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August 17, 2012 - click headlines for quick navigation 

FIRST Lego League Regional Competition - SVTC to Sponsor 3 Teams
SVTC Bits & Grits: August 21, 2012
SV-SBDC Workshop - Start Smart - For Those Thinking About New Businesses: August 23 (Harrisonburg) & September 5 (Staunton)
CIT - University Tech Transfer Funding Forums: September 24th or September 26th
CIT Announces Next Phase of Apps4VA Competitions
CIT - SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep Workshops: September 25th or September 27th
Startup Weekend, Charlottesville: October 26 & 27, 2012
CIT GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards: Call for Nominations

FIRST Lego League Regional Competition - SVTC to Sponsor 3 Teams

Let the excitement begin!  November 3, 2012 is the date for the Shenandoah Valley's FIRST Lego League regional competition.  The SVTC is proud to offer sponsorships to three new Shenandoah Valley teams in 2012 and NOW is the time to apply for SVTC sponsorship.

What do we give? There are start-up costs for each team (equipment and registration) and we reimburse approximately half of the cost (up to $350).

If you are interested in an application for a start-up team, please visit our FIRST Lego League Page (under the Programs tab on our website) to learn more and to download the application form.

Teams can be any  group of kids (e.g. school, church, neighborhood, etc).   Contact Nicky at with any questions.



FIRST Lego League (FLL), was created through a partnership between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO company, and inspires future scientists and engineers.

The FIRST LEGO League (FLL), considered the "little league" of the FIRST Robotics Competition, is the result of a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company. FLL extends the FIRST concept of inspiring and celebrating science and technology to children aged 9 through 14, using real-world context and hands-on experimentation.

With the help of LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System technology, young participants can build a robot and compete in a friendly, FIRST-style robotics event specially designed for their age group. Using LEGO bricks and other elements such as sensors, motors, and gears, teams gain hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming principles as they construct and program their unique robot inventions.


To find out more about the FIRST Lego League, as well as the programs available for other age groups, please visit the following link:


While we give 3 grants a year in support of new teams, the competition is put together by Dr. Ralph Grove at JMU's CISAT and he coordinates the teams as being the tournament director. For more information you may contact him at

or call (540) 568-6288.


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Bits & Grits
Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 8:00am
Our regularly scheduled breakfast event is held on the third Tuesday of every month. See you there! Reservations or membership not required.


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SV-SBDC Workshop:  Start Smart - For Those Thinking About New Businesses
August 23, 2012, 10:00-11:30am (Harrisonburg)
September 5, 2012, 2:00-3:30pm (Staunton)
Thinking about starting a small business?  Have you already started and realize you may have missed a few things?  This workshop is for you.

We review the steps to a successful start, the registrations and regulations, and the components of sound business planning, including financial projections.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your business or marketing plan.
Fee: $25

For more information visit


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University Tech Transfer Funding Forums
September 24, Charlottesville, VA
September 26, Blacksburg, VA

Hosted by the Center for Innovative Technology.

These sessions will provide insights into various funding sources available to university researchers to facilitate tech transfer and company start-up efforts. Companies that have used these funding sources will be featured in the discussion. 
Ideal for University researchers, university personnel, entrepreneurial university researchers, and postdoctoral researchers looking for funding to further develop their technology.

Attend all or part of this important forum!  Seats are limited to the first 50 registrants.

University personnel may attend at not cost, but must register.
For complete information and to register visit:

CIT Announces Next Phase of Apps4VA Competitions


First public competition to create applications to improve education begins today.

August 15, 2012 (Herndon, Va.) - Coming off a successful Startup Weekend event earlier this summer, the Center
for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced today the next phase of the Apps4VA Competition to continue to engage
entrepreneurs, the general public and students to develop innovative applications for K-12 data.
Apps4VA is a partnership between CIT, Virginia's Department of Education (VDOE) and U.S. Department of Education
to use open competitions to find creative ways to use K-12 data in Virginia's Longitudinal Data System (VLDS).
The first phase was the NOVAEDU Startup Weekend in June where educators, developers and entrepreneurs gathered
for 54 hours to develop applications for the VLDS data. Team Pigeon won Best Overall Idea and Team Edunomics won Best Use of the K-12 data.
VDOE Director of Education Information Management Bethann Canada said, "The NOVA EDU Startup Weekend was awesome, and we look forward to more great and innovative ideas in the next phase of our Apps4VA Competition."
The next phase will be two open competitions where the general public and high school students can submit applications using the VLDS data and compete for more than $25,000 in prizes. Participants in the Apps4VA Open Competition can compete as individuals or in teams and must create an application using at least one of the VLDS datasets. Mashups of combining one of the required datasets with any publicly available data also may be submitted. The general public, teachers and students are invited to participate. The submission period opens
today, August 15, 2012 and closes November 15, 2012.
The Apps4VA High School Competition will challenge Virginia high school students either to create a presentation
of a theoretical application, or submit an actual working software application that would use at least one of the
VLDS datasets. Mashups combining one of the required datasets with any publicly available data also may be
submitted. Participants may compete as individuals or as teams, and winners will earn cash prizes for themselves
and for their schools. The submission period opens September 14, 2012 and closes November 15, 2012.

For more details on the program, submitting an entry or for access to the data, please visit

SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep Workshops
(NIH Focused): September 25, Charlottesville, VA
(NSF Focused): September 27, Blacksburg, VA

Hosted by the Center for Innovative Technology

SBIR grants (Small Business Innovation Research) and it's sister STTR grant program (Small Business Technology Transfer) provide $150K - $1M in early stage R&D funding. 11 participating federal agencies use this program to fund early stage technology development that will help them solve their problems and meet their missions. $2.5B is available in this program, with the main purpose to commercialize the funded technology.

The Sept. 25 session in Charlottesville will provide detailed instruction on strategy and technical proposal preparation, with a focus on the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  With over $500M available in their SBIR/STTR programs, the NIH SBIR/STTR programs allow for investigator initiated topics to be proposed and funded.  From software development, training, IT, and new drugs, NIH funds a wide range of research with most topics proposed by the researcher.

The Sept. 27 session in Blacksburg will provide detailed instruction on strategy and technical proposal preparation, with an emphasis on the National Science Foundation (NSF).  With over $100M available in their SBIR/STTR programs, the NSF funds a lot of early stage, start-up, small tech firms, many of which had origins at a university. A large commercial opportunity is required in order to be considered for an NSF SBIR/STTR.   The NSF SBIR/STTR programs fund a wide array of technologies by way of four major technology categories: Biological & Chemical Technologies; Education Applications; Electronics, Information & Communications Technologies; Nanotech, Advanced Materials & Manufacturing.

For full information and to register visit:

Startup Weekend, Charlottesville: October 26 & 27, 2012
CitySpace, 100 5th Street Northeast, Charlottesville

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it's a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

For more information and to register visit


"As a technology user and training coordinator, I find the SVTC luncheons a great source of information and networking.  I have developed contracts with businesses and trainers as a result of conversations at the meetings.  SVTC helps me to serve the needs of my customers and clients."

- Mary Sullivan, Training 

  Coordinator, Blue Ridge

  Community College, SV 

  Small Business Development



 * * * * * 


"SVTC membership has been an invaluable asset to Cadence over the years.  As a growing company in this area, our ability to leverage the many available networking activities continues to be an integral part of our on-going success.  Cadence has also benefited from recognition by the SVTC as the High Tech Company at the annual Tech Nite awards event." 


 - Chip Harvill, VP Marketing
   Cadence, Inc.


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CIT GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards: Call for Nominations to Recognize Most Ground Breaking Entrepreneurs

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) has announced the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards, a new statewide entrepreneur award program, designed to identify and celebrate Virginia's next generation entrepreneurs in the areas of life sciences, technology and energy.

They are seeking nominations from all corners of the Commonwealth, CIT wants to honor innovative business entrepreneurs creating high-growth companies.

Nominating criteria includes: 

  • Individuals who are most likely to found a high-growth tech, life science or energy venture in the next 5 years
  • Individuals both with or without current involvement in a start-up

  • Individuals with strong ties to Virginia (but not required to be Virginia residents)

  • Individuals must exhibit substantive involvement in Virginia's technology or entrepreneurial ecosystem

  • In order to qualify for final voting individuals must be nominated by 3 people

  • CIT Board members and employees are not eligible  

CIT GAP Funds is the driving force behind the entrepreneur awards. They provide seed-stage equity investments in Virginia's top life science, technology and energy enterprises, propelling economic development and bolstering innovation statewide. Please see for more information.  

Nominations for the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards can be submitted through the website 

Final GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards recipients will be determined through a peer voting process. CIT will send an electronic ballot to nominees to vote. The final 2012 GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards recipients will be honored at an award banquet in McLean, Va. on October 18th. 

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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council | 800 S. Main Street | MSC 4901 | Harrisonburg | VA | 22807