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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
January 13, 2017
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Bits and Grits (1/17)
SVTC Luncheon: MACH37 Cyber Accelerator | What is it and how to participate (1/19)
Tech on the Wharf (1/19)
Caffeinate/Innovate (1/18)
Invest Local Meet & Greet January 2017 (1/19)
E-N Computers Lunch & Learn: Help Desk Best Practice (2/8)
SVTC Member News: Chiedo John Adds Two IT Companies
MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Opens Applications for Spring 2017 Session
Highlighting Renewing Level I Member: Augusta County Economic Development
Job Opening: Associate Instructor of Technical Studies
Job Opening: Chiedo Labs front-end/back-end Developers
Bits and Grits

Jan. 17, 2017 |8:00am-9:00am| 
Mrs. Rowes |Staunton

Come get together for great breakfast and to talk some tech. Dutch treat. No reservations required. 

This is where our technology users and creators get together to connect about various topics (while eating some good food!). This occurs on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Look for Kurt Plowman.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11 :45 AM  -1 :00 PM | Wood Grill Buffet | Harrisonburg

MACH37 Cyber Accelerator | What is this accelerator for security entrepreneurs all about? How can information security product startups and security entrepreneurs participate?

Speakers: Rick Gordon, Managing Partner, and Dan Woolley, General Partner.  (MACH37™ is a division of CIT and is operated by the MACH37™ partners.)

With special guest: Dr. Sven Brueckner, Chief Technology Officer, AxonAI, Inc. -- Axon AI ( is a successful -and local- graduate of the MACH37 Accelerator. Get his perspective from the "been there, done it, and you can, too" corner!

MACH37 is the premier accelerator for information security entrepreneurs and startups. The program consists of an intense 90-day session in which selected startups are coached in all aspects of creating a sustainable and successful business. MACH37 goes beyond the traditional model of typical business accelerators by bringing our innovators focused mentorship and support from our extensive network of visionaries, practitioners, buyers, and successful entrepreneurs in security. 

MACH37 is now accepting applications from information security product startups and security entrepreneurs for its Spring 2017 (S17) Cohort session that begins on March 14th. The program is open to startups from any geography whose founders are ready to immerse themselves in a proven program designed to produce the next generation of leading security product companies.

Networking begins at 11:45 am. Dutch treat. | Membership not required.

By registering you enable us to bring you a pre-printed nametag.

Thank you SVTC luncheon sponsors, aka Level III & Level II members!

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The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council is hosting Tech on the Wharf networking event in Staunton. We will meet for PIZZA, beer and other beverages, and conversation! 

Our friends at LightCastle Technical Consulting and Lingo Networks are sponsoring the pizza and beverages!

Membership in SVTC is not required. | All users and creators of technology are welcome.

Registering  prior the event enables   us to bring pre-printed name tags for networking and helps us plan attendance  

 The Hub Coworking, Harrisonburg; 7:30am-9:00 am

A coffee-fueled gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators and idea-generators at any stage. Held the third Wednesday of every month, January's format includes:
  • 7:30-8:00 Networking + Free Coffee/Espresso catered by Nomad Mobile Coffee.
  • 8:00-8:15 Early-stage company pitch from VA Momentum with time for input from the attendees.
  • 8:15-8:45 Presentation from an expert entrepreneur: Chiedo from Chiedo Labs--lessons learned, failures and successes, secrets and advice
  • 8:45-9:00 Q&A and continued networking
Join BlueHub on Wednesday morning to hear Chiedo's entrepreneurial journey. Not only does he head up four companies (one of which he started in college) but he also may be solely responsible for the label "not for individual resale" on Costco candy bars.  

Photo Credit: Be Thou My Vision Photography |

Thursday, January 19, 2017  |  6:00 PM  -  7:30 PM | The Hub Coworking

Do you have a passion for a project that needs funding? Are you looking for a way to get more local dollars into the community? Are you interested in changing the way money flows into our neighborhoods? 

Join us for an evening for drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and new friendships as we bring together the faces of the Invest Local Project: makers, entrepreneurs, investors and supporters.

We're building the networks for a thriving local economy and opening opportunities for local investing. 

All are welcome to join us at The Hub Coworking in Harrisonburg with catering from  NOMS Deli Food Truck / Fine Flours Bakery- Dedicated Gluten-Free!

E-N Computers: Help Desk Best Practice | Lunch & Learn
 for IT Managers and CIOs
Feb. 8, 2017 | 11:30am | Wood Grill Buffet |Harrisonburg

A panel of speakers led by Ian MacRae of E-N Computers, will discuss Help Desk best practices. The presentation will include defining service levels and building a service catalog.

There will be additional discussion on reactive versus proactive Help Desk operations and the importance of service metrics.

Dutch Treat.

SVTC Member News: Chiedo John Adds Two IT Companies
Author: Vic Bradshaw, Daily News-Record | Jan. 8, 2017 |Harrisonburg, VA

(reprinted with permission)
HARRISONBURG - A downtown information technology company is expanding its offerings.
Chiedo John, founder of The Chiedo Cos., is adding two new segments to his existing two business lines. Chiedo IT will provide business IT and network support, while Chiedo Cyber will provide cyber security training for small and medium businesses and help them assess their online security needs.  Chiedo Cyber is in a soft launch mode while The Chiedo Cos. increase staff size by five to seven people to handle the extra work, which John said likely will be completed in the next month.  John said he's studied the cyber preparedness of smaller businesses and thinks many companies need help if they're to upgrade security effectively.

"People are getting hacked a lot," he said, "so there's a huge gap in cyber security knowledge between professionals and the average layperson. I want to act as a consultant, talk to businesses do employee training, help them connect with the big guys (in cybersecurity) when needed, and help them understand all the mumbo jumbo that comes at them in every direction when it comes to cybersecurity."  Chiedo IT represents an acquisition by the Chiedo Cos. John's friend Josiah Weaver agreed to bring Weaver IT Services, his part-time technical support business, under the Chiedo umbrella for an ownership stake in The Chiedo Cos. and a seat on its board. "Working together," John said, "we'll be able to make it better."
Cybersecurity Product Test
The new IT businesses join Chiedo Labs and Chiedo Marketing in the company portfolio.  Chiedo Labs creates websites and mobile applications for clients and runs a startup incubator. Chiedo Marketing helps clients with their online marketing efforts.  John started his IT businesses in 2012, a year before he graduated from James Madison University. He operates out of a space over top Court Square Theater. 

Brian Shull Harrisonburg's economic development director, said it's good to see a company started by a JMU graduate establish itself locally and grow so rapidly. He credited John's technical knowledge and customer service skills, noting that Chiedo Labs built the city's new economic development website.  "I think Chiedo recognized the needs in the community and had responded accordingly," Shull said. "It's also nice to see that it's a close tie-in with some of Harrisonburg's efforts in trying to target these types of businesses as growth industries."  "His companies are certainly a nice fit for what we envisioned for our technology zone downtown. He is the perfect case study of what we were trying to accomplish."   John said he's been reading up on cybersecurity as much as possible over the last six months to learn the complex niche of the IT industry, and he attended a cybersecurity workshop with national experts offered by the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (and the SVTC!) in October.

He also has a good contact base in the field, including a friend from JMU who's worked in the industry for years. Those resources will be tapped when a matter is beyond his expertise.  "We intend to do as much as we can but we'll primarily be consultants, recommending solutions for [clients], helping them know what to implement," John said. "We'll have people talk to us, develop a plan, coordinate with vendors, and help set up the antivirus network and web security."   Employee training is expected to be an important part of the business because many security breaches are triggered by human error.

Chiedo Cyber is testing its first cybersecurity product, GhostCipher, with the help of three local nonprofits: the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and Christian Light Publications.  When his hiring blitz is complete, John said his companies will be providing income for about 15 partners and employees. It might be growing again soon, as he said he hopes to launch two more IT companies late this year or in early 2018. 

To view full article please visit:

MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Opens Applications for Spring 2017 Session
Spring '17 Cohort to Begin on March 14 th

December 14, 2016 (HERNDON, Va.) - The MACH37 Cyber Accelerator has officially announced it will begin accepting applications from information security product startups and security entrepreneurs for its Spring 2017 (S17) Cohort that begins on March 14 th. 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 encourages entrepreneurs with emerging products and companies to apply for the S17 Cohort, which will be limited to 8 companies. The program is open to startups from any geography whose founders are ready to immerse themselves in a mentorship program designed to produce the next generation of leading security product companies. The program brings together domain experts, successful security entrepreneurs, buyers, and investors familiar with the security market into a platform that supports the rapid launch of next generation security technologies.
Upon acceptance into the program, participants receive a $50,000 investment to develop and launch their ideas into the market. MACH37 companies receive ongoing access to the   MACH37 Stars Mentor Network and will have support of our network throughout the life of their enterprise.
On December 6 th, the Fall 2016 (F16) cohort session concluded at the F16 Demo Day where graduating companies presented to a crowd of over 180 external mentors, investors and industry experts. With the graduation of the F16 Cohort, MACH37 has helped launch 40 cyber companies in just three years of operation. Many of the companies in the MACH37 portfolio reached significant milestones within the past 6 months, including; Virgil Security Inc. raised a $4M Series A round, Atomicorp Inc. raised a $1M Seed round, and Cyber Algorithms announced an acquisition by Thycotic. 
"The program that we have developed allows entrepreneurs to quickly validate new cybersecurity concepts and rapidly scale their businesses to reach the market more quickly. Our unique curriculum and design not only places a heavy emphasis on the validation of product ideas but also stresses the development of relationships that will effectively produce an initial customer base and investment capital," said Rick Gordon, MACH37 Managing Partner. "We are on the hunt to find entrepreneurs and security experts who will help build the next wave of disruptive security technology. If you're an entrepreneur solving a difficult security challenge in a novel way, we would like to hear from you."
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.

To learn more, please visit and follow @MACH37cyber on Twitter.
Highlighting Renewing Level I Member
Augusta County Economic Development

Augusta County strives to provide a diverse and vibrant economy that offers a broad range of job opportunities in manufacturing, services, tourism and agriculture while supporting the delivery of high quality government services to its citizens. We endeavor to maximize economic opportunities for the area in a cost-effective manner and to provide the necessary resources to support the growth of existing and prospective businesses. Another goal is to create an environment that encourages, values and supports entrepreneurship. We strive to provide a level of awareness amongst students and young adults of the availability of local career and economic opportunities.

Job Openings: 
Associate Instructor of Technical Studies
From: Lord Fairfax Community College

This position will provide leadership for the applied trades and manufacturing certificates and programs in the Division of Business, Education, and Technology. Specific duties include coordinating various existing trades programs such as Electrical, HVAC, and Welding.  The position, in collaboration with engineering faculty, will also lead the development of new courses and programs relevant to a multi-craft/manufacturing technician program.   This instructor will coordinate high school "Trades Academy" programs and will lead the development of a trades academy for the Luray-Page County center location. This position may teach at off-site locations within the LFCC service region.  Fostering relationships with business and industry leaders, secondary partners, and the offices of Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education (WSCE) is important for the position.  

Link to the job posting and application process is:

Job Openings: Junior front-end/WordPress Developer and/or Junior back-end Developer
From: Chiedo Labs, Inc. Company

Chiedo Labs is looking to hire two part-time or one full-time individual for one or both of the following positions in the next 2-3 weeks. Scheduling is flexible, the company is young and run by a 2013 JMU graduate. 
Junior front-end/WordPress Developer
Skills needed: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, WordPress template theme development.
Junior back-end Developer
Skills needed: PHP, Ruby on Rails, NodeJS, MySQL

To learn more, visit If interested, please email with your resume and Github URL if available.

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



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