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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
October 13, 2017
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SVTC Luncheon Oct 19 | Tour of JMU X-Labs | CRCF Info Session (registration ends 10/17)
Friendship Industries / Able Solutions Launch $3,000,000 Expansion
MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Opens Applications
Second Annual Virginia Solar Congress (10/14)
Crozet Elementary School | Girls' Geek Day. (10/14)
Open House: GET YOUR CODE ON (10/18).
JMU Festival Center | Connections 2017 (10/19)
3D Printing with TinkerCad: Make It & Take It (10/19)
Capital One Coders Experience (10/14 @ JMU)
Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition Fall Meeting (10/23)
JMU Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference (10/23)
CyberSecurity Awareness for Businesses 3.0 (10/26)
Congressional App Challenge (sign up ends 10/31)
SVTC Luncheon & CRCF Info Session | October 19 
(registration ends 10/17)

JMU X-Labs Tour and Talk

Having recently won a Governor's Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Education-and located at JMU's Lakeview Hall-students, faculty and community members converge at JMU X-Labs to develop uncommon ideas through uncommon partnerships. Bringing unique ideas from disparate disciplines, they collaborate to solve real problems in innovative ways.
  • Educate: the X-Labs host pilot classes that shift the way people think, challenge the status quo and solve complex problems.
  • Collaborate: the X-Labs help students, faculty, and community members establish unprecedented partnerships across traditional barriers.
  • Innovate: People generate new ideas and solve problems when divergent thinking comes together.
More info:

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund Information Session

Join us to learn about funding available through the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), a Commonwealth of Virginia program managed by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).

CIT staff will introduce the CRCF, a multi-million dollar technology commercialization grant program that helps drive economic growth in Virginia. The team will discuss the FY2018 round, which includes programs available to higher ed, federal labs and other nonprofit research organizations, and the private sector.

Topics will include eligibility criteria and the solicitation timeline, technical content and budgets, and tips for creating strong proposals. 

This luncheon is brought to you by:

Friendship Industries / Able Solutions
Launch $3,000,000 Expansion 
Sharing some exiting news from our members, Friendship Industries | Congratulations!
32,000 s.ft. warehouse and production space, operational 2 nd  Q 2018. Expected to create 50 new jobs 
Friendship Industries Logo 

Friendship Industries, Inc. and sister company, Able Solutions Inc. are set to nearly double their square footage at their company headquarters at 801 Friendship Drive. A social enterprise with a mission to provide employment and training opportunities for persons who may have barriers to employment, Friendship Industries has been collaborating with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Agency to secure financing for this project.

Friendship Industries and Able Solutions provide consumer products packaging for many Fortune 500 Companies across the United States. Their core business caters to the many configurations of club packs found in the major big box store chains.

George Homan, President and CEO, states, "With this expansion we will ensure our continued growth in the consumer products packaging business for decades to come. The added high bay warehouse space will increase our ability to cater to the ever expanding e-commerce business. Most importantly, we will increase our ability to serve those who need employment the most - those with barriers to employment, with the possibility of 50 new jobs being created and sustained."

Valley Engineering is serving as the project manager for this expansion with Lantz Construction being selected as the contractor. Interim financing is being provided by Union Bank and Trust.
Friendship Industries, established in 1964, is a not-for-profit business with a mission to serve our community by developing and maintaining employment and training opportunities for persons with disabilities in integrated work environments. Friendship Industries has three commercial divisions: government contracting, secure document destruction, and contract packaging. Able Solutions, Inc., an affiliate of Friendship Industries, was founded in 2012, and provides on-the-job training for people with barriers to employment. Together, the companies' missions serve Harrisonburg and Rockingham by providing employment to over 120 people. 

MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Opens Applications 
for Spring 2018 Session
Spring 2018 Cohort Session to Begin on March 13th

October 10, 2017 (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 2018 (S18) Cohort that begins on March 13th . The MACH37 program consists of an intense 90- day program in which the selected startups are coached in all aspects of creating a successful and sustainable business. 

MACH37 encourages entrepreneurs with emerging products and companies to apply for the S18 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 Mentors Network and will have the support of our network throughout the life of their enterprise. 

On September 28th , the Fall 2017 (F17) Cohort session kicked off at the inaugural Meet the Cohort event which featured introductions to the six companies in the new class. The Fall 2017 session will culminate on December 5 th at the F17 Demo Day. 

MACH37 is looking for candidates who: 
  •  Are building a disruptive information security technology product 
  •  Are delivering foundational security capabilities that enable entirely new products or 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 
About MACH37™, 
MACH37™ is the premier accelerator for information security entrepreneurs and startups. We go beyond the traditional model of typical business accelerators by bringing our innovators focused mentorship and support from our extensive network of visionaries, practitioners, and successful entrepreneurs in security. Our Spring and Fall sessions are designed to propel graduating companies into the marketplace, equipped with the skills to grow and compete for funding and market share. MACH37™ was launched in 2013 by the Center for Innovative Technology, in Herndon, Virginia.

About the Center for Innovative Technology,
Since 1985  CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia's primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. CIT accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology startup companies and advanced technology consumers.

To apply, visit and fill out the online application. MACH37 accepts rolling submissions but participants are highly encouraged to apply by February 16th to be considered for the Spring 2018 Cohort. 

Second Annual Virginia Solar Congress (10/14)

Join VA SUN and solar supporters from across the state for their 2nd Annual Virginia Solar Congress!

The Virginia Solar Congress is a free public conference that brings together solar supporters from across the state to learn and discuss the current state and future for solar energy in Virginia. The day will include presentations about solar technology and policy topics as well as ways to get involved with growing solar in Virginia. We will also hold a participatory open forum discussion for all attendees to discuss the priorities that solar supporters in Virginia should focus on in the coming year.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend!

The second annual Virginia Solar Congress will be hosted by VA SUN in partnership with JMU Center for Wind Energy.

Stay tuned for a full agenda for the day, coming soon! Visit: for more information.

Crozet Elementary School | Girls' Geek Day (10/14)

Girls' Geek Days are all about sparking girls' interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by providing a fun, collaborative, hands-on environment to learn new tech skills and helping girls and their parents connect to other STEM programs in the community.  This is a free event, but registration is required and space is limited. 

This event is open to all ages, but 3rd graders or younger are asked to attend with a parent.

Inclement Weather Policy:
If it looks like the weather will impact Girls' Geek Day on Saturday morning, a decision will be made by 6pm on Friday and will be sent out as an e-mail update. An announcement will also be posted @  to cancel the event.

Open House: GET YOUR CODE ON (10/18)

On October 18th at Opensource Connections in Charlottesville, come learn about upcoming opportunities for middle school girls to explore coding. This event is open to middle school girls and their parents along with high school, college and professional women interested in learning how they can help. 

Look for the Tech Council's Session at 3pm @
Connections 2017 (10/19)

On Oct. 19th, come join us for educational sessions, speed networking, and business fair and reception. Presented by Union Bank & Trust, Shenandoah Valley Office Equipment, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce and Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center.

Educational Sessions (1:00 - 4:00 p.m.)
Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from 10 sessions with topics including Human Resources, Marketing, Technology and Navigating your Chamber Membership. Sessions will be 50 minutes long and will start at the top of the hour at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Please use the registration link to register for each session.

1:00 p.m.
  • Human Resource Focus - Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
  • Technology Focus - Grow Your Business Online with Google
  • Marketing Focus - Closing the Sale
  • Chamber Focus - Navigating Your Chamber Membership
2:00 p.m.
  • Human Resource Focus: Health Insurance 101
  • Technology Focus - Website Trends
  • Marketing Focus - Using Social Media to Market Your Business
  • Chamber Focus - Navigating Your Chamber Membership
3:00 p.m.
  • Human Resource Focus - Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the WorkplaceSVTClogoTRANSP
  • Technology Focus - X-Labs to Industry: Developing Uncommon Ideas through Uncommon Partnerships. Bonus: How to participate with the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.
  • Marketing Focus - SWaM - Doing Business with the State
  • Chamber Focus - Networking Like a Boss
Speed Networking Presented by McClung Companies (4:00 - 5:00 p.m.)
Don't miss this high energy, fun exchange where you will connect with more Chamber Members, make more contacts and promote your business. Registration required. Please register using the 'Register Now' link above.

Business Fair + Reception Presented by WHSV-TV3 (5:00 - 7:00 p.m.)
Continue your conversations during your Chamber's largest networking event of the year. Want to maximize your exposure? Reserve a booth. Planning for an upcoming project or program? Visit with fellow Chamber Members and learn how you can partner together. Please register using the 'Register Now' link above.

Staunton Maker Space | 3D Printing with TinkerCad:
Make It & Take It (10/19)

In this 3D printing course, participants will learn to design, edit, and print in free Tinkercad software. The first half of the course will focus on a general overview of 3D printing and a classroom introduction to Tinkercad, and the second half will invite participants to design their own 3D object with expert assistance provided as students develop their Tinkercad skills. We encourage (though don't require) participants to bring a laptop. 3D printed designs are limited to two square inches and are available to pick up after class.

All levels of experience are welcome. Open to ages 7 and up, although children should be accompanied by an adult.

Instructor: Andy Wiseman. Andy learned many of his makerspace skills while building a fully operational (rolling, spinning, and speaking) Star Wars R2D2 replica.

Capital One Coders Experience | No Charge | Statewide
(10/14 & 10/21 | 10/14 at JMU)  

Capital One Coders Experience 2017

On October 14th and 21st come join the Capital One Coders Experience!  The Capital One Coders Experience will bring girls in grades 6, 7 and 8 a free, fun, interactive day that gives them a glimpse of what a career in technology looks like. They'll be introduced to problem solving, teamwork and the basic principles of a hands-on environment in learning labs in each of the GO Virginia Regions.

Let's give our girls the skills they need to pursue a life in a #STEM field. Did we mention it'll be fun?

Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition
Fall Meeting (10/23)

On October 23rd join all those interested in our regional entrepreneurship and innovation | JMU Ice House, rm# 117, 127 W Bruce Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. 10 am - 11:30 am. RSVP to

On the Agenda
  • GO Virginia update - Chris Kyle (region 8 plan and project proposals process)
  • Shenandoah Valley Angel Investors investment activity - George Pace
    A network of private investors that help fund entrepreneurial enterprises located in our communities. SVAI's primary interest is Start-Up/ Early Stage business ventures with funding needs in the range of $50,000 to $300,000 that leverage technology to create a new product or service.
  • Virginia is for entrepreneurs, and app - Mary Lou Bourne
  • SVIC next steps; publicity; options to participate; upcoming events 

About SVIC
SVIC's mission is to accelerate innovation, creativity, and economic development across the Shenandoah Valley through the active collaboration of business, government, community, and academic organizations. They envision the Shenandoah Valley as a thriving, globally-connected ecosystem that attracts, seeds, and grows talent and business. The organization's goals are to: 
  • Create a shared understanding of and commitment to innovation for the purpose of healthy social and economic growth.
  • Improve access to capital for entrepreneurs.
  • Create a variety of collaborative spaces, resources & events, both physical and virtual.
  • Build a vibrant, diverse mentoring network.
  • Develop the capacity to attract, seed and grow new and existing talent and business.

RSVP by Tuesday, Oct. 17 to Kyle Weston via email (

JMU Teaching and Learning with
Technology Conference (10/23)

On October 23rd, come to the Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference at James Madison University. It is an opportunity to bring together educators using technology to share best practices and to make using technology a positive educational experience. For more information, visit

 CyberSecurity Awareness for Businesses 3.0 (10/26)

How protected is your small business?
Join the conversation today around all things cyber.
Keynote Speaker Carlos Solari served in the US Army during the Cold War, was a Senior Executive in the FBI, and was the Chief Information Officer for the White House following 9/11. He has seen a few things - learned a great deal - and, with his commercial experience, brings a wealth of knowledge and some great stories about the problem of cyber technologies and cyber security in a wide range of industries.
An author as well as a warm and engaging speaker, Carlos brings context to the seemingly overwhelming concept of cyber security from his own real-life experiences and relates how those experiences apply to companies doing business in the Shenandoah Valley, with a demonstration of how to operate and how effective protection will prevent malware from having an impact on your business.
Also on the Agenda: 
The Shenandoah Valley cyber-scene with guests from local tech companies;

the Virginia SBDC's on-line tool for tips, resources, and cyber-information for your business;
and information on how James Madison University and Blue Ridge Community College are helping businesses meet these challenges.
This event is brought to you at NO Fee from your SBDC, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Register for Oct. 26, 2017event at

Congressional App Challenge  (sign up ends 10/31)

Intended for students, the third annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) will run through November 1, 2017. The CAC is a congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in coding and computer science through local app challenges hosted by the Members of Congress. This year, there are over 165 Members of Congress signed up to participate!

The CAC aims to bridge the gender, geographic, and racial gaps in tech. In its first two years, the program yielded 239 challenges across 33 states. Over 1,150 apps were created by nearly 4,000 students, and participant demographics surpassed all industry diversity metrics, with young women representing 30% of all competitors. This year, the Congressional App Challenge will strive to build upon those numbers.
During the next 14 weeks, thousands of students in participating Congressional districts will create and submit their own original applications, that will be evaluated by panels of local judges.The Members of Congress will announce the winners during Computer Science Education Week in early December. Winners will be honored by their Member of Congress. More prizes will be announced throughout the Challenge.

The CAC was created because Congress recognizes how essential computer science and STEM skills are for economic growth and innovation, and that the U.S. is currently experiencing a dearth of adequately trained technical talent. By some estimates there are nearly a quarter of a million unfilled programming jobs in the US, right now. The CAC is a congressional effort to maintain American competitiveness, by proactively inspiring our youth and encouraging them to pursue these crucial skills.

The Challenge owes gratitude to Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Anna G. Eshoo, co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, who requested and supported the creation of the CAC. Challenge execution is supported by the efforts of our Advisory Board, which includes the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Computer Science Teachers Association, Girls Who Code, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Capital One, and Cisco, as well as a broad coalition of CS-focused partners.

For more information about the Congressional App Challenge, please visit If you are interested getting involved or in supporting the Congressional App Challenge, please contact our Director, Rachel Decoste, at

Highlighting Renewing Level III Member:

ComSonics is an electronic telecommunications firm headquartered locally in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Incorporated in 1972, the company is 100% owned by its 200+ employees through a national multiple award winning Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). ComSonics operates four distinct business units - Equipment Repair Services, Product Development and Sales, Electronic Manufacturing Services and Custom Cable Asesembly. As a leader in providing high quality Cable Telecommunications repair services, ComSonics markets nationwide coverage from three strategically located facilities in Harrisonburg, VA, Indianapolis, IN, and Sacramento, CA, each using a mobile fleet to pickup for repair from customer locations, line-distribution, headend, test, power supply and fiber optic CATV equipment. The company also offers a related Mobile Calibration business that positions on-site mobile calibration labs at customer locations for validating performance of all test instrument types. ComSonics began manufacturing Cable Telecommunications Test & Measurement instruments in 1975. The first major product, the Sniffer® cable signal leakage instrument, has since been followed by a full line of RF leakage detection devices that continue to maintain ComSonics as the technology leader for detecting undesirable escaped cable telecommunications signals. In order to support state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities for ComSonics developed products as well as those for outside contracted customers, a wholly owned subsidiary of ComSonics exists as CMS - (ComSonics Manufacturing Services) located in a Weyers Cave, Virginia. In 2015, ComSonics purchased Atlanta, Georgia based Cable Connections, diversifying ComSonics' core businesses by providing high quality custom wire and cable assemblies consistent with ComSonics' standard business practices to original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

Highlighting Renewing Level II Member:
Blue Ridge Community College

Blue Ridge Community College, established in 1967, meets the educational needs of the region, empowering students through comprehensive programs and services within an environment of academic excellence. BRCC offers a wide range of career and technical programs both for collegiate credit or for non-credit employment training purposes. 

Programs include: 
  • Associates degrees for the career-minded 
  • University transfer opportunities (including guaranteed admissions agreements more than 20 Virginia colleges and universities through the college/university transfer program) 
  • Customized training for business/industry (on-site or at BRCC) 
  • Short-term career preparation and training 
  • Special interest and personal enrichment classes for all ages 
  • Art exhibits, musical and theatrical performances

BRCC is located in Weyers Cave, Virginia, approximately halfway between the cities of Harrisonburg and Staunton. The College offers day and evening classes, in the classroom and online, and affordable tuition with many financial aid options.

Job Opening: IT Help Desk Administrator
Jenzabar | Harrisonburg

Do people always tell you how helpful you are? Do you enjoy wrestling with problems and resolving them with ease and a smile? Jenzabar is seeking an IT Help Desk Administrator in the Harrisonburg area with a service minded attitude, and maybe a t-shirt that says "I <3 our end users." The successful candidate will take up a position on the front lines of the never-ending struggle to keep our associates' technology running smoothly so they can maximize our client's success. Your reward? The satisfaction of fighting the good fight. Oh, and decent pay and benefits on a pretty excellent team of dudes, if we do say so ourselves. And we do.

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.

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
Data Analyst
Remote - Anywhere in the US (or Portland, OR or Orlando, FL)

Treehouse is a fast-moving business with a mission to teach. But in order to teach well, we have to be ready and willing to learn. Without a clear learning agenda oriented around understanding our students and their success, we can't hope to achieve our mission.

To help facilitate our learning, we're looking to expand our Data and Analytics team by hiring a Data Analyst. The person filling this role will be responsible for generating insights across all areas of our business, from UX experimentation to learning efficacy to finance and accounting. In all cases there will be a strong mandate to provide the company with the data it needs most to succeed.

This position can be remote (working anywhere in the US) or based at either of our offices in Portland, OR or Orlando, FL.

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



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