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Robertson School alumni make Richmond Inno Under 25 List

Oct 8, 2020

Posted in: News

By Ebonique Little, Communication Intern

Claire O'Keefe (top left), Isaiah Harvin (top right), and Sarah Kilmon (bottom left).

Three recent graduates of the Robertson School of Media and Culture were recognized by Richmond Inno’s Under 25 list for their achievements within the local tech and startup scene. Richmond Inno is a digital media and events company covering and connecting local startups.

Sarah Kilmon, Claire O’Keefe and Isaiah Harvin were among 16 individuals deemed noteworthy, as Richmond Inno compiles an annual list of technologists and entrepreneurs under the age of 25 with budding careers.

To be considered for this list, which also includes five other VCU alum, is a significant feat.

“We’re excited to see our alumni soar and get this well-deserved recognition,” said Robertson School Director Dr. Marcus Messner. “We put great emphasis on educating our students to be ready to perform on the first day of their first professional job.”

Kilmon, a creative and strategic advertising major who graduated in 2017, was included on this list for her contributions to Hatch, a messaging platform for home improvement. Users can call, text or email their home improvement leads and manage sales conversations with one collaborative workspace, according to Hatch’s website.

Kilmon — the company’s first employee in 2016 — now serves as their product manager after working in user experience design. Her contributions to the team include helping create Hatch’s first iteration.

Also making great strides in their organization is O’Keefe, a 2018 graduate with a public relations concentration.

O’Keefe began her career while at VCU through an internship with The Broad, a workspace for women and gender minorities. The Broad “exists to make space for women” through programs and events, to which O’Keefe helped coordinate. This role was the catalyst to her current position as the director of Canvas.

Canvas is a collection of media studios and private event spaces that serves as the backdrop for leadership retreats to art shows. O’Keefe has expanded the company to include four studio spaces and widened the brand’s reach with the handling of its social media channels.

Her work extends to Envoy, Canvas’ sister-company that includes a team of negotiators, mediators, and creatives who work to support their clients’ leadership meetings, strategic planning sessions, executive communication and partnerships. As summit producer, O’Keefe uses technology to coordinate their national and international meetings, non-profit events and fundraisers.

Rounding out the list is Harvin, who graduated in 2018 and majored in marketing with a minor in media studies. After finishing undergraduate studies, he went on to obtain a Master of Product Innovation at VCU’s da Vinci Center.

Since leaving VCU, Harvin has become the product manager at Warner Media. Hosting events and guest speakers, he exchanges ideas with other Richmond product managers through the initiative ProductTank, of which he is a co-organizer.

Additionally, Harvin co-founded APTIC in 2019, a European-based computer software startup. The company uses computer vision technology to assist the visually impaired, making his entrepreneurial spirit further apparent.

To see the full list of honorees, visit Richmond Inno’s Under 25.