Elkins, WV – Sarah Biller, Executive Director of Vantage Ventures, will be the keynote speaker for the Davis & Elkins College Class of 2023 Commencement ceremony set for Saturday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. in the Myles Center for the Arts.
Though not a graduate of Davis & Elkins college herself, Ms. Biller’s ties to the campus and community of Elkins, WV are quite close. Her father, Randall Biller, is a 1964 Civil Engineer graduate of Davis & Elkins College who still resides in Elkins today. As part of her position to promote entrepreneurial and business development opportunities within the state, Ms. Biller was a strong proponent of Elkins becoming the next host city for Ascend WV. The program is an initiative of the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative at West Virginia University which provides remote workers incentives to choose West Virginia as their home base.
The President of Davis & Elkins College, Chris A. Wood, said of Ms. Biller, “No stranger to Elkins or West Virginia, Davis & Elkins College is honored to welcome Sarah home as she addresses our graduates. Her entrepreneurial success and her passion to educate make her an ideal choice to congratulate and challenge the D&E Class of 2023. A West Virginian that is giving back to her home state and beyond, she models for our graduating students the unlimited possibilities of those who transform vision into reality.”
Ms. Biller is a well-recognized and respected thought leader within the Entrepreneur, Investor, and FinTech sectors. She currently sits as Executive Director of Vantage Ventures, a collaboration of several entities including: the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University; global technology leaders; fortune class companies; and venture capital firms, who are focused on providing entrepreneurs a systematic and efficient approach to build world-changing ideas into scalable, investable businesses.
Sarah is also the co-Founder of FinTech company Sandbox, a Boston-based not for profit that accelerates the product development cycle of FinTech start-ups globally by providing free access to high quality, diverse datasets. Under Ms. Biller’s leadership, West Virginia became the fourth state in the nation to pass legislation authorizing the creation of a Regulatory FinTech Sandbox, providing FinTech entrepreneurs a partnership-driven approach to building transformative products and services to meet the needs of Main Street revitalization.
Ms. Biller not only has taught at the graduate level, but also created the first graduate level curriculum course on the evolution of Financial Technology at Brandeis University. Prior to Sarah taking on the role of Executive Director, she held positions with: State Street Bank’s Global Exchange division and Head of Innovation Ventures;
Fidelity Investments; MCI’s corporate venture team; and launched and led research divisions for Fortune 500 CFO’s and treasurers at the Corporate Executive Board. Sarah has also been a principal in the launch of several successful venture-backed start-ups in the FinTech and Life Sciences sectors.
Ms. Biller has received the honor of being named by Innovate Finance as one of the Top 150 global women leaders in FinTech; Lattice80’s list of Top 100 Women in FinTech in the UK; and Hong Kong and NY FinTech Women as a Top 20 inspiration for her commitment to lift-up other women in an industry historically known for discrimination against women.
On being asked to be keynote speaker, Ms. Biller states, “I am extremely honored to speak to such an accomplished and resilient group of students. Davis & Elkins’ Seniors are graduating into a world that despite its challenges and uncertainty remains the most innovative period of time in history. I’m excited to share timeless principles for navigating change and the importance of continuous learning, persistent curiosity, problem solving and, above all, the role determination and hope in a successful life.”
Davis & Elkins College Commencement Weekend kicks off with the Nursing Pinning Ceremony and Baccalaureate Service on Friday, May 12 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13 beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Myles Center for the Arts. To learn more about Commencement Weekend visit www.dewv.edu