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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
August 5, 2016
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Great Ideas Currently Being Accepted for Events & Topics for Sept 2016-June 2017
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance Receives Award
FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Team Applications have been posted
Governor McAuliffe Launches Workforce Innovation Datathon Challenge
Annual Valley Business Summit (8/17)
Apply to attend: Virginia Robotics & Unmanned systems Education Summit (8/17-8/18)
MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Accepting Applications for Fall 2016 Session
SVTC Tech on the Square (8/25)
SVTC Fall Tech Mixer (9/29)
You're invited to a local Slack group, Rocktown Tech
Great Ideas Currently Being Accepted
Share ideas for our luncheon topics, site visits, workshops & events
  for Sept. 2016- June 2017 

Be an active member or reader! In what programming, topics, or site visits would you like to participate? 

What tech related topics are on your mind? Cyber-security; Big data & Analytics; Health tech? What makes a techie's heart skip a beat?  Is there an organization, program, team, or business location you'd like to hear from or visit?  Would you make room on your calendar for social events?

(Note: We are a not-for profit, so we look for speakers from the Valley without travel or other expenses)

To know what topics we covered in the past, take a look:

 Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance Receives
:  2016 National Main Street 
 Released on August 3, 2016
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach®.

"Once again, we are thrilled to recognize this year's nationally accredited Main Street America communities for their outstanding work," says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. "We are experiencing an exciting era for America's cities and towns, with a growing recognition of the importance of strong local enterprise, distinctive character, engaged residents, and sense of place. These are things that Main Street America programs have been working to protect and advance for years, strengthening the economic, social, and cultural fabric of communities across the country."

The organization's performance is annually evaluated by Virginia Main Street, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

"Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance is proud of our accreditation. It is a confirmation that our organization is meeting a high set of national standards and is successfully implementing the Main Street Approach®," says Andrea L. Dono, executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. "It also means that HDR is a model for other communities to follow. We are able to share valuable resources, experiences, and best practices with a national network of Main Street communities." 

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance has an incredible story to tell.
Since it was founded in 2003, the organization has helped find new economic uses for old buildings, filled the year with festivals and events, initiated beautification projects, encouraged historic preservation and helped existing businesses thrive and new ones to open.

In its 13 year history, HDR has funded 98 projects and awarded more than $175,000 in façade enhancement grants. There is also a solid commitment in downtown from both the private and public sector. Since 2004, more than $66 million has been privately invested and over $23.1 million has been publicly invested into the city.   "There is still much to do," adds Dono. "We have many opportunities ahead and we look forward to working with the community to figure out what's next together." 

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance is a nonprofit organization championing downtown's growth. We bring ideas and people together to help create an exciting and attractive place to live, work, invest, and visit. Together, with the community, we won the Great American Main Street Award, earning national recognition as a leader in downtown revitalization.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. 

 Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $65.6 billion in new public and private investment, generated 556,960 net new jobs and 126,476 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 260,000 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, call (804) 371-7030 or visit
For more information about Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, call 540-432-8922 or visit

The SVTC's FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Team Sponsorship application has been posted 
SVTC will cover HALF the start-up cost for a NEW SHENANDOAH VALLEY TEAM!

As you probably know, we care about STEM activities and projects that lead to STEM-field careers -- and for that reason we will again support three new Shen. Valley FIRST  Lego League (FLL) teams with a sponsorship that reimburses approx. half of their start-up cost. Last year, one of them fared so well at the regional, and then the state competition, that they went on to compete at the world festival in St. Louis in April. We are very proud of these guys and their coaches and mentors. 


FIRST Lego League (FLL) was created through a partnership between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO company, and inspires future scientists and engineers.
FLL  Introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.
Elementary and middle-school students get to:
  •   Design, build, test and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology
  •   Apply real-world math and science concepts
  •   Research challenges facing today's scientists
  •   Learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills 
  •   Participate in tournaments and celebrations
Considering starting a team?  Technical or technology experience or background  NOT REQUIRED! (And team members can come from any setting, not just school-based.)

Learn More:
Governor McAuliffe Launches Workforce Innovation Datathon Challenge
Teams from across Virginia invited to use open jobs data and cutting-edge technology to create innovative workforce applications
Released on July 18, 2016 .
Governor Terry McAuliffe  launched the 2016 Workforce Innovation Datathon Challenge, a competition inviting citizens, students, and government teams from across the Commonwealth to come together to create innovative workforce solutions.
"We must embrace innovation and leverage data in order to advance our workforce efforts for a new Virginia economy," said Governor McAuliffe. "Jobs today require adaptive technical skills, as cyber and communication innovations are developing at an ever-increasing rate. We must cultivate a deeper understanding of current and future job opportunities to strengthen the connection between the skillsets we are imparting on our workforce and the needs employers have to grow successful businesses in the 21 st century."
"We look forward to seeing who registers to participate," added Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. "This challenge is an open invitation for Virginians to have direct input on how their government uses data and technology to improve how the Commonwealth serves employers and employees. Technology and apps developed by civic coders can contribute greatly to our workforce efforts".
"Workforce development is a top priority of this administration. I am thrilled that the Governor's annual Datathon will be focused on helping jobseekers and education and workforce professionals learn more about current job requirements and availability," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "I look forward to seeing the new apps and visualizations for labor market data that will be produced as a result of this competition. "
"The Workforce Innovation Datathon Challenge will provide participating high school and college students with a fantastic opportunity to solve real-world problems and gain skills through hands-on learning, essential to laying a firm foundation for the 21st century economy," Secretary of Education Anne Holton said. "I commend the Library of Virginia for hosting this important event, and I thank them for their continued partnership and commitment to providing the Commonwealth's young people with innovative opportunities to learn and grow."
This year's two-day challenge is scheduled for August 25-26 at the Library of Virginia.  For registration, additional information, and Datathon rules, please visit the event website:
Top teams will be invited to participate in final judging at the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) on September 7th, 2016.
This is the Commonwealth's third Datathon sponsored by Governor McAuliffe. To join and follow the Virginia data conversation on Twitter, use @DataVirginia and #dataVA.
To view the published release, please visit:

Annual Valley Business Summit 2016
August 17, 2016 at Blue Ridge Community College

Join us as challenges and opportunities facing businesses in our community and around the state are addressed.  A feedback forum with state legislators, a business panel discussion and a business resource fair are a few of the highlights of the Valley Business Summit 2016. 

Keynote speaker announced:
Elizabeth Milito, Esq. |  Senior Executive Counsel | National Federation of Independent Business:
Who Cares What Happens in Washington? You Should.
 >>  How the Current Political, Legal, Regulatory Landscape Impacts Small Business in Virginia. <<


VIRTUES: Virginia Robotics & Unmanned systems  Education Summit
UAV Symposium on August 17-18, 2016 at Lakeview Hall, JMU
You're invited to apply to participate in V IRTUES - Unmanned systems working group. Come share your thoughts and be heard!
With an estimated economic impact of $82 billion (AUVSI Report, 2013), growth in the UAS industry continues to spark interest and competition - particularly in states with significant aerospace and transportation research facilities as well as those transitioning military industries.  According to the report, Virginia ranks 8 th in terms of potential economic impact despite having significant research capacity and a high concentration of related military industries.
Governor McAuliffe and Senator Warner have identified unmanned systems as top priorities for the new Virginia economy.  In an effort to maintain our edge and improve our economic impact opportunities, we would like to bring the community together and start a working-group level conversation. 

We will be meeting for August 17 th  and 18 th   at our new Lakeview Hall facility located at 298 Port Republic Road.  The event will start with a reception on Wednesday evening at 6 pm.  Secretary Jackson has been invited and is planning to attend and address the group.  We've invited representatives from DARPA and the FAA to participate in the group sessions and guided small group discussions for Thursday.

Please contact Emily Winter for any questions at:  540-568-7447 or

MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Accepting Applications for Fall 2016 Session
Fall '16 Corhort to Begin on Sept. 6 

The MACH37 Cyber Accelerator has officially announced it will begin accepting applications from information security product startups and security entrepreneurs for its Fall 2016 (F16) Cohort that begins on September 6th.  

The MACH37 program consists of an intense 90-day program in which the selected startups are coached in all aspects of creating a sustainable and successful business.

MACH37 is looking for candidates who:
  • Are building a disruptive information security technology product
  • Are delivering foundational security capabilities that enable entirely new products & markets
  • Have the will and endurance to turn their labor into commercial success
  • Have ideally built a team of 2-4 co-founders
  • Need help with startup capital, introductions, and navigating pitfalls
  • Are seeking rapid growth through venture capital
  • Are willing to be in Virginia for the entire 90 day program and commit to the venture full-time

To apply, visit and fill-out the online application.  MACH37 will be accepting rolling submissions but participants are highly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 

For the web version of MACH37 Press Release.
SVTC Tech on the Square
August 25, 2016 at Pale Fire Brewing from 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Tech on the Square is a completely informal, ad-hoc, technology agnostic meetup. Whether you're a seasoned technologist working with or in startups, or completely new to everything, we'd love to meet you.

Come and catch up with fellow technology users and creators at this casual networking event. We'll support our Ice House neighbors, Pale Fire Brewing.
Membership in SVTC is not required. All users and creators of technology are welcome.
Pre-registering will enable us to bring you a pre-printed name tag for networking and will help Pale Fire anticipate attendance. 

SVTC Fall Tech Mixer
September 29, 2016 at Beyond Restaurant from 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Join us on September 29th for our annual Fall Tech Mixer. Hosted by the SVTC's Board of Directors, this is a premier networking event. Come out and join current members and potential members as they mingle and network.

It's our treat - appetizers are 'on us' ... the food is fabulous and coconut shrimp will definitely be on the menu again! Drinks are dutch treat.

Come and find out what we're doing as an organization, what our members are doing individually.

Let us know you're coming so that we'll have plenty of appetizers. Feel free to bring a buddy, a customer, a co-worker, or your spouse (please register each).

PARKING: in the Water Street Parking garage across the street


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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 4901
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807



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