Ven Raju Named Innovation Works CEO

Ven Raju has been named president and CEO of Innovation Works, a North Shore-based seed stage investor in tech startups, replacing Rich Lunak, who is retiring.

Mr. Raju, 43, was chosen from among more than 135 candidates nationwide after a competitive search by Korn Ferry, an executive and recruitment firm. His first day of work in the new role is Thursday.

“Ven has worked with investors and startups all around the world and knows first hand the incredible opportunities we have to offer in the Pittsburgh region,” Innovation Works board chair Catherine Mott said in a prepared statement. “Ven is going to be a tremendous advocate for our portfolio companies and our regional partners who are committed to supporting our thriving ecosystem.”

Mr. Raju has served as IW’s chief investment officer since July 2021, leading the organization’s decision process for new investments. He also served as managing director of Riverfront Ventures, the for-profit investment fund managed by Innovation Works.

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