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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
October 12,  2018
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SVTC October Luncheon at the Staunton Innovation Hub (10/18)
Member News: Tracy Tynan Joins CIT as Director of Virginia Center for Unmanned Systems
DIGITAL Women in Computing | For Middle and High School Girls (10/13)
GDI Code and Coffee Study Group (10/18)
Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) Information Session (10/23)
Entrepreneurial Spark Speaker Series (10/23)
SVTC Members-Only Event at Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) (10/25)
TECHSTERS | For Middle School Girls (11/3)
FIRST LEGO League Regional Tournament (11/3) -- Volunteers Needed | Start-Up Grants Available
Highlighting Renewing Level II Member: Shentel
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
SVTC October Luncheon | Oct. 18
What's the Staunton Innovation
Hub? What's been developed
and what is yet to come?

11:45 am - 1: 00 pm 

Chief Chaos Creator Peter Denbigh - Staunton Innovation Hub- will lead us through the facility, a 28,000 square foot campus that houses some of our favorite local businesses, a co-working space, and coming soon: clean tech lab and event space. Most importantly, the Staunton Hub is an inspiring assemblage of creative minds and joyful people.

By supporting our community through the entrepreneurial continuum, the Staunton Innovation Hub's chief mission is reducing the barriers to innovation. These barriers may range from financial to emotional, knowledge to network, time to space, and beyond.  By having the right people in the right space with the right network and the right culture, the ecosystem that grows can allow for the fast flow of talent, information and resources so that entrepreneurs can quickly find what they need at each stage of growth. As a result, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

About the Speaker: Peter Denbigh is a serial entrepreneur with a wide range of expertise. He is experienced with managing several million dollar alternative fuel projects; starting, growing, and selling business ventures; and mentoring and advising startups.  He is the founder and chief chaos creator at Skyler Innovations, parent company of the popular party game Watch Ya Mouth. His official title for the Staunton Innovation Hub is chief instigator. Peter is a graduate of James Madison University's MBA program where his focus was on innovation and leadership.  He is a certified car nut who loves anything with wheels, outdoor adventures, and environmental stewardship.

Pizza and water will be available for $5. We'll be in the soon-to-be-renovated warehouse and eat while standing up. Please register so that we know how much to order. Payment: pay at the event with cash or credit card. 

Thank you to our luncheon sponsors!



Member News: Tracy Tynan Joins CIT as Director
of Virginia Center for Unmanned Systems
October 8, 2018 ( Herndon, Virginia)

The Center for Innovative Technology ( CIT) today announced that it has hired Tracy Tynan as the new Director of the Virginia Center for Unmanned Systems. Tynan joins CIT with more than 15 years of economic and community development experience in Virginia. In this role, Tynan's main focus will be to increase collaboration and communication among the various entities engaged with unmanned systems across the Commonwealth, with the goal of growing unmanned systems economic activity and benefit in Virginia. Tynan has forged numerous strategic relationships within the aerospace community, and has a first-hand understanding of the issues and challenges of growing such an important industry in Virginia.

Before joining CIT, Tynan served as Project Manager for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) Business Investment Group, where she was the primary contact for the unmanned systems and aerospace sectors as well as many highly visible corporate headquarters relocation and expansion projects. Prior to the VEDP, Tynan served as Vice President of Business investments at the Greater Richmond partnership. Previously, Tynan held positions in the commercial aviation sector, including Sales and Marketing Manager for Japan's All Nippon Airways after their inaugural U.S.A. flight service from Tokyo to Washington D.C. Her background also includes entrepreneurial experience as part of the start-up teams at People Express, Presidential, and Jet Aspen airlines. Tynan earned her B.S. in Education from the University of Virginia.

"I am thrilled to take on this role with CIT, and to play an important part in creating a much needed, centralized hub for the resources and information that is available to the unmanned systems community," said Tynan. "In addition to advocacy, our focus for the Virginia Center for Unmanned Systems will be to serve as a clearinghouse and coordination point for related information, assets, and programs throughout the Commonwealth."

The UAV industry requires a large variety of resources for development, testing, and applications. Virginia is uniquely positioned to provide ideal conditions and locations for the land, maritime, and aerial unmanned systems industry and our universities and research centers continue to improve with programs designed to match the skills and expertise needed by all types of employers. In October, CIT will launch a benchmark study to establish a base line of unmanned systems companies within the Commonwealth, including the services and products they provide. With Tynan's leadership, these initiatives will help position Virginia as a national leader in what is a growing multi-billion-dollar industry.

"CIT is excited to welcome Tracy to the unmanned systems team. Her track record for driving growth in Virginia's economy, as well as her relationship building experience in the aerospace community makes her a great fit for this role," said Ed Albrigo, President and CEO of CIT. "We look forward to her contributions, and seeing the Center continue to bring leaders in both cyber security and UAV industries together to ensure that Virginia's future of unmanned systems will promote collaboration with businesses, investors, universities, entrepreneurs, and government organizations to build a world class ecosystem that will create opportunities for every region of the Commonwealth."

For more information about the Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence, please visit

About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia's primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship since 1985. 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 start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. CIT's CAGE Code is 1UP71. To learn more, please visit You can also follow CIT on  TwitterLinkedIn, and  Facebook.

DIGITAL Women in Computing
for Middle and High School Girls (10/13)

October 13, 2018 | 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
JMU ISAT/CS Building, Harrisonburg

Come celebrate CS Education Week at DIGITAL with JMU Women in Technology (WIT). Learn Python programming, program Finch and Hummingbird Robots, create art with Chibitronics, get a chance to fly a drone and then form a team to design and implement your own project with what you learned. DIGITAL is an event open to middle school and high school girls interested in technology. College students from JMU Women in Technology (JMU WIT) lead girls through hands-on activities to help them engage with new technologies. JMU WIT strives to support and celebrate girls and women interested in STEM fields from the classroom to the workforce.

Registration is  FREE. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. 

Questions? Contact Melissa Heatwole at or 540-568-4226

Register for October 13, 2018 DIGITAL event

GDI Code and Coffee Study Group 

October 18, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Black Sheep Coffee, Harrisonburg

Join us for Code & Coffee Study Group! Whether you're looking to keep practicing what you learned in your last class or are in the midst of a project, your community is here to help!

This will be an informal event where members can meet each other and collaborate. TAs will be there to help troubleshoot and brainstorm ideas with you!

Have a project idea and some skills, but haven't attended a GDI event yet? Want to focus on helping others with their projects? You're welcome too!

This is also a great event for first time attendees who just want to socialize and learn more about GDI. 

As a group, everyone will hold each other accountable for completing projects, and provide on-going support and feedback.

Bring a laptop and something to work on. It's okay if you don't have a project! Feel free to come by for the whole thing or drop in when you have time.

Register for October 18, 2018 Code and Coffee Study Group

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) Information Session (10/23)


October 23, 2018 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
JMU Lakeview Hall ( Room 1165), Harrisonburg

CRCF Information Session
CIT is pleased to preview the CRCF FY2019 solicitation, identifying programs offered, eligibility criteria, and other high-level information. Approximately $2.4 million is available to award. The RFP will be issued in early October and will include complete criteria, including program guidelines and application materials. CRCF staff will be present at Lakeview Hall on October 23rd for a regional briefing and will answer questions. Use the link below to register.

Webinar (WebEx)
For those unable to attend the the CRCF information session at Lakeview, a webinar is available. Individuals can join using the WebEx app (video), or can call in (phone/audio). Access information will be emailed to you closer to the event date (registration link below).

The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) advances science- and technology-based research, development, and commercialization to drive economic growth in Virginia, create and foster high-potential technology companies in the Commonwealth, and to encourage and strengthen collaboration and partnerships between the public and private sector.

Industry Sectors
Applications submitted under any FY2019 solicitation program must align with one or more of the following industry sectors and, where indicated, subsectors.
  • Cyber Security, with particular interest in applications for autonomous systems, identity management, cloud infrastructure, and Internet of Things
  • Energy, specifically clean energy
  • Information Technology, specifically data analytics
  • Life Sciences, with particular interest in precision medicine, neuroscience, and medtech
  • Unmanned Systems
A single solicitation will be offered in FY2019, with five programs available for funding: Commercialization, SBIR Matching Funds, STTR Matching Funds, Matching Funds, and Eminent Researcher Recruitment.

The CRCF programs support commercialization goals through technology development in Virginia. CRCF monies additionally may be used for market validation, intellectual property protection, acquisition of materials and supplies, and/or other efforts that further technology commercialization and drive economic benefits to Virginia. Projects must be based upon sound scientific principles and present an opportunity for valid research.


Entrepreneurial Spark Speaker Series (10/23)
October 23, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Ruby's Lounge, Harrisonburg

Join us at the Fall 2018 Entrepreneurial Spark! Darrel Branch, Sandra Tran and Gilbert Welsford are JMU graduates who operate in very different sectors, but the principles of branding and marketing are the same.

Darrel Branch is the founder and CEO of the Branch Out Group LLC, a marketing consulting firm that applies traditional marketing principles to help build mid-sized companies and non-traditional brands such as entrepreneurs, entertainers and athletes. The firm primarily serves as an out sourced Chief Marketing Officer to emerging businesses and enterprises. Darrel has created global comprehensive marketing strategies for many billion dollar brands in the beverage industry such Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Gold Peak and NESTEA.

Sandra Tran and Gilbert Welsford are 2012 graduates who in 2013 launched Nicecream together. Before that, Sandra got her feet wet in the fast paced world of start ups at LivingSocial. She always had a passion for innovation, and began experimenting with a food concept that would grow into Nicecream, an innovative ice cream company that makes ice cream directly in front of customers using liquid nitrogen. There are now 4 Nicecream locations in Virginia and D.C.

Gilbert is an entrepreneur at heart. In addition to Nicecream, he has led multiple companies from the beginning stages of development to growth in multiple cities. Gilbert consults entrepreneurs and small businesses in start up and growth strategy. His passion is helping college aged students realize the benefits, risks, and lifestyle of a young business leader and entrepreneur, so that they might pursue their dreams of being creators.

5:00 - Doors open for networking
5:30 - Featured speakers
6:15 - Questions
6:30 - Stay around to continue the conversation or join us for dinner at Clementine

**Space is limited, please RSVP early.**

After the program, continue the discussion upstairs for dinner (Dutch treat) at Clementine. Please RSVP separately for the event and for the dinner.

Entrepreneurial Spark Speaker Series showcases the stories and lessons from the business and non-profit worlds that can only come from the people who have lived them.

Register for October 23, 2018 Entrepreneurial Spark Series

Attention SVTC Members!
Ever wanted to see a car crash test?

October 25, 2018 | 9:15 am - 2:00 pm 
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Ruckersville

Membership has its privileges, incl. membership in the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.  At times we are able to offer - to our members - exclusive access to often non-public places and tours, and we are beyond delighted to offer a tour of the facility, and attendance at a crash test of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in Ruckersville.

IIHS is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses - deaths, injuries, and property damage - from motor vehicle crashes. For decades, IIHS has been a leader in finding out what works and doesn't work to prevent motor vehicle crashes from happening in the first place and to minimize injuries in the crashes that still occur.

Vehicle Research Center
In 1992, IIHS opened the VRC. Tucked in the foothills of central Virginia, this state-of-the-art facility is where IIHS performs the crash tests that form the basis of its widely consulted vehicle ratings.
Space is limited and once the available spots are gone, the sign-up form will stop accepting submissions. (Only 2 registrations per member organization, please.)

  • 9:15 am: meet in a parking lot (location tbd) - divide into several car-pools if we can.
  • 10:15 am: arrive; 10:30 - 11:30, Tour of facility; 11:30 - 12 noon, crash test
  • 12:00 pm: lunch (sponsored by Rockingham Insurance, at IIHS)
  • Depart ~ 1 pm; arrive back in Harrisonburg ~ 2 pm
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We appreciate the sponsorship of Rockingham Insurance
who has facilitated this tour for us  and is feeding us lunch!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Not a member but want to come along on Oct 25 and also gain all the other business and visibility benefits of membership as well - and be part of the tech fabric of the Valley?
Become a member today:  SVTC Membership Options

TECHSTERS | For Middle School Girls (11/3)

November 3, 2018 | 8:00 am - 1:00 pm 
JMU Lakeview Hall, Harrisonburg

On Sat. morning, Nov. 3, many technology and innovation business councils in Virginia are working together to host a statewide  "Capture the Flag" event that will introduce girls to the  cybersecurity industry in a fun and interactive game style. This program hopes to inspire a future generation to discover technology, get excited about STEM, and build code for real-world applications.

The Shen. Valley portion of this state-wide online competition takes place in Harrisonburg. It's free, requires creativity, is FUN, includes mentors  - but  no technical knowledge is required.

Pre-registration is needed so we can plan the equipment.

Our volunteer mentors will mostly be female (e.g. the JMU student group Women in Technology); and best of all - the members of the winning (highest placing in the Valley) team will win an iPad.   

Equipment and FYIs:
  • Participants can bring their own Internet-ready, wifi-enabled laptops and will log into the wifi network
  • Team size: up to three girls. Teams will form after arrival.
  • We will supply 12 computers for up to 36 girls. Please indicate on the registration form whether you will bring your own laptop or will borrow one.
  • After registration, we will email JMU parking instructions

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor
Massanutten Technical Center 

and Event Sponsors
Staunton Innovation Hub
November 3, 2018 | JMU ISAT-CS Building
Volunteers are currently needed!

This event is free and open to the public! Come see what it's all about. Prepare for excitement, robotics, and LEGOS! Better yet -- volunteer. Just a few hours of your time can have a huge impact! To sign up as a volunteer, please complete the following form: Harrisonburg Regional FLL Tournament Volunteers

2018 Challenge: Into Orbit
Join FLL's mission into the 30 th season of FIRST ®! Prepare for blast off, break out of your earthly constraints and go INTO ORBIT SM. The 2018/2019 FIRST ® LEGO ® League season will transport your team into space, where you'll explore, challenge, and innovate in the vast expanse of space.

FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the INTO ORBIT season, teams will choose and solve a real-world problem in the Project. They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO ® MINDSTORMS ® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism ®

For more information, visit

Team Start-Up Grants Available
Each year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council sponsors three new FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams from the Shenandoah Valley. Approximately half of the start-up cost of a new team is reimbursed, up to $350.

Teams must be located in the footprint of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council's area of operation and intend to participate in the FLL competition within one year of receiving the grant. This grant can be used towards any equipment required for competition in FIRST LEGO League, including one or more LEGO robotics kits, a competition practice table, and an FLL field setup kit.

If you are interested in applying for the FLL Start-Up Grant, please complete the following form, and follow the steps as indicated on the form:  FLL Reimbursement Grant Application (pdf)

Highlighting Renewing Level II Member:
Shentel (Shenandoah Telecommunications Company) (NASDAQ: SHEN) is a diversified telecommunications company providing both regulated and unregulated telecommunications services through its wholly owned subsidiaries. These subsidiaries provide local exchange telephone services and wireless personal communications services (as a Sprint PCS affiliate of Sprint Nextel), as well as cable television, video, Internet and data services, fiber optics facilities and leased tower facilities. Chris Kyle, previously served on the SVTC Board of Directors.

  • Immerge, Harrisonburg (Web Developer)
  • Ryzing Technologies, Staunton (Mechanical Engineer)
  • Harrisonburg IT Department (Technology Support Specialist)
  • Chiedo, Harrisonburg (Web Development Intern) -- No experience required!
  • Harrisonburg Rockingham Community Services Board, Harrisonburg (IT Manager)
  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Engineer, Senior Software Developer, UX Designer, etc) 
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

Currently there are 18 channels and over 250 members. Please join in! 
Sign-up link:

Membership Badge Available 
Use our new graphic on your own website (and remember to link back to our website www. !) 

Choose the graphic file of your choice:

Let us know when you incorporate this graphic and we'll mention your site in return!

See how our Level I Members  grep Innovation, LLC displayed our membership badge on their  website!

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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