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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
August 21, 2020
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SAVE THE DATE | SVTC Virtual Luncheon: The State of Tech Economy
Member News: DRaaS Provides Business Continuity During Hurricane Season and Throughout the Year
MACH37: Pre-Accelerator, Cyber Accelerator, and Growth Stage Accelerator
COVIDWISE Exposure Notifications App Helps Protect Your Community While Protecting Your Privacy
ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course - Virtual Cohort (App. Deadline 8/25)
Harrisonburg Business Recovery Grant Program Launched (App. Deadline 8/27 @ 5:00)
Local Discovery Museums Will Hold In-Person Camps | Harrisonburg & Winchester (June - August)
COVID-19 Business Resources, Local Open/Closed Businesses, & Other Information
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
September 9, 2020 | 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

About the Virtual Luncheon
Join us as we explore the recent economic trends in Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, with a focus on what is happening in the tech sector and changes that are taking place as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

About the Speaker
Fletcher Mangum is the Founder and CEO of Mangum Economics. He has over three decades of experience in quantitative analysis and policy development at both the state and federal levels. Fletcher was appointed by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to serve on the Governor's and General Assembly's Joint Advisory Board of Economists in 2010, and was reappointed to that position in 2014 by Governor Terry McAuliffe, and again in 2018 by Governor Ralph Northam. He is also a past President of the Virginia Association of Economists and serves on the board of the Virginia Council on Economic Education. Prior to founding Mangum Economics, Fletcher served as Associate Director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Fletcher earned his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 1995, where he specialized in applying economic insights to public policy questions.

Registration is open at:


Member News: DRaaS Provides Business Continuity During Hurricane Season and Throughout the Year


Charlotte, NC, August 19, 2020 - Disaster recovery and business continuity plans are critical for any business, and are particularly important during hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Climate Prediction Center predicts "... a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season." In response to this year's heightened expectations, Segra, has made critical preparations to secure the continuity of its fiber networks and customer support services and encourages all businesses to do the same.
Segra's disaster recovery and business continuity plan includes step-by-step processes to ensure continued operation of business critical systems in the event of a disaster. Specific goals of the plan include:
  • Minimizing interruptions to normal operations
  • Limiting the extent of disruption and damage
  • Establishing alternative means of operation when needed
  • Training personnel with emergency procedures for safe, smooth, and rapid restoration of service
Segra's Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution commits to RTOs (recovery time objective) for critical applications giving businesses peace of mind. The company's team of DR Solution Engineers partner with businesses to design, deploy, and test a highly-available DRaaS solution to ensure customers are always prepared. Segra offers a very unique value proposition to customers by leveraging market leader Zerto's software, continuous replications of virtual machines and secure connectivity directly over the Segra private fiber network, into Segra owned highly available and compliant (SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA, PCI DSS) data centers, within Segra's multi-tenant cloud infrastructure.
To protect its fiber networks, minimize service interruptions, and continue delivering high-speed Internet and fiber-based communications services, Segra, proactively prepares for natural disasters throughout the year. Segra supports the business continuity and disaster recovery efforts of its customers by ensuring:
  • Customer service, field engineering, and network operation teams are ready to mobilize and respond safely and quickly after storms pass
  • Generators and refueling protocols are in place
  • Facilities and infrastructure are protected from water/flooding
  • Protocols are in place to prioritize hospitals, care facilities, and community hot spots
  • Field personnel have an adequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Network operations are familiar with emergency protocols and procedures
  • Inventory is readily available to technicians and mobile service units
  • Communication procedures are ready
Visit Segra's website for more details about its Disaster Recovery as a Service offering.

About Segra
Segra is one of the largest independent fiber infrastructure bandwidth companies in the Eastern U.S. It owns and operates an advanced fiber infrastructure network of over 30,000 miles that connects more than 10,000 locations and nine data centers throughout nine Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. Segra provides Ethernet, MPLS, dark fiber, advanced data center services, IP and managed services, voice and cloud solutions, all backed by its industry-leading service and reliability. Customers include carriers, enterprises, governments, and healthcare organizations. For more information about Segra's technology and commitment to customer care, visit

About Segra Data Centers
The enterprise class facilities in Charlotte, NC are staffed 24x7x365, are SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II certified, and PCI DSS and HIPAA compliant. Enterprise services include Colocation, Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Storage as a Service, Security as a Service, and Backup and Recovery as a Service. Segra's Charlotte data center acts as a Carrier Hotel, with 12 of the largest carriers in Charlotte having fiber routes and/or Points of Presence (POP) within our facilities, allowing robust, cost effective options for our clients. With direct connectivity from the Segra fiber footprint, along with ample options for connectivity, Segra's data center is uniquely positioned to offer clients on-net data center and colocation services.


MACH37: Pre-Accelerator,
Cyber Accelerator, and Growth Stage Accelerator 
MACH37™ is a start-up accelerator designed to facilitate the creation of the next generation of cyber product companies. This year they will offering a pre-accelerator and growth stage accelerator. 

MACH37 Cyber Pre-Accelerator
Not quite ready for the pressure test of a fast paced accelerator? Not sure how to get your company ready to accelerate?

MACH37 now offers a pre-accelerator option to help you reach the point where your company can realize the most benefit from an accelerator experience. This program focuses on business fundamentals to include:
  • Creating Your Vision - Understanding more deeply why you started your company, what outcomes you seek and the meaning of success
  • Value Proposition - Achieving product-market fit, the value you propose to deliver meets the needs and demands of customers in the marketplace
  • Company Formation - Best practices for setting up your company to do business
  • Building Your Team - How to hire for a winning team
  • Wellbeing - Orientation to the wellbeing of entrepreneurs
More information at

MACH37 Cyber Accelerator
MACH37Ⓡ runs a 12 week accelerator program for early stage startup companies who are developing cyber related products and services and are ready to take their business to the next level through expanding their networks, learning key business approaches and seeking investment.  Beyond cyber security, MACH37 seeks companies who specialize in artificial Intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, quantum computing and encryption, space, cyber physical systems, Internet of things, industrial controls and other cyber related areas.  The pillars of the MACH37 program include:
  • Agile Entrepreneurship - Fostering entrepreneurship and methods of innovation at the speed of business, with heavy emphasis on the Lean Startup methodology
  • Bridging Ecosystems - Connecting partners across ecosystems, sectors, organizations and people
  • Problem Solving - Filling the critical need for viable solutions to the world's most pressing problems
  • Tech Discovery - Identifying over-the-horizon technology and trends in cyber sectors
  • - Building the wellbeing of our founders, teams and community members to foster richer experiences, partnerships and outcomes.
More information at

MACH37 Growth Stage Accelerator
Growth stage for any startup can be tough.  MACH37 is currently piloting growth stage company acceleration for cyber startups who are pushing through the next level.  This program is customized per company around their specific needs and leverages MACH37 resources to assist with:
  • Establishing Culture
  • Leadership & Management Skills
  • Running Your Business
  • Expanding Your Customer Set
  • Scaling Your Solution
  • Securing the Next Rounds of Financing
More information at


Virginia's Free COVIDWISE Exposure Notifications App Helps Protect Your Community While Protecting Your Privacy


Use your phone to fight COVID-19! After you download COVIDWISE on your iPhone or Android, follow the app instructions to turn on your Exposure Notifications. This allows you to be notified if you've likely been exposed. 

How It Works
COVIDWISE uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to quickly notify users who have likely been exposed so you can reduce the risk of infection for your friends and family and help Virginia stop the spread.

Step 1: Download the free app  iPhone App Store or Android Google Play Store.
Step 2: Once you opt-in to the notification system, the Exposure Notifications System will generate an anonymous token for your device. To help ensure these anonymous tokens can't be used to identify you or your location, they change every 10-20 minutes.
Step 3: Your phone and the phones around you will work in the background, without draining your battery or data, to exchange these privacy-preserving anonymous tokens via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. This is a passive process that begins once you opt-in and functions without the app open.
Step 4: On a daily basis, your phone downloads a list of all the anonymous tokens associated with positive COVID-19 cases and checks them against the list of anonymous tokens it has encountered in the last 14 days.
Step 5: If there's a match, the app will notify you with further instructions from your public health authority on how to keep you and the people around you safe.

For more information please visit


ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course - Virtual Cohort
(Application Deadline 8/25)

Based on the National Science Foundation's I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.

ICAP includes FREE introductory training programs and counseling services offered through ICAP instructors and local SBDC counselors. ICAP helps startups identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. It is an ideal program for early-stage companies trying to prepare for eventual venture investment.

Preferred Sectors
The cohort will give preference to startups focused on the following sectors/solutions:
  • Cybersecurity
    Software | Telecommunications | | Information & Communication Technologies | E-Commerce | Networking & Equipment | Electronics/Instrumentation | Sensors | Materials | Drones | IoT
  • Pandemic ResponseBiotechnology | Biopharmaceuticals | Medical Devices | Laboratory Instrumentation | Diagnostics | Healthcare IT | Nutraceuticals | Agricultural | Software | Telecommunications | Information & Communication Technologies | Sensors | Manufacturing

Important Dates
  • August 25, 2020 - Applications are due by midnight
  • August 26, 2020 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm - Introductory Webinar
  • September 1, 2020 - Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps
  • September 8, 2020 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm - Customer Segments and Initial Team Presentations
  • September 9, 2020 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm - Value Proposition
  • September 10, 2020 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm - Customer Discovery
  • September 17, 2020 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm -Each team reviews their Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
  • September 24, 2020 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm - Final Team Presentations
During this introductory program, there is extensive work done outside the virtual classroom. In addition to the virtual class meetings, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and course assignments. At the conclusion of the program, you will remain connected with your ICAP adjunct to continue your progress on the Five Steps to Startup Success over the following 6 to 24 months.

The introductory program is designed to generate a maximum impact over a relatively short duration and should be considered a required first step for anyone interested in commercializing a technology or product, whether through a startup or licensing arrangement. Some graduates of this cohort may be eligible to apply to NSF's Seven-week National I-Corps Program, which includes non-dilutive grants for customer discovery and prototype development. Additionally, this program can help teams develop better submissions for SBIR and CRCF grants from Virginia's Center for Innovative Technologies.

Your ICAP Instructor
Bob Smith is currently the Director of  I-Corps at George Washington University where he helps researchers, inventors, and technology startups develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He is also an instructor with the NSF's DC I-Corp Node.

Bob has 30+ years' experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of, a leading college rankings website. He's held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing, and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor, and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing, geospatial analytics, data science, and local media go from launch through to favorable exits.
Bob received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.

For more information email:   


Harrisonburg Business Recovery Grant Program Launched 
(Application Deadline 8/27 @ 5:00)

The City of Harrisonburg, using funding from the federal CARES Act, launched the Harrisonburg Business Recovery Grant (HBRG) to assist businesses in responding to the impact of the COVID-19 crises. Harrisonburg Economic Development is administering the program, with funds being disbursed by the Harrisonburg Economic Development Authority. The HBRG offers grants of up to $10,000, based on the employment total of the business.

Please email your completed grant application and supporting documents to Peirce Macgill at You may also mail or drop the grant application off in person to Harrisonburg Economic Development at City Hall, 400 S. Main Street, Third Floor (Mon.-Fri. 8:00am-5:00pm).

To be considered, your completed application and required supporting documents must be received by Harrisonburg Economic Development by 5:00pm on Thursday, August 27th, 2020.


Local Discovery Museums Will Hold In-Person Camps Harrisonburg & Winchester (June - August)


Both the Explore More Discovery Museum and Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum are holding summer camps in-person while taking health and safety precautions, beginning June 29. There are various camps, some with STEM topics, ranging from from Pre-K through Grade 8. Camps will run through the summer and end in August.

Explore More Discovery Museum Summer Camps (Harrisonburg)
Half Day Camps: $135.00 (Members: $105.00)
Full Day Camps: $270.00 (Members: $210.00)

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum Summer Camps (Winchester)

Discovery Museum members: $125 half-day
Non-members: $145 half-day
Discount for attending 3+ camps!


COVID-19 Resources & Local Open/Closed Businesses
During this uncertain time, we feel the need to share information that will help our readers monitor the current situation. Below we have linked several resources. 

We also recommend you take a look at the following article providing additional COVID-19 resources for economic development planning and recovery

Resources to monitor COVID-19 updates:
Open/closed businesses (& altered hours of operations) in the Shenandoah Valley:
Broadband Resources
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Virginian's ability to work, access healthcare and education, and has magnified the digital divide more than ever before. The Commonwealth Connect team has launched a webpage to provide information about what both the federal government and Virginia's ISPs are doing in response to the crisis. Please see:

Local City & County Recovery Funding
  • Rockingham County Small Business Grant Program: This program can assist a small business with cash needed for working capital to support rent or mortgage payments, utility, payroll, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business through the pandemic. 
  • Staunton Downtown Development Association "Better Together" Grants: "Better Together" grants will be awarded to Downtown Service District (DSD) businesses who join forces to develop new products and services in the wake of COVID-19. Grant dollars will aid businesses in covering the costs of advertising, marketing, or promotions of their newly created products and combined services. This is a rolling grant with multiple periods of availability.
Business Resources
  • SBA's Disaster Loan is a program designed to help small businesses and non-profit organizations meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot otherwise be met as a direct result of COVID-19. The SV SBDC provides information and assistance in the loan preparation documents. To learn how to apply for the SBA EIDL: Economic Injury Disaster Loan. For assistance from the SVSBDC to apply see here:
  • Status of Building Officials' offices across the Commonwealth on VBCOA website
  • Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational RegulationCOVID-19 Update Page outlines regulated non-essential businesses that most close 
  • FEMA has a page on HOW TO HELP that gives contact information producing COVID-19 related products.  *Contact the SBDC office if you want more detail on the challenges of creating/manufacturing personal protective products, and we'll put you in touch with our International Trade Manager and other subject matter experts.
  • Electronics Technician, VIRTEX | Waynesboro
  • Solder Technician, VIRTEX | Waynesboro
  • Information Technology Specialist III, Western State Hospital | Staunton
  • Tech Lead, Generate Impact | Harrisonburg 
  • IT Operations Technician, Segra | Waynesboro
  • Systems Analyst/Developer, Augusta County Service Authority | Verona
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