Candace is a creative strategist that thrives on bringing ideas to life and advancing new ventures into meaningful applications. She is passionate about fostering a thriving, connected startup community in Dayton. Candace (@CandaceDRouge) is the Business Director at Ascend Innovations (@ascend_innovate), a medical technology realization lab. She leads market viability and market strategy for their portfolio, marketing and branding, and hospital access for product development. Her background is in advanced R&D for defense, healthcare and startups. She has an MBA and loves traveling, hiking and learning French.