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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
August 28, 2020
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SVTC Virtual Luncheon: The State of Tech Economy (9/9)
SAVE THE DATE | 8th Annual Valley Business Summit (9/23)
Congressional App Challenge | For Middle & High School Students (deadline 10/19)
MACH37: Pre-Accelerator, Cyber Accelerator, and Growth Stage Accelerator
COVIDWISE Exposure Notifications App Helps Protect Your Community While Protecting Your Privacy
COVID-19 Business Resources, Local Open/Closed Businesses, & Other Information
Welcome New SVTC Member: Keith Waters
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
Like many organizations these days, we are pivoting. 
We received a nice line-up of nominees in all award categories in the spring and don't want to neglect what they have done 2019-2020. So, Tech Nite is on! We intend to honor and highlight them, as always, albeit virtually, at an online event with live networking. Networking with a twist: you decide what table you want to join. You'll be able to move around as you please. 

Innovation and leadership happened, and we will show off these achievements. As always, there will be eight awards and eight presenters, and we also look forward to the competitive social voting (with hashtag) for the Serco People's Choice Award. 

We are very close to having it all lined up! Finishing touches will happen this week. We're gathering the Valley's premier crowd the first week of October 2020. 

If you are a sponsor, look for an email from Nicky this coming week with details. If you are a nominee, yes, there will be an email as well. 
  • Nominations for the 8 award categories closed in April 2020. Nominees will be announced in Sept. 2020.
  • Time of day: late afternoon. Length: 1.5 hrs. Date: first week of Oct. 2020
  • Reservations will open Sept 15
About Tech Nite

Tech Nite is the premier tech-centric event in the Valley.  Tech users and creators gather to honor and recognize the area's technology innovators. This recognition helps organizations and individuals immensely - the winning organization is able to expand its network, attract employees, and obtain publicity inside and often outside of the local region. Tech Nite allows attendees to witness the successes and innovative progression of the Shenandoah Valley. The recognition helps organizations and individuals immensely - the winning organization is able to expand its network, attract employees, and obtain publicity inside and often outside of the local region. 

Tech Nite allows attendees to witness the successes and innovative progression of the Shenandoah Valley. Lastly, we get to publicize the region's successes widely!

Questions? Send us a note []


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.

Thank you to our luncheon sponsor!


Save the date for the 8th annual Valley Business Summit on September 23! This year, the Valley Business Summit will be held virtually and will occur 9:30 am - 11:30 am. Topics will include a GO Virginia Region 8 update, Rebuild Virginia Program, workforce development, economic development. There will also be an informal networking portion as well as a legislative panel. 

Registration will open on Monday, Aug. 31 via all the planning partners, incl. the SVTC's website.


The Congressional App Challenge, the official student coding competition of the U.S. House of Representatives, is an initiative encouraging American students to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science through a series of district-specific competitions. Over 250 Members of Congress have already signed on to host App Challenges in their districts, several of which are within the Shenandoah Valley.

Students can use any programming language and any platform. There are no limits on application theme or topic. To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, students must be a middle or high school student at the time of app submission. Students may register as individuals or as teams of up to four. No more than four students are allowed to form a team. Students may compete in the district they reside in or the district they attend school in. View the rules for participating

Students can only submit apps to the Congressional App Challenge if their Member of Congress has signed up to host a contest in their district. You can view participating districts at


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


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. 

Get the COVIDWISE app at

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.
Welcome New SVTC Member! 
Keith Waters

Keith currently works for BidWrangler in Harrisonburg, VA. There he's helping build amazing software for auctioneers.
  • 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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