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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
October 5,  2018
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SVTC October Luncheon at the Staunton Innovation Hub (10/18)
GO Virginia Region 8 Council Now Accepting Project Proposals (deadline 10/5)
edUi Conference | Charlottesville (10/8 - 10/10)
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)
TECHSTERS | For Middle School Girls (11/3) -- Sponsorship Available!
FIRST LEGO League Regional Tournament (11/3) -- Volunteers Needed | Start-Up Grants Available
Highlighting Renewing Level II Member: Rockingham County Economic Development
Highlighting Renewing Level I Member: Chiedo Labs
Highlighting Renewing Level I Member: City of Staunton IT Department
Highlighting Renewing Level I Member: JMU Information Technology Department
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
SVTC October Luncheon at the
Staunton Innovation Hub (10/18)
October 18, 2018 | 11:45 am - 1: 00 pm 
Staunton Innovation Hub

Peter Denbigh from the Staunton Innovation Hub will be leading 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!

GO Virginia Region 8 Council Now Accepting Project Proposals (deadline 10/5)

Application Deadline October 5, 2018

The GO Virginia Region 8 Council is pleased to announce that it is accepting proposals for projects to be funded through the State's GO Virginia initiative.  The Region 8 Council has approximately $1.6 million in GO Virginia funds to award to projects in the region.  The upcoming application deadline is October 5, 2018, for per capita and enhanced capacity building proposals.

For a project to be considered by the Region 8 Council, complete one of the following applications:  Project Application (per Capita) or  Project Application (Enhanced Capacity Building).  See also the  Project Application Guide that offers background information on GO Virginia and the Region 8 Council, provides the criteria for eligible projects, and outlines the application and award process.  The application and guide are also available on the Shenandoah Valley Partnership's website at: 

About GO Virginia
The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board and Fund was approved by the 2016 Virginia General Assembly, and is a business-led, bipartisan initiative that is incentivized and encouraged by the state, however participation is not required of localities. An organizing workgroup made up of staff from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and interested economic development, workforce training, community planning and development, education, and business leaders from around the state met in 2016 to recommend geographic partitioning and Fund guidelines and procedures to the Board. Nine regions were established and each region formed councils that were certified by the Board in March 2017. The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board is comprised of 24 members with representation from the House and Senate, Gubernatorial appointments, and private sector leadership. In addition to approving GO Virginia regions and certifying regional councils, the Board is responsible for determining project funding.

edUi Conference | Charlottesville (10/8 - 10/10)

October 8 - 10, 2018 | Charlottesville | See schedule for times

Join us on October 8 - 10 for edUi! edUi is a 3-day conference for web professionals working at institutions of learning-colleges, universities, libraries, and museums. Presented by Virginia Humanities. The event will take place at a variety of venues on the scenic pedestrian mall in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia (view map).

For more information, visit:

Register for October 8-10 edUi Conference (discount code ROCKTOWN has been applied to this link for $100 off your ticket -- thanks to the edUi Planning Team!)

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)


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.


TECHSTERS | For Middle School Girls (11/3)

Using best practices and lessons learned from Capital One in conjunction with the long-standing TECHSTERS program, many technology and innovation business councils in Virginia are working together to host a statewide  "Capture the Flag" event on Saturday, Nov. 3 that will expose girls to the  cybersecurity industry in a fun and interactive game style. This program is meant to inspire a future generation to discover technology, get excited about STEM, and build code for real-world applications.

(Formed in 2013, TECHSTERS is an after-school program for middle school aged girls dedicated to inspiring young women to pursue their interests in STEM fields. Since the program's first day event with robotic balls called Spheros, TECHSTERS has served over 1,100 students in the greater Richmond region. In 2017, Capital One used the TECHSTERS model to host ten regional coding programs for middle school girls all across the Commonwealth. The outcome was spectacular as they reached over 900 students in two days.)

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
TECHSTERS | For Middle School Girls (11/3)

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:
Rockingham County, located along the I-81 corridor in the center of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, is one of Virginia's fastest growing communities, where a diverse mix of business and agriculture provide a strong foundation for economic expansion. The County encompasses the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan area, and firms in the area offer products for shipment nationwide and internationally. Major manufacturing centers serve clients along the East Coast and into the Mid-West supplying food, auto parts, books, consumer goods and much more. Business leaders extol the high work ethic of the local workforce, that has a pride in quality workmanship. A short two-hour drive to the Nation's Capital in a beautiful country setting, with year-round recreational opportunities and top-level colleges and universities, make Rockingham County, Virginia a great place to live, work and play!

Highlighting Renewing Level I Member:
Chiedo Labs was founded in 2012 by Chiedo during his last semester at James Madison University and has been growing rapidly ever since. Chiedo Labs wants to contribute to technology that has been set up the right way and work with entrepreneurs to build their app ideas and websites. If you are looking for a team of coders to support your business or project, Chiedo Labs is definitely the team for the job. Currently, they are based in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia but have clients nationwide and overseas.

Highlighting Renewing Level I Member:
The City of Staunton Information Technology Department is responsible for meeting the information technology needs for departments throughout the City. The department maintains a metro area network supporting more than 30 locations throughout the City, connecting PCs, servers and telecommunication systems. IT establishes and maintains connectivity standards for the user community, monitors compliance with existing use policies, and advises the City Manager and City Council on issues related to technology.

The department supports the City's web site, computing and telecommunications infrastructure, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), facilitates and conducts training for employees, and provides technical assistance in the purchase of hardware and software for individual users and departments.

Internships are encouraged through area educational institutions.

Highlighting Renewing Level I Member:
Information Technology at James Madison University is an essential element of academic life, enabling study, research and personal communication. As a means to excellence in achieving its education, research and service missions, the University provides and supports computing and electronic communication services for all its students, faculty and staff. The department is headed by AVP Dale Hulvey.

  • 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)

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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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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 3615
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807



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