland, Ore., and Silicon Valley, Calif., to examine how these businesses were created, how they are performing, and how they were, and are, influenced by location in a high technology region. She will follow up the initial survey with in-depth, qualitative case studies of women-owned firms in the four regions.
According to Mayer, this study will contribute to a growing body of studies of female entrepreneurs in high technology sectors that will help explain the roles these women assume and the opportunities and barriers they encounter. "A better understanding of such entrepreneurial dynamics is necessary to develop successful programs and policies for economic development," she said.
Mayer joined the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning in August 2003. Her research on high technology and biotechnology regions has been published with The Brookings Institution. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Konstanz (Germany) and a master's degree and Ph.D. from Portland State University.
The College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech is comprised of two schools, the School of Architecture + Design and the School of Public and International Affairs, and includes programs in architecture, art and art history, building construction, public administration and policy, interior design, industrial design, landscape architecture, government and international affairs, and urban affairs and planning. All programs strive to promote an understanding of the complexity of our environment and ways to improve that environment through thoughtful teaching and research in the design, planning, and construction fields. The college enrolls more than 2,200 students, offering 22 degrees programs taught by 130 faculty members.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.