Plan to join your fellow tech users and creators on Monday,
April 29, 2019.
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
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
to anticipate questions in each category.
Neither nominee or nominator need to be a member of the SVTC.
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 Award
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.
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 Award
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.
Innovation in Utilization Award
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
Recipient's leadership has served as a catalyst for positive technology-related activity in the Shenandoah Valley.
People's Choice Award
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)
No-Cost Cybersecurity Assessments
at Blue Ridge Community College
BRCC is now offering no-cost basic cybersecurity assessments
for select businesses in the Shenandoah Valley!
This assessment starts by reviewing
your existing cybersecurity program to understand how prepared you are to deal with sophisticated attacks, including examining your relevant internal documentation, and then meeting with individuals in your organization who know how your security works in practice. You'll develop a profile showing strengths, weaknesses, and suggested improvements across
six key cybersecurity areas
The assessment team will check passwords, operating system versions, network device firmware versions, and the like to assess your risk level and vulnerability to
ransomware, phishing attacks, and malware infection
. The assessment team
will NOT request access to your computer systems, do any penetration testing of your systems, or access any information on your devices.
When onsite, the cybersecurity assessment team interviews key staff members and conducts interactive discussions with your management and security team to explore areas of concern and to learn how your people, tools, and processes contribute to your current incident detection and response capabilities.
Next, they may ask
to check your operation system versions, firewall and network device firmware versions, antivirus/malware versions, password policies, etc.
They do not need any personal details, passwords, or have any access to your data.
Finally, the team will prepare a comprehensive report that details findings and prioritizes recommended actions your organization should take in order to improve its cybersecurity. Also included is a rating of each action's importance , cost, and implementation difficulty, along with a roadmap view of short-, medium-, and long-term implementation strategies.
Interested in getting a free cybersecurity assessment?
Contact Dan O'Brien at
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and we'll verify your SVTC membership status, and then pass you on for registration with JMU Prof. Development.
OPEN TO ALL AREA YOUTH IN GRADES 9-12
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 email@example.com for more details.
Madison Network Event for Students (2/8)
Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided.
Dress - Business casual.
- 4:00-4:15pm- students arrive and network with alumni
- 4:15-4:30pm- Welcome from Madison Network team
- 4:30-5:15pm- Panel of alumni facilitated by the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship - Patrick McQuown
- 5:15- 6:00pm- students and alumni network until event conclusion at 6pm
February 4 - 14, 2019
10% off for SVTC members!
If interested send us a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Maker City Boot Camps:
Laser Cutting Level II (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.
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 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.
Submit online by February 22nd @ 11:59 pm
Each year, the Virginia Council on Women (Council) will provide one scholarship to a high school junior or senior in each of five geographic regions across the Commonwealth. Award amounts may vary and are determined by the Council annually.
All applicants for the Virginia Council on Women STEM Essay Contest must:
- Be a Virginia resident
- Be enrolled in a Virginia-based high school
- Be a high school junior or senior girl or identify as a girl
- Be planning to attend an institution of higher education to include but not limited to a community college, four-year college or university, trade or technical school
- Be planning to pursue a STEM major
- Have a minimum 2.5 GPA
Each STEM Essay Contest applicant must adhere to the following:
- Write an original essay created exclusively for the Virginia Council on Women STEM Essay Contest.
- The essay should be at least 700 words but shall not exceed 1,000 words.
- Quotes and any ideas that are not your own should be attributed to the appropriate source within the body of the essay and bibliography. Do not use footnotes and endnotes. Do not include the bibliography in the word count.
- Do not include illustrations, graphics, or diagrams.
- Essays should include an explanation of why you want to pursue a STEM career and education
Feb. 22, 6pm - Feb. 23, 6pm
JMU Lakeview Hall, Harrisonburg
Innovation X is a 24 hour design competition where students are presented with a themed challenge where they search for and create a solution. Students are able to use the resources at the JMU X-labs which include but are not limited to: laser cutting, vinyl cutting, wood working machines etc. At the end of the event a panel of judges, built of business professionals, evaluate projects and award prizes.
This event allows people to practice the design-thinking process, get hands-on experience with prototyping, and meet current professionals in various fields. Also, if you want to attend the event, but you don't have a team don't worry! We can put together teams of individuals at the start.
**Important to note: you don't have to stay at Lakeview the entire time, but there will be free food and activities for the entire duration of the event. Activities include: make your own t-shirt design, networking opportunities (bring your resume - business casual not required), and a special event.
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.
- 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.
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:
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
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!
At BarTrack, we are fighting the waste problem that many establishments are incurring. Any place that sells beer through a tap are losing roughly 25% on every keg! We have created a patent-pending smart beer tap that pours every beer perfectly, and coupled that with an inventory management system that tracks every pour, allowing customers to be able to view data, trends, and analytics. Instead of pulling down the tap handle, you simply click on a touch screen and the perfect pour and head are dispensed. Cheers!
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
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!
GOT ADDITIONAL JOBS THAT SHOULD BE PUBLICIZED
? SEND US A NOTE AND WE'LL PUBLICIZE THEM.
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)
Membership Badge Available
SVTC MEMBERS INVITATION: DISPLAY YOUR MEMBERSHIP STATUS
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Let us know when you incorporate this graphic and we'll mention your site in return!
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.
>> Ready to become a member, too?
>> How have you benefited from participating in our activities and/ or from membership? Tell us!
Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 3615
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807