The top executive at the Richmond-based business accelerator Lighthouse Labs is leaving to join a company that graduated from the program, and will be replaced by a local business investor and adviser.
Lighthouse Labs, a local nonprofit that provides mentoring, advice and financial support to promising startup businesses, said Friday that Erin Powell has left the organization to join Lighthouse Labs alumni company Blue Ocean Brain.
The board of directors at Lighthouse Labs said Paul Nolde was hired to become executive director of the organization, effective on Friday.
This marks the 10th year that Lighthouse Labs has operated, including a cohort of nine companies this spring. The companies, all of which are promising startup businesses with the potential to grow into large companies, get business mentoring, advice and financial support.
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Lighthouse Labs has worked with 89 companies and more than 160 founders since its inception.
Nolde was hired after working for more than two years as a fund manager and managing director of Riverflow Growth Fund, a Richmond-based investment fund that focuses on seed-stage startups with advanced technology platforms.
He also was a director for the venture capital firm NRV, or New Richmond Ventures, from 2014 to 2019 and works as a part-time adjunct professor at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
“I have always been engaged with Lighthouse Labs and have always admired the people there and the brand and the fact that this is a true asset of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Nolde said.
“I want to continue the good work that has been done,” he said.
Powell is joining Lighthouse Labs alum Blue Ocean Brain to lead the company’s sales and marketing. Blue Ocean Brain provides online professional development training.
Powell, the founder of Richmond-based organic juice company Ginger Juice, became executive director of Lighthouse Labs on April 1, 2020.