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February 1,  2019
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Save the Date for TechNite19! (4/29)
10% Off JMU Professional Development Certificates for SVTC Members
Build Season is Open: FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) / Rocktown Robotics
EngineerGirl Writing Contest for Grades 3rd-12th (deadline 2/1)
Maker City Boot Camps: Laser Cutting Level I & Level II (2/2, 2/16)
Cybersecurity: Don't Be the Next Headline | A Cyber Attack Seminar (2/4)
CXO CyberSecurity Conference (2/7)
Cybersecurity Basics for Managers (2/4-2/14)
SVTC Luncheon | Natural Language Processing: What is It and How Does it Affect Business? (2/21)
Spring 2019 ICAP Lean Startup Course (deadline 2/25)
ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls (register by 3/1)
Future Engineers: Weather Balloon Challenge for Grades K-8 (entries due 3/6)
Welcome New SVTC Member: GreeneHurlocker PLC
Welcome Back Level I Member: Bridgewater College
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Plan to join your fellow tech users and creators on Monday,  April 29, 2019. 
Until then,  review the award categories and c onsider nominating yourself or someone else! 
The nomination form will open on February 13. 

Nominations are most competitive when they are well coordinated between nominator and nominee, AND when they are accurate and complete. Self-nominations are welcome (no one knows who made what nomination for whom.)
Get a head start: review the categories, conceive of a good nominee, start communicating with that potential nominee, and gather the details.
Take a look at the guidelines (pdf) to anticipate questions in each category. 
Neither nominee or nominator need to be a member of the SVTC.  

Everything to get you started:  TechNite19 award categories and nomination guidelines
Want to know who's won before? Look at previous SVTC Tech Nite nominees & winners .

Award Categories for 2019:

JMU College of Integrated Science and Engineering (CISE)'s Innovation in Community Impact Award
The ICI is awarded to an individual, team, non-profit/civic organization, or company in the Shenandoah Valley that aspires to use its capabilities to help solve a social or environmental issue in a local community while using technology to amplify the impact of a service, mission, or project. - A metric or measurable result of the impact is desired. Collaborative efforts are welcome and encouraged.

JMU College of Business (COB)'s
Innovation in Emerging Business Award
Awarded to a Shenandoah Valley start-up/emerging technology company or entrepreneur.
Must have 1-25 employees.

JMU College of Education (CoE)'s & JMU College of Science and Mathematics (CSM)'s
Innovation in Education K-12
Awarded to the educator or program that provides exceptional technology leadership, innovative use, and/or development of technology, within the region's K-12 educational system or technology-training program while encouraging students to pursue higher education or training in science, technology, engineering or math.

Cadence's I nnovation in Higher Education Award
Awarded to the educator or program that provides exceptional technology leadership, innovative use and/or development of technology in the Shenandoah Valley region's higher educational system or technology-training program, while encouraging students to pursue higher education or training in science, technology, engineering, or math.

Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)'s Innovation in Development
Awarded to a company or organization whose development of new technology applications and/or systems creates new processes, methodologies, and/or services for their own or others' benefit.

Dynamic Aviation's Innovation in Utilization
This award recognizes outstanding commercial growth and achievement by an established company that either produces or markets high tech products or services, or an established company or organization that produces/offers more traditional products and services (where technology itself is not the core business purpose).


Shentel's Dr. Noftsinger Leadership Award
Recipient's leadership has served as a catalyst for positive technology-related activity in the Shenandoah Valley.

Serco's People's Choice
Awarded to one nominee from the other categories. All nominees are candidates - and the company, organization, or individual with the most votes through social media before and during the event will win. Voting starts the day all nominees are publicized and continues during the gala. (A special hashtag will be used; look for the announcement)

10% Off JMU Professional Development
Courses for SVTC Members

10% off for SVTC members ANYTIME!

Quick reminder - as a partner with JMU's Professional Development program the SVTC is delighted to connect SVTC with these classes for 10% off! Classes that will start soon! If interested (now or after Jan. 31) send us a note ( and we'll verify your SVTC membership status, and then pass you on for registration with JMU Prof. Development. 

Rocktown Robotics is a community-based FIRST Robotics Competition team, in partnership with JMU X-Labs and open to all students in the area in grades 9-12.  

Working within a set of regulations, budgetary constraints, and with limited resources, groups of high school students work together in teams to design, construct, and program industrial-sized robots to play a challenging game against competitors on a field about the size of a basketball court.  It is a real-world engineering challenge in which the students learn teamwork, leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.  Roles incorporate every aspect of a real engineering project, including project and budget management, marketing, communication, and business planning, in addition to learning sophisticated software, programming, electrical, and technical skills. No prior technical skills are needed though to participate!!

The 2019 competition season has just begun and runs through April.  The team is currently recruiting new members. ALSO WANTED: mentors. Email for more details.   

Learn more about FIRST Robotics Competition:
Submit online by February 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Every year, the EngineerGirl website sponsors a contest dealing with engineering and its impact on our world. The EngineerGirl writing contest is, for the first time, asking students to submit works of creative fiction.  Intended to inspire children, especially girls, in the world of engineering, participants will create and submit an original piece of writing that celebrates engineering design and problem solving.   This year, they are asking for stories about women and girls saving the day with their wits, skill, and whatever resources they can find to solve the problem. Maybe they are working alone, maybe they are part of an elite team. Maybe they just find themselves in an unusual situation that requires some innovative thinking. They want stories that inspire EngineerGirl readers to think, "I want to be able to do that" or "I can do that." To enter this year's contest, write an original, fictional story in which the main character is a female who uses engineering skills to solve a problem. 

Maker City Boot Camps:
Laser Cutting Level I & Level II (2/2, 2/16)  
Jan. 26, 2019 |  10 am - 12 pm
Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg
Members: free; Non-members: $7

Boot camps are a great way to get started and to build your Maker City skills. You'll learn more about Maker City's specialized work zones and the Master Maker Badge Program. Sign up for one or all of the following: 

Laser Cutting Level I (previously 2D Design) - Saturday, February 2nd | 10 AM - 12 PM
Before you can produce a finished product, you must first learn Inkscape, a 2D Design program! After you've learned the design basics, take the Laser Cutting Level II Boot Camp and transform your designs into beautiful objects. Ages 8+

Laser Cutting II - Saturday, February 16th | 10 AM - 12 PM
Learn how the Museum's Laser Cutter works! Students will troubleshoot Inkscape designs and transfer them to the Laser Cutter so the computer renderings can be transformed into a physical object. Prerequisite: Completion of Laser Cutting Level I (previously called 2D Design) Ages 8+

Advance registration required. Free with your membership or paid admission.

February 4, 2019 | 8:30 am - 10:00 am
Hotel Madison & Shen. Valley Conference Center, Harrisonburg

Learn To Protect Your Data, Your Reputation and Your Profitability

Is Your Business Safe from a Cyber Attack?
Cyber attacks and the resulting data breaches are too often headline news. Cyber criminals have moved past large corporations to focus their attention on small to medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits. With fewer resources and a false sense of security, it's no wonder these organizations are big targets. The unfortunate reality is cyber intrusion is no longer a question of if, but when.

With the cost of cyber crime expected to rise to $6 trillion by 2020, response and recovery costs will only increase. Organizations need to take a proactive stance rather than a reactive one. Don't miss this chance to learn how you can prevent and protect your organization from the embarrassment, legal liability, lost income and decreased productivity that result from a cyber breach.

What can you expect to learn during the presentation?
  • Current cyber trends and threats
  • Lessons learned from the Target breach
  • The true cost of a breach
  • Considerations when working with third party vendors
  • How to reduce your organization's risk
No organization wants to be a headline story for a cyber attack that resulted in a breach. Join us and learn how you can protect your data, your reputation and your organization's financial future. Seating is limited. Register today.

February 7, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hotel Madison & Shen. Valley Conference Center, Harrisonburg

Join us at the CXO CyberSecurity Conference to find out why CyberSecurity is the CXOs new priority. Learn from, and network with, key players in cybersecurity during this exclusive conference geared for CXOs.
Cybercriminals are laughing all the way to the bank. Learn how to keep your business safe.

Interested in attending? C ontact Trina at  to receive a ticket invitation.
February 4 - 14, 2019 
February 4:   9:00am-4:30pm,  Downtown Harrisonburg
February 7:  9:00-11:00am, Online
February 11:  9:00am-4:30pm,  Downtown Roanoke
February 14:  9:00-11:00am, Online

10% off for SVTC members!  If interested send us a note ( and we will verify your SVTC membership status and pass you on for registration with JMU Prof. Development.  

Are you being asked to shape how your organization protects its customer data or email systems?  Are your customers relying on you to protect their payment information?  Do you need a place to start learning about fundamental cybersecurity concepts?

This two-week crash course is designed for leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs who have a limited technical background related to cybersecurity, data security, and information technology.  The JMU Cybersecurity Basics for Managers noncredit certificate program is discussion-oriented and formatted for the working professional.

Participants will gain knowledge that can inform their strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risks, secure data and information, build secure infrastructure, and hire qualified personnel and vendors.

About the Instructor:
David Cafaro, CISSP/CCSP has been working in Information Technology for over two decades with a heavy focus on information security. Currently he is an Information Security Officer at Capital One where he leads a team providing security and risk management expertise on application, cloud, and on-prem technologies. Though currently working in the financial sector, his career has brought him through a variety of industries including environmental lab testing, government, telecommunications, and cancer research.  David holds a Masters in Computer Science from Georgetown University where he focused on security and privacy in the information age.  In addition to his careers focus on cyber security, David has also been active in sharing his knowledge through open source and community projects including working with the BSidesDC Security Conference to help organize the KidsCon section for the last 4 years.

February 21, 2019 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Wood Grill Buffet, Harrisonburg
Natural language processing (NLP) is a technology that is becoming increasingly important for the business community. Given a text input, NLP systems can break the document into sentences and individual words, identify parts of speech (verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.), and recognize names of people, places, organizations, etc. NLP also parses sentences to depict the dependency relationships between words, and attempts to recognize coreferences so that pronouns in a document can be associated with names that occur earlier in the document. NLP applications include analysis of twitter feeds, customer reviews, blogs, news stories, or any other corpus of text that may be relevant to an organization. This ability to impose structure on unstructured data promises to be very helpful to industry.

About the Speaker
Mike Mitri, a CIS professor at JMU, has developed an application called Story Analyzer that uses an NLP engine to extract information from a textual narrative and identify the main actions of the story, the people or entities that perform these actions, the people or entities affected by these actions, and other contexts (places, times, etc.). Story Analyzer then displays the results in a dashboard that includes interactive word clouds, geographical map, timeline, and other visualizations. He will discuss the mechanics of NLP and demonstrate the dashboard. A fun time will be had by all.

Applications due February 25, 2019 @ midnight

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.

Important Dates
  • February 25, 2019 - Applications are due by midnight.
  • March 1, 2019 - Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.
  • TBD (Early March)- 6:00pm - 8:00pm - Introductory Conference Call
  • March 15, 2019- 9:00am - 5:00pm - Initial Team Presentations
  • March 22, 2019 - Each team participates in a pre-scheduled telephone review of the team's Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
  • April 5, 2019- 9:00am - 2:00pm - Final Team Presentations
During this introductory 2-week program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to the class meetings and webinar, 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 over the following 12 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 full National Seven-week 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 the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP), a program funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by George Mason University and the  Virginia Small Business Development Center Network (VSBDC). Here he helps researchers, inventors, and technology startups develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He's also an instructor with the  NSF's DC I-Corp Node, and co-director of the Fed Tech program, which uses Lean Startup methods to assist inventors from government labs to explore the commercial viability of their inventions.

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:


Register by March 1, 2019
Submit Project online by April 15th
The challenge is simple. Build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of four themes - global health, a safer world, intelligent technology, and bridging inequalities. You can think of it as a virtual hackathon for middle school girls.

Participants will embark on an exciting journey over the next few months while they're building their project. After they pick a theme and finalize a project idea, they'll be ready to get started with building. Building can mean anything from physically putting together machine parts for a robot to writing code for a mobile app to prototyping a new prosthetic device. The possibilities are endless. After an initial build, they will want to test it to make sure everything works the way they want it to. And after multiple retests and rebuilds, they'll finally end up with a product that they're not only proud of, but which can make a difference. More information on how to participate:

About ProjectCSGIRLS
ProjectCSGIRLS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to cultivate a love for technology and computer science in girls and encourage them to pursue their interests and careers in these fields. They believe that nurturing an interest in science, math, and technology during the critical middle school period will help girls to better see themselves as the future leaders of tomorrow. They aim to do this through a unique idea - the nation's largest computer science competition for middle school girls. ProjectCSGIRLS is run by high school and college students from around the country who are incredibly passionate about computer science and technology. 
Entries due online March 6, 2019 by 11:59 pm
The Challenge:  If you are a K-8 student in the United States, your challenge is to design a weather balloon payload for Future Engineers to launch in Los Angeles, CA. 

First: Using historical data, create 2-3 data visualizations that explain Los Angeles weather and/or climate, including average annual temperatures in Los Angeles for the past 20 years. 

Second: Using recycled materials and "paper and penny" mockup components, design a payload that can hang from a helium weather balloon and survive an 8 foot drop test. Your entry must include images (up to 6), a title, and a text description. Be sure to review the CONTEST RULES and DESIGN GUIDELINES for all challenge details and specifications. 

If you win, your design will be launched and you will also get a weather balloon supply kit!
Welcome New SVTC Member!
GreeneHurlocker PLC

GreeneHurlocker PLC is a boutique corporate, commercial real estate and regulatory law firm with offices in Richmond and Harrisonburg. Led in the Shenandoah Valley by partner Jared Burden and joined in Richmond by six attorneys, GreeneHurlocker provides counsel to business and non-profits working in technology, renewable energy, agribusiness, technology, commercial real estate development and other industries. The firm offers its custom-designed OPENgc Outside General Counsel Services to companies without in-house counsel but with frequent need for legal advice.
Welcome Back Level I Member!
Bridgewater College

Bridgewater College is an independent, private liberal arts college founded in 1880 and was the first private coeducational college in Virginia. Located only two hours southwest of the Washington, D.C. metro area, Bridgewater has a total enrollment of more than 1,800 students and offers bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in more than 60 majors and minors, along with pre-professional programs such as medicine and law, dual degree programs and teacher certification. Learning at Bridgewater reaches far beyond the classroom...and far beyond the academic. Students develop not only intellectually, but also socially and ethically. Grounded in the liberal arts, students at Bridgewater College learn about a variety of disciplines, enabling them to become articulate, analytical and assertive. They are challenged by rigorous academics in a close-knit community and collaborate with faculty to create personalized and unique learning experiences. Bridgewater is committed to cultivating the full potential of its students to excel in all areas of life. Academic excellence, service, ethical values and a strong community shape the Bridgewater experience.
  • Bridgewater College Art Department (Practitioner in Residence: Visual Designer)

  • SV Electric Cooperative, Harrisonburg (PC Technician, Application Specialist)

  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Developer, Senior Software Developer, UX Designer, etc) 

  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
  • IT Decisions, Harrisonburg (Level 2 Technician / Systems Engineer)
  • Immerge, Harrisonburg (Digital Marketing Specialist & Content Writer)
  • Harrisonburg IT Department (Technology Support Specialist)
  • Chiedo, Harrisonburg (Web Development Intern) -- No experience required!
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

Currently there are 18 channels and over 250 members. Please join in! 
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The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council does not endorse the companies, organizations, teams, or events mentioned, or take a stand on any of the articles or notices or events included.

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