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Registration Open | SVTC Luncheon | Protecting Small & Medium-Size Businesses From Cyber Attacks (1/23)
Save the Date | TechNite20 | Tues. May 5, 2020
Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority Overview
Augusta County Public Schools Seeking Partners for Young Innovators Summer Camp
Public Invited to Interact with Berryville Institute of Machine Learning Co-Founder Gary McGraw (1/22)
The Ethics of Technology Series: World Without Mind (1/30)
ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course | Harrisonburg (app. due 2/17)
ProjectCSGirls Competition | For Middle School Girls (registration deadline 3/1)
Welcome Back Silver Level Member: Segra
Sproutly logo Welcome Back Level III Member: Sproutly, LLC
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link

January 23, 2020 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Wood Grill Buffet, Harrisonburg

Protecting small and medium-size businesses from cyber attacks.
Lessons learned from the GO Virginia cybersecurity program at BRCC
Dan O'Brien - current GO Virginia cybersecurity program manager, a former cybersecurity analyst with the US Department of Justice, and also an instructor at Blue Ridge Community College - will talk about best methods for businesses to protect themselves from losses due to cyber-attacks. From BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies to backups, from business impact analyses to cybersecurity assessments, and from ransomware to spearfishing protection, the presentation will help to raise cybersecurity maturity organizations and companies. O'Brien will cover new forms of hacking and attacking to keep you up-to-date.

How can you be sure that your vendors are cyber secure? Many attacks these days originate from cyber-insecure companies that share networks with bigger companies such as yours, so their open doors to hackers are yours as well. Also, learn how the GO Virginia cybersecurity program is being used to assist the US Congress with their upcoming Cyber Ready Workforce Act.

Thank you luncheon sponsors: 


Save the Date | TechNite20 | Tues. May 5, 2020

Awarding Innovative Valley Businesses, Educators, Leaders, and Entrepreneurs

Once a year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council highlights local tech innovation. We celebrate the successes of technology firms, organizations and programs in the region - and the entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, and educators behind those successes. This is the council's biggest to-do of the year. At this premier dinner, the networking opportunities are unparalleled. Tech Nite is the largest annual technology event in the Valley.

Largest SVTC Event Of The Year: May 5, 2020

During Tech Nite, approx. 275 attendees honor and recognize the technology innovators of the area. This recognition helps organizations and individuals immensely - the winning organization is able to expand its network, attract employees, and obtain publicity inside and often outside of the local region. Tech Nite allows attendees to witness the successes and innovative progression of the Shenandoah Valley. We encourage everyone to attend, network with others, and celebrate the innovative companies, organizations, educators, and leaders in our area.

Recap of TechNite19:
In 2020:
  • Nominations for the 8 award categories are accepted from Feb. 2020-March 2020 (a form will be active for online submission)
  • Previous award sponsors have "first dibs" to get their previously-sponsored award categories if they communicate by early Jan. 2020. To join the waitlist for an award, drop Nicky a note (
  • All sponsorship opportunities are listed here: Tech Nite 2020 sponsorship details. Get your organization positioned in front of the premier tech crowd of the year. 
Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority Overview
The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council is one of several organizations in support of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA). Below you will see a brief overview of the proposed legislation: 

Need: To support the entire life cycle of innovation, from translational research, to entrepreneurship, to pre-seed and seed stage funding, to acceleration, growth and commercialization, enhancing Virginia's tech-based economic development. 

Virginia lags behind peer states: 
  • Reports have shown Virginia is behind peer states and the country in commercialization of research, technology innovation, and overall high-growth tech-enabled entrepreneurial success. 
  • Virginia's has limited funding for de-risking university technologies and there remains conflicts faced by universities between "revenue maximization" and "value creation." 
  • Virginia is lagging in formal venture capital funding at seed and early stage, and has a lack of scale of coordinated regional innovation efforts. 
  • Several agencies and various programs have been duplicating efforts and minimizing the impact of resources.
Virginia has been working on this for over three decades. The time for structural legislation of a new, consolidated Authority for innovation and tech-based economic development is now! 

Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority - is a hybrid of best practices from across the nation and Virginia's unique assets, including our world-renowned higher education system and diverse regional economies. 

Key Components of the Legislation include: 
  • Consolidates Virginia Research Investment Committee (endorsed 12.10.19) and the Innovation Entrepreneurship Investment Authority (CIT - endorsed 12.05.19); 
  • Creates new division for entrepreneurship ecosystem building; 
  • Enhances existing divisions for research commercialization and direct/indirect investments in businesses; 
  • Provides a structure for justification, implementation, and oversight of current or future Centers of Excellence. To date the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, Virginia Catalyst, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Unmanned Systems, and Smart Communities would continue or become subdivisions of the new authority. SCHEV will be heavily engaged in building this process; 
  • Consolidates two existing commercialization funds into one fund and creates a new fund to support regional innovation initiatives, infrastructure, and programming; 
  • Small board with well-defined subject matter experts; and 
  • Headquartered in Richmond with significant (physical) presence in northern Virginia.
This legislation was drafted following: 
  • 11 town halls all across the state with 481 participants; 
  • 264 respondents to a survey on the needs of Virginia's innovation economy; 
  • 65 organizations, from chambers and tech councils to accelerators and angel networks; 
  • 3 significant work sessions with 172 business and education leaders; 
  • Input from major research universities and tech transfer offices from small and large schools 
  • Consultation with the existing boards and staff of CIT, VRIC, SCHEV, Senate Finance Committee, and House Appropriations Committee.

Augusta County Public Schools Seeking Partners for Young Innovators Summer Camp

Tonya Coffey (Augusta County Public Schools, is looking to be the site for a summer camp (Young Innovators) and seeks to connect with local business interested in supporting the Valley's STEM pipeline and get some very nice visibility!

The Young Innovators Summer Camp provides youth with a fun, transformative experience that empowers them to build their own solutions to real-world issues, learn a repeatable process of ideation, validation through rapid prototyping, and build invaluable skills that will help them in their future careers. In turn, there are some fantastic benefits as a sponsor, dep, on level: co-branding of the weeklong event, opportunity to attend demo-day presentations, logo on promotional materials, featured as "program partner" and many more. 

Tonya is aiming to host 20 students (grades 4-8) from the local community (Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro) in June 2020. Check out the benefits for sponsors and the benefits for the students and setting their minds towards a STEM-field career. 

Campers walk away with hands-on experience in:
  • Inventing solutions
  • Designing exceptional user experiences
  • Building prototypes
  • Conducting user testing
  • Generating business models
  • Creating brand identities
  • Pitching ideas

Tonya Coffey, ITRT ACPS:

Tech Bytes Tech Talks:  Public Invited to Interact with Berryville Institute of Machine Learning Co-Founder Gary McGraw (1/22)


January 22, 2019 | 6:00 pm

Lord Fairfax Community College is hosting monthly technology discussion with technology professionals from around that nation. The public is invited, but registration is required. Most talks will occur at the Middletown Campus, but they will be distancing the presentation to their Fauquier Campus also. 

Upcoming talk: 
January 22, 2020, 6:00pm - Gary McGraw,  Berryville Institute of Machine Learning
"We're working to teach engineers and technologists what kind of risks to think about when they're building and fielding machine learning systems," says McGraw, a self-described alpha geek, who has lived in Berryville for 20 years. "This is about security OF machine learning, as opposed to using machine learning FOR security."
"We've been getting calls from Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, asking what we're up to in Berryville, which is exciting. I did some very serious work establishing the field of software security in my pre-retirement career. I wrote the first book in the world on software security in 2000, one of 12 books I have written. For this work, I'm taking that very same core idea and applying it to machine learning."
BIML will soon release a report identifying 78 particular risks in machine-learning systems, according to McGraw, who has a dual-doctorate degree in computer science and cognitive science. He says the press finds it generally acceptable to use the terms machine learning and artificial intelligence interchangeably.
"AI and machine learning have been sold as magic technology that magically solves all the problems in the world - poof - and that's wrong," McGraw says.
"It's important that we don't take security for granted or overlook security in the headlong rush to adopt AI everywhere - and it's showing up everywhere."
It's true, your smart phone and your other devices are using ML to parse your conversations, look at your pictures, and watch your web usage, he warns, all for the purpose of harvesting your data and keeping you on the device longer.
The innovative work of BIML is being done in weekly gatherings of its four associates around McGraw's kitchen table in his house along the banks of the Shenandoah River.
Before founding the field of software security, McGraw researched and published work on machine learning 25 years ago as a student of Douglas R. Hofstadter, who is a renowned cognitive scientist, Guggeheim Fellow and the recipient of both a Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award.
"When we sold my company (Cigital to Synopsys), I was thinking, gosh, there sure is a lot of noise about machine learning these days, I wonder if any real progress has been made," he says.
Turned out, not much had been, McGraw says. Computers are simply faster and have greater computing capacity now, and datasets for training machines are much larger.
"I think that the more people learn how computer security really works, the better off we are," he says. "That's why I'm on the curriculum advisory committee for computer science at LFCC, and working closely with Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange to ensure the college's computer science and cybersecurity students can transition from the program straight into a job or seamlessly transfer into a bachelor's degree program."
Attendees are asked to register for the talks - and learn about upcoming talks - at

Future sessions:
  • February 19, 2020, 6:00pm - Kay Connelly, Infomatics, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • March 11, 2020, 1:00pm - Richard Danzig, Retired Secretary of the Navy
  • April 8 2020, 6:00pm - Heather Wilson, Analytics, L Brands
Talks are scheduled for one hour and Q&A.

The Ethics of Technology Series: World Without Mind  (1/30)
January 30, 2020 | 5:00 pm
Stackhouse Theater, Lexington

ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course | Harrisonburg 
(app. due 2/17)


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 17, 2020 - Applications are due by midnight; see the link below.
February 19, 2020 - Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.
TBD - 6:00pm - 8:00pm - Introductory Conference Call
March 2, 2020 - 9:00am - 5:00pm - Initial Team Presentations
March 16, 2020 - Each team participates in a pre-scheduled telephone review of the team's Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
March 23, 2020 - 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.

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:

This cohort is hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, and the Center for Innovative Technology.

ProjectCSGirls Competition | For Middle School Girls
(registration deadline 3/1)

ProjectCSGirls is a competition designed to challenge middle school girls to actively use computer science and technology to develop a solution to an imminent social problem. Participants will need to register as either an individual or a team prior to the registration deadline (March 1, 2020). Participants will need to first identify a social problem that falls under one of the following four themes:
  • Global Health (disease, hunger, poverty, etc)
  • A Safer World (safety-related technologies, cybersecurity, defense, etc)
  • Intelligent Technology (robotics, brain-computer interfaces, artificial intelligence applications, machine learning, etc)
  • Bridging Inequalities (any inequalities, civic tech, tech-enabled advocacy, etc.)
Participants will then build any kind of technology to address their chosen social issue. Examples include a mobile app, robot, device, web app, website, analytics software, algorithm, virtual reality (VR) program - and anything else they can come up with! 

Welcome Back Silver Level Member!

As one of the largest independent fiber network companies in the Eastern U.S. Segra provides a broad and dense service footprint across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Our state-of-the-art voice and data technology solutions serve businesses of all sizes as well as some of the world's largest carriers.

But that's not what we're most proud of. What we work at day and night is delivering never-say-never customer service. In fact, we're re-engineered our entire operating model to ensure we deliver a delightful customer experience - every time.

Every organization depends on reliable and safe connections. But there are differences in each industry, especially when it comes to communication. Even within an industry, no two companies are the same. We get it. That's why we've gone the extra mile to create solutions that are configured for the specifics of your industry and, more importantly, your company. Segra offers solutions for: network, voice, managed services, and cloud.

1 Million Fiber-Strand Miles
23,000 Fiber-Route Miles
6,800 FTC Locations
9,000 On-Net Locations
6 Data Centers
Visit to learn more or call 833.GO.SEGRA

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Welcome Back Level III Member!
Sproutly, LLC

We are a team of creatives innovating at the intersection of business, technology, and people. We design and create custom software and media content, and strengthen teams through coaching and training.

  • Augusta County Service Authority, Verona (Systems Analyst/Developer)
  • Generate Impact, Harrisonburg (Director of Business Development)
  • Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center (Technology Manager)
  • Virginia Eagle Distributing, Verona (Digital Sales Administrator)
  • Sproutly, New Market (UX Designer)
  • Vision Technology Group, Harrisonburg (Tier III Network Engineer)
  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

Currently there are 18 channels and over 450 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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