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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
December 15 , 2017
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Virginia ICAP's Lean Launchpad Short Course | Shenandoah Valley Cohort (application due 12/15)
FIRST Tech Challenge Team, Tech Busters, Seeks Mentors and Sponsors
Virginia Chamber Releases its Blueprint Virginia 2025
Governor McAuliffe and Senator Warner Launch 'Virginia is for Entrepreneurs' Initiative
LFCC course | Google Apps - Personal, Professional and Business Productivity
Saturday Morning Physics | For High Schoolers (1/13 - 2/10)
College for Kids | Grades 1st - 8th (1/13 - 2/17)
EngineerGirl Writing Contest | Open to all students grades 3rd - 12th (deadline 2/1)
BRCC Seeks STEM Mentors
Welcome new Level I Member: Valley Inbound Marketing
Highlighting Renewing Level III Member: Rockingham Group
Highlighting Renewing Level I Member: JMU University Programs
Highlighting Renewing Level I Member: Augusta County Economic Development
Job Opening | Software Engineer, Jenzabar in Harrisonburg
Job Opening | Web Developer, James Madison University IT
Job Opening | Director of Information Technology, Lexington City Schools
Job Opening | Senior Systems Developer - Remote (Anywhere in the US)
Job Opening | IT Manager, People Places in Staunton
Job Opening | IT Manager, Massanutten Resort
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
Virginia ICAP's Lean Launchpad Short Course
Shenandoah Valley Cohort (apps. due by 12/15)
Business Model Development for Technology Start-Ups




ICAP is a statewide technology-commercialization program offered by the Virginia Network of Small Business Development Centers, George Mason University, and local sponsors.

Based on the National Science Foundation's I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP 2.0 helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.

During this FREE 3-week program, you will work with ICAP instructors and your teammates to learn techniques that will help you identify potential customers, learn their needs and how you can build a successful business model from that knowledge.

The Short Course is the beginning of an ICAP process that guides companies through the Five Steps to Startup Success:
  • Validate your business model
  • Build the right team of three or more members
  • Develop a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Create early sales traction
  • Establish distribution channels and key partnerships
Who is Eligible?
All Virginia early-stage technology innovators and entrepreneurs (faculty, students, or the community at large) who are seeking to explore the commercial prospects for their innovations are encouraged to participate in this regional cohort.  

Important Dates
December 15, 2017 - Applications due by midnight
December 22, 2017 - Acceptance notifications and communication from Bob Smith, a seasoned advisor, with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session. 
January 26, 2018, 9:00am-3:00pm - Kick-off Classroom Introductory Session.  We meet in JMU's Lakeview Hall, Harrisonburg. ( Location | Google Maps)
February 2, 2018 - Each team participates in a pre-scheduled telephone review of the team's Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
February 9, 2018, 9:00am-Noon - Final Team Presentations at JMU's Lakeview Hall
  • During this 3-week program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to the two 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 trainers and SBDC Business Advisors to continue your progress on the Five Steps to Startup Success.
The 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 full National Seven-week I-Corps Program in which includes non-dilutive grants for customer discovery and prototype development. Additionally, this program can help teams develop better submissions for SBIRs and CRCF grants from Virginia's Center for Innovative Technologies. 

For more information email: Bob@masonsbdc.org  


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FIRST Tech Challenge Team, Tech Busters
Seeks 
Mentors and Sponsors

Local robotics team Tech Busters is looking for sponsors and mentors to help their group. Tech folks, please consider becoming a mentor or sponsor for this team, or spread the word. 

 

"Hello, w e are the Tech Busters, a local FIRST Tech Challenge team from Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County.  Each year we design, build, program, and operate a robot to meet the new challenge released by FIRST the first weekend in September  (The competitions begin in mid November!). We also fundraise and outreach to our community to bring awareness about FIRST programs and have inspired the creation of a FIRST LEGO League team (The Bomb Squad! Many of our alumni mentor this team.).  

Currently we are a team of 6 (2 girls and 4 boys) teenagers ages 13-17 and meet at the Augusta County Library in Fishersville and at various other locations around the area. We are still looking for a permanent location so currently the robot, parts, tools, and field live in our parents cars, living rooms, and bedrooms.  This is a challenge because we spend a lot of our precious work time setting up and tearing down.  We meet once a week beginning in late summer and twice a week (Tues. 2-4 in Fishersville and Sat. TBD each week) after the game release.  We have one mentor, a retired engineer who is the grandpa to two of our team members, but would love to have more mentors (last year between travel and surgery he couldn't be there)! Experience not necessary, just a passion for helping kids succeed and a willingness to look at our crude designs and point us in the right direction or teach us a new skill like how to use PTC Creo more effectively!   Our coaches are two of our moms but all of our parents work just as hard to make sure we succeed.  None of them have a background in engineering or anything close. 

We are also looking for sponsors.  Any amount gets your company on our tri-fold and in our engineering notebook, $75 or more gets you on the backs of our team shirt, and $200 or more gets you on our hipster robot named Brobot 4.0.  Please contact our coaches Jennifer Armstrong,  dsadmirer@aol.comor Wendy Snider,  winniekuhl@gmail.comor check out our Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/techbusters8275/ for more information."

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Virginia Chamber Releases its Blueprint Virginia 2025



The Virginia Chamber of Commerce on Friday officially delivered to Gov.-Elect Ralph Northam its wide-ranging action plan to improve Virginia's economic climate.

Blueprint Virginia 2025, a year-long effort that included input from more than 6,000 businesses, was officially released to more than 900 attendants at the chamber's annual Virginia Economic Summit at the Williamsburg Lodge.
"We are pleased to present Blueprint Virginia 2025 to Gov.-Elect Northam as the business community's unified voice and plan to get Virginia back to the top state for business," chamber CEO Barry DuVal said. "This document is the result of a collaborative process, which brought diverse, bipartisan stakeholder groups together from across the commonwealth to identify and present solutions for our state's most pressing challenges."

The comprehensive report provides detailed recommendations on how the commonwealth can strengthen its position as an economic leader in the global economy and improve its national business rankings.  

The chamber says the effort is critical. Virginia has dropped in national business rankings, and the commonwealth's income, employment and GDP growth rank has fallen over the past 10 years. Much of that decline can be attributed to the effects of sequestration on defense spending.

The priorities and recommendations in the plan were derived from regional briefings, chamber events, surveys and Blueprint Virginia's industry councils.

The chamber also worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Port Authority and GO Virginia, an initiative that supports regional economic development cooperation.

A chamber survey showed that maintaining a skilled workforce remained businesses' No. 1 concern. The survey also showed that business owners support comprehensive tax reform, including in manufacturing, where Virginia ranks poorly for its tax climate for manufacturers.

List of recommendations included in the Blueprint (Virginia Business)
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Governor McAuliffe and Senator Warner Launch
'Virginia is for Entrepreneurs' Initiative

December 11, 2017 (Alexandria, VA)

Governor Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Senator Mark Warner today announced the launch of the Virginia is for Entrepreneurs (VA4E) initiative, an effort to better match entrepreneurs with potential investors across regions, backgrounds and industries. V4E's first initiative will feature a standardized online application to better link entrepreneurs with more than 50 investment firms and potential funders to help launch or grow their Virginia-based businesses. 
 
Partners in the network includes a number of universities including Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia's College at Wise; angel investment groups such as 757 Angels and Shenandoah Valley Angel Investors; venture funds including Revolution and Village Capital; and statewide organizations including the Center for Innovative Technology.
 
"The Commonwealth has long been home to innovators and entrepreneurs who make up the backbone of our new Virginia economy," said Governor McAuliffe. "That's why it's so important that we continue to expand our support for promising new ventures. The Virginia is for Entrepreneurs initiative will open new doors for local start-ups by increasing access to the capital they need to thrive and create good-paying jobs."
 
"While Virginia boasts a number of innovative communities and ecosystems across the Commonwealth, a consistent problem has been connecting promising entrepreneurs with capital available to support their vision," said Senator Mark Warner. "As part of a broader effort to strengthen the connective tissue between Virginia's startup communities, this tool will help founders evaluate their product fit and maturity, and connect them with venture and angel investors across the Commonwealth."
 
"Having a single point of entry to a statewide capital network will greatly enhance the likelihood that Virginia startups will be able to secure the funding they need without having to rely on out-of-state resources," said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. "And for those in regions that lack an organized venture community, access to these funds will open up a myriad of entrepreneurial opportunities."
 
"Whether you're an agriculture entrepreneur in Abingdon or a cyber-security entrepreneur in Arlington, if you've got a great idea and work hard, you should be able to succeed," said Ross Baird, founder of the venture firm Village Capital and one of the organizers of the V4E initiative. "Today, too often the best ideas don't even get the opportunity to start because of who they are or where they come from. Virginia is for Entrepreneurs is testing ideas statewide to fix that."
 
The pilot initiative announced today that the online application was successfully tested by more than 200 entrepreneurs and investors statewide at the TomTom Festival in Charlottesville and by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council.
 
The initiative will help build strategic sectors in Virginia. For example, one of the initial areas of focus for the investment portfolio will be a state-led pilot program to promote the growth of early stage unmanned aerial systems companies, which has been identified as a cornerstone industry for the New Virginia Economy.
 
For more information, please contact Ross Baird, ross@vilcap.com; Paul Hirschbiel, phirschbiel@edencapital.net; or visit va4e.org.

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Google Apps - Personal, Professional and Business Productivity | LFCC Course (12/16)



December 16, 2017 |  9:00 AM - 4:00 PM | $105
 LFCC Middletown Campus, Room: MC-Corron CDC Training Rm 205

Lord Fairfax Community College brings you a course presenting the benefits of different Google
Apps! Most people are familiar with the popular search engine Google. However, there is so much more Google has to offer for personal productivity and business professionals to take advantage of with a Google Apps account. This course looks thoroughly at many of the most productive Google Apps and how tried and true best practices can make a major positive change for you and/or your business.
 
To stay up to date with current events and find credible information via the Web, you'll review Advanced Google Searching, Google News, Alerts, Plus, and Chrome.  For improved efficiency and communication you'll closely examine Google Mail and Google Calendar.  Online productivity and collaboration for word processing, presentations, spreadsheets and more will be fully covered via Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Apps.  Come learn how Google can improve your personal, professional, and business productivity!
 
In order to access many of the features discussed in this class, participants are encouraged to set up a free Gmail account (https://accounts.google.com/signup) before coming to class.


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January 13 - February 10, 2018
9 am - 12 pm | JMU Physics/Chem Building

Check out Saturday Morning Physics, a fun and informative way to start a weekend!

Come and explore the fascinating properties of waves as scientists use them in music, nanotechnology, astronomy, and nuclear physics. JMU Physics and Astronomy presents this educational event series designed for high school students and teachers! Juniors and seniors who participate are eligible for one JMU Physics credit. Held over the Saturdays on the JMU campus, we invite everyone to explore, learn, and have fun!

Note that only 50 seats are available! For more information, contact Melissa Heatwole at heatwoml@jmu.edu or (540) 568-4226.

Also see  http://www.jmu.edu/outreach/programs/all/saturday-morning-physics


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   | Grades 1st - 8th (1/13 - 2/17)



January 13 - February 17, 2018 | 9 am - 12 pm
$135.00 covers all 6 Saturdays

College for Kids is an enrichment program for children in grades 1-8. Children will work with James Madison University faculty and graduate students, as well as experts from the community and surrounding area, to try new things, explore and discover talents they never knew they had! College for Kids is being held this year on Saturday, January 13 - February 17, 2018 from 9-12pm. 

Registration fee of $135.00 covers all 6 Saturdays
 
For more information, please contact Melissa Heatwole at heatwoml@jmu.edu or (540) 568-4226


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EngineerGirl Writing Contest
| Open to all students grades 3rd - 12th  (deadline 2/1)



Deadline February 1st at 11:59 pm| Online submission

Every year, the EngineerGirl website sponsors a contest dealing with engineering and its impact on our world. This year's contest asks students to investigate an infrastructure system in their own community and suggest an improvement in the form of a persuasive letter, essay or summary report (based on grade level) for their city or county council. 

The contest is open to individual girls and boys enrolled in grades 3 - 12. 

For more information, view the contest rules and requirements

The essay will be submitted online via an online registration form

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Blue Ridge Community College is looking for STEM professionals to be mentors to STEM students, by providing encouragement and moral support, and being a positive role model.  For more information please  email Jamie, BRCC's Mentoring Coordinator, at jtudor0001@email.vccs.eduIf you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the form in the link below. 


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Welcome new Level I Member!
Valley Inbound Marketing

Fueled by their unique blend of data-driven analytics and psychology-driven messaging, Valley Inbound leverages advanced lead generation and sales acquisition strategies to drive profitable growth for their clients.

Welcome Evan et al!


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Highlighting Renewing Level III Member:
Rockingham Group

Rockingham Group Insurance is a property & casualty insurance company providing coverage for homes, autos, farms, and businesses. Headquartered in Harrisonburg, Virginia we are eligible to write business in all fifty states. For almost 150 years, we've been ensuring the people and companies that make our community grow and thrive. Rockingham holds an "A" Excellent rating with A.M. Best Company, a highly regarded assessor of the financial and management stability of insurance companies. 


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Highlighting Renewing Level I Member:
JMU University Programs

University Programs at James Madison University is the central location for students, faculty and the university community to receive services and support regarding the Center for Assessment and Research Studies, General Education Program, Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (IdLS), the Honors College, Outreach & Engagement, and University Advising. University Programs is the Dean's office for Undeclared students, and coordinates some university-wide academic projects, including the registration of new freshmen and transfer students into appropriate first-semester courses. Within University Programs, the Center for Assessment and Research Studies provides quality assessment service to the university while providing applied graduate training in both assessment and measurement. The General Education Program is the core academic program required of all students, regardless of their major, educating students in ways that have been fundamental to higher education and to thinking people for centuries. IdLS is a liberal arts and sciences major that is cooperatively produced by three different colleges (Arts and Letters, Integrated Science and Engineering, and Education). The IdLS major provides content-area education for future teachers, and is designed to prepare students to meet subject area competencies required for teacher licensure in Virginia. The Honors College seeks to meet the educational needs of talented, highly motivated students by offering increased opportunities for an enriched and demanding curriculum. University Advising focuses on the implementation of advising practices across the majors.


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Highlighting Renewing Level I Member:
Augusta County Economic Development

Located in the center of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and at the intersection of I-64 and I-81, Augusta County offers a premiere Virginia location, a business-friendly environment, and affordable tax rates. Touted for our hospitality and can-do attitude, several of America's most well-known companies have located and expanded here. Pair that with our vibrant small cities and our breath-taking natural attractions, and you'll find the limitless opportunities we provide. More information at www.AugustaVABusiness.com.


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Job Opening: Software Engineer

Jenzabar is looking for a talented and experienced Software Engineer to join our team of passionate people in designing and developing a high quality, end user focused administrative web application for higher education. This individual should be highly proficient with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript/jQuery and have a passion for web development as well as a keen eye for well-designed UX and UI. The Software Engineer should have solid experience with Responsive Web Design techniques to build interfaces which will adapt to the many devices in which our end users will use to access our application. Solid experience with developing .Net MVC web applications and the .Net framework is highly preferred. If you enjoy working in a team environment to develop an application that will not just let users do their work but help them do their work, then please consider joining the Jenzabar team.

 
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Job Opening: Web Developer
James Madison University IT| Harrisonburg

James Madison University ( JMU ) is currently recruiting for a creative, self-motivated Web Developer to help support JMU's current web infrastructure. This position will support end user publishing to university web servers using the  JMU  Content Management System (Cascade Server) and also some development of miscellaneous web applications that support the main university website.

More information at JMU Joblink


Job Opening: Assistant or Associate Professor of Data Science
JMU Co llege of Integrated Science and Engineering| Harrisonburg

The Department of Integrated Science and Technology ( ISAT ) at James Madison University ( JMU ) invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor beginning August, 2018. The Department of Integrated Science and Technology (soon to become the School of Integrated Sciences) is a dynamic, highly interdisciplinary academic unit of 50 faculty with terminal degrees in 39 different fields. Our graduates are innovative problem solvers with strong analytical and teaming skills that enable them to work on complex socio-technical problems facing organizations, communities, and society. Additional information on the department and its individual programs can be found at http://www.isat.jmu.edu.


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Job Opening: 
Director of Information Technology 

Lexington City Schools | Lexington

The Director of Information Technology is responsible for the design, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of all server, network, and computing technology for Lexington City Schools and the City of Lexington. This position also assists with networking and server support at the Rockbridge ECC. The position reports to the Superintendent of Lexington City Schools and the City Manager. Given oversight of the city's varied technology infrastructure, the Director of Information Technology must be self - driven, organized, and possess a keen attention to detail. As primary support for faculty, staff, and students, the Director of Information Technology must also be collaborative and committed to customer service. 


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Job Opening: 
Senior Systems Developer
Remote (Anywhere in the US)

The Systems team at Treehouse helps plan, build, document, and maintain the services and underlying technical infrastructure of the Treehouse website. They run on OpenStack and codify their infrastructure with Ruby and Chef. Additionally, they run applications on all major operating systems.

In addition to performing the duties of a Systems Developer, the Senior Systems Developer provides the team with technical support and leadership.
 
More information at teamtreehouse.com

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Job Opening: 
IT Manager
People Places | Staunton

People Places, a 40+ year 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is looking for a difference-maker to join their team! This is an immediate opening. They are hiring an Information Technology ("IT") Manager who will ensure the streamlined operation of the IT department in alignment with the business objectives of the organization.
 
More information at peopleplaces.org

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Job Opening: 
IT Manager
Massanutten Resort| McGaheysville

Massanutten Resort is currently seeking an experienced IT Manager to oversee network administration and day-to-day Help Desk operations. Must have extensive IT, supervisory, and budgeting experience. Degree in the IT field and/or relevant certifications and commensurate experience are a must. 

Responsible for designing, organizing, modifying, and supporting computer systems, databases, firewalls, and networks. Manage the functions of the Network Admins and Help Desk to ensure security and availability of network resources. Drive improvement in networked systems efficiency and standardization. Supervise projects.


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Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

Currently there are 18 channels and over 250 members. Please join in! 
Sign-up link:  https://rocktowntech.herokuapp.com/

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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 3615
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540-568-7882

 

 

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