Virtual Venture & IP Conference panel to explore investment in rural innovation

April 09, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The “Investing in Rural & Heartland America” panel during the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference will examine how funds dedicated to strategic investment in heartland and rural innovation are overcoming geographic barriers and supporting investors in small markets. The panel session will take place from 12:45-1:35 p.m. on Thursday, April 15.

Registration for the all-virtual Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference, happening April 15-16, is currently open to the public.

Panelists include:

  • Falon Donohue – partner, Narya: A partner at Narya, an early-stage venture capital firm that invests nationally across a variety of sectors, Donohue is an experienced operator with a diverse background in economic development, executive leadership, and sales and marketing. She also is the founder of Sadie Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm, and chairperson at InnovateOhio, a state-led initiative focused on the growth of Ohio's tech-based economy.
  • Abby Lyall – vice president, Big Idea Ventures: Lyall is a vice president at Big Idea Ventures, a global venture fund solving the world's biggest problems by backing great entrepreneurs. She focuses on Series A+ investments in companies solving the issues of food waste, plastic pollution, water waste and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as commercializing university IP in the food and agriculture spaces.
  • Lydia McClure – vice president of scientific partnerships, Research Bridge Partners: McClure is the vice president of scientific partnerships for Research Bridge Partners (RBP), which uses proprietary analytic tools to identify promising innovators at heartland universities and translate their innovations into the real economy. Prior to RBP, McClure led the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) program focused on training technologists to identify market opportunities for technology-based innovations.

Matthew Weinbaum, shareholder at Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, will moderate the event. Weinbaum is an attorney with extensive experience advising investors, companies and executive teams across all stages of the corporate lifecycle, with a specialization in guiding clients through important early-stage transactions that provide foundational and growth capital to emerging companies.

For more information on the 2021 Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference, visit and follow Invent Penn State on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram at @InventPennState.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 12, 2021