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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
July 3, 2015
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Virginia Velocity has launched! (Business Plan Competition)
New Level III Member, Axon Ghost Sentinel, invests expansion in City of Harrisonburg cybersecurity operation
2015 ASQ Conference, Sept. 18-20
Job Opening - City of Staunton
Job Opening - BEAM BROS. Trucking Inc.
Nomination season is open for the 2015 Governor's Technology Awards!
SVTC's July Bits and Grits (July 20)
SVTC Newsletters are worth the read! Check out this testimonial below:


Here's a little story on why one should definitely crack open that weekly SVTC email - you never know what hidden gem might reveal itself!


Recently, we passed information on to our readers from the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program, CSIIP, concerning the availability of ONE free-to-the-company internship - when hiring a community college student. In addition, the friendly folks at CSIIP, Debbie and Scott, were going to help search through their database if needed, and point out possible candidates. What a deal! One free intern for the summer and someone to hold your hand while you make your selection. Brilliant! Soon after we sent the email, I heard that three S.V. companies were in conversation with CSIIP, and last week then, I heard from Milt Matter / Ivy Tools that they were the winner! Here is his take on why it pays to read your tech council emails. Thanks, Milt!

"Thanks so much to the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council for helping connect Ivy Tools to a perfect summer internship opportunity. A well timed email from the SVTC brought to my attention a program offered by CSIIP, the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program. They wanted to place five community college students in internships with STEM related Virginia businesses. CSIIP would help the business locate qualified students and fully fund a paid internship.
After considering the proposition carefully for three seconds, I clicked the link in the SVTC email and filled out the brief employer application. A few minutes later I received a call from Scott Bellows at CSIIP offering to help find some candidates. Within a day Scott rounded up four excellent students and sent me their resumes. Over the next few days we interviewed the candidates and offered the position to a local student who will be studying mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia in the fall. It's been a great fit for Ivy Tools, with the student learning about a wide variety of electrical and mechanical diagnostic equipment, from FLIR cameras to airflow measurement.
With only five internships available statewide, it's unlikely that Ivy Tools would have ever heard of the program except through the SVTC email. We are happy to be a member of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, and grateful to have them laboring on our behalf. Many thanks to SVTC for keeping Valley tech businesses aware of such opportunities!

-Milton Matter, Ivy Tools


PS: Debbie from CSIIP says that even though they had limited funded slots, they would be happy to talk with Valley companies, and help anyone look through their system for a STEM-field intern;  the registration is quick and easy.


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Virginia Velocity has launched!
Virginia's Premier Business Plan Competition


The Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, has just announced that the Governor's first business plan competition in Virginia is now open to applicants!


Virginia Velocity will provide $850,000 in prizes for winners, and at least four winners will be chosen.  The competition is open to all companies in the bioscience and energy sectors, including those based outside of Virginia. Eligible competitors are for-profitorganizations that have been engaged in their current business for at least 24 consecutive months.  Winning companies need to be willing to locate in Virginia for at least two years and are expected to have an office operating in Virginia by January 1, 2016. The minimum age to apply is 18 years of age; the deadline for submitting an application is July 10, 2015.


Overseen by the Office of the Secretary of Commerce & Trade, Virginia Velocity is intended to help build awareness of Virginia's entrepreneurial economy. Our goal is to keep things energized here at Virginia Velocity. If your company is eligible, you are welcome to apply! If you know of eligible companies that would find these cash prizes enticing, please forward this email or direct them to the Virginia Velocity website at


We are also accepting applications for judges and mentors. Experience in business start-ups, entrepreneurship, and business plan evaluation are required. Experience in energy and/or bioscience is a plus! For information on being a judge or mentor, or to sign up, this page has more details.


You'll also find answers to many questions about the competition on our FAQ page And we're always available at


We hope you'll want to keep up to date on all things Virginia Velocity; you can 'like' us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!



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Governor McAuliffe Announces 29 New Jobs in City of Harrisonburg
AXON Ghost Sentinel, Inc. to invest $1.5 million to expand cybersecurity operation
--AXON Ghost Sentinel is our newest Level III Member!--


RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that AXON Ghost Sentinel, Inc. (AGS), a portfolio company of AXON Connected, LLC that provides swarm-based cybersecurity products, will invest $1.5 million to expand its operation in the City of Harrisonburg. Virginia successfully competed against Michigan and New Jersey for the project, which will create 29 new jobs paying well above the average prevailing wage in the region.
"The cybersecurity industry is a cornerstone of my administration's efforts to grow and diversify Virginia's economy," said Governor McAuliffe. "The continued success of high-tech companies like AXON Ghost Sentinel illustrates how attractive our Commonwealth is for companies in this emerging sector, which is a foundation of sustainable, resilient growth for a new Virginia economy."
"This expansion in the City of Harrisonburg represents another vote of confidence in Virginia's preeminent business climate," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "It is particularly exciting coming from a business like AXON Ghost Sentinel, which is in an industry that is experiencing growth and pays good wages to the workers in the region."
AXON Ghost Sentinel, Inc. is a cybersecurity company that develops swarm-based, autonomously reasoning products to identify and classify abnormalities in real time, predict future behavior, and optimally adapt to threats. The company's products provide situational awareness and protection for mobile devices, government and corporate networks, and the Internet-of-Things.
"We want to thank Governor McAuliffe and the City of Harrisonburg for the opportunity to develop our innovative cybersecurity solutions in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley," said Michael Markulec, President & CEO of AXON Ghost Sentinel. "We are honored to work with this incredible team of professionals and look forward to partnering with the local business community and academic institutions as we expand our operations."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Harrisonburg to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Harrisonburg with the project. Funding and services to support the company's employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
"The City of Harrisonburg is indeed excited to partner with AXON and the Commonwealth of Virginia to enable this expansion project to come to fruition," said Harrisonburg Mayor Christopher Jones. "Harrisonburg and James Madison University have been collaborating to target cybersecurity firms as an important business sector niche. Therefore, this AXON expansion project is very important to our community."
"I would like to thank AXON Ghost Sentinel, Inc. for choosing Virginia for this expansion and for their continued confidence in the City of Harrisonburg," said Delegate Tony Wilt. "I congratulate them on their success during what has been a trying economic time. I also commend the Commonwealth and the City of Harrisonburg for working together to make this expansion possible. The Shenandoah Valley and the Commonwealth remain committed to economic development in sectors that offer high-paying jobs for local residents, like cybersecurity. It is gratifying to see those efforts culminate in 29 new jobs for our community."
"Thanks to AXON working in partnership with the Commonwealth and City of Harrisonburg, we have another expanding business providing more job opportunities for our citizens," said Senator Mark Obenshain. "I am encouraged by this and other indicators of strong economic growth in the Shenandoah Valley, and commend AXON for their continued investment in the region."


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2015 ASQ Innovation Conference
(SVTC Members eligible for discounted tickets!)
September 18-20, Charlottesville, VA


Due to our sponsorship of this ASQ event we are able to extend an opportunity to 10 SVTC members to receive discounted conference tickets! We're collecting the info for those interested, and will pass them on to the ASQ folks. Reservations close August 31!

Conference details: Innovation is Quality for Tomorrow (pdf)

Innovation is today where quality management was 25 years ago. It is often confined to a small group of people in your organization- these great ideas and useful approaches are not always well publicized and do not always engage all of your people. Innovation can also mean different things to different people. To be successful, innovation- like quality-needs to engage everyone. To consolidate the Innovation Body of Knowledge, the ASQ Innovation Division is tapping a wide range of innovation thought leaders and practice leaders to find what works well, how success has been generated, and how successful approaches can be employed more widely. Not every method will work well for everybody, but there will be tools and techniques that you can use in your own work environment.

Featuring an Exciting Slate of Speakers Who's Range of Innovation Topics Includes:  

  • Culture 
  • Managing Innovation
  • Process
  • Quality to Innovation Pathway
  • Stats and Innovation
  • Innovation in an Established Organization


September 18-20, 2015
Holiday Inn University Area and Conference Center | 1901 Emmet Street | Charlottesville, VA 22901

SVTC Members Only: The first 10 SVTC members to fill out the form will receive $50 off their conference ticket.


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Job Opening:

Desktop Engineer - Information Technology - City of Staunton

Do you like a fast-paced environment, juggling multiple projects and making things happen?  The City of Staunton is seeking applicants for a Desktop Engineer.  The selected candidate will join a dynamic team responsible for the "care and feeding" of end user devices including desktops, mobile devices, software, printers and networks; providing quality customer support, troubleshooting, implementation, and coordination with vendors and the rest of the IT team. Applicants should possess the ability to analyze, troubleshoot and resolve complex problems, excel in a team environment, utilize strong customer service skills, and communicate effectively. 

The City is currently evaluating candidates for two potential positions. One position will be primarily focused on supporting technology within the police department and will include some data analysis responsibilities.  The second position will be responsible for supporting other City departments.  Candidates will be considered for both positions unless a candidate indicates a desire for a specific position.

An Associate's degree in an appropriate discipline or equivalent amount of experience is required.  Minimum of one-year experience with related technology or in a public safety discipline is desired.  The City's infrastructure is primarily Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.  Experience in these areas is highly desired.  A+ certification is beneficial.

Salary range starts at $41,055, hiring range is DOQ/E (+) excellent benefits package, including health insurance and retirement.

Candidates may apply online at  Position is open until filled with first review of applications occurring on July 24, 2015.  EOE.



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Job Opening:

Programmer Analyst - BEAM BROS. Trucking Inc. 

BEAM  BROS. Trucking Inc. is seeking an experienced Programmer Analyst to design, develop, and evaluate programs for internal functional areas at our headquarters in Mt. Crawford, VA. BA degree in related field or equivalent experience in Computer Science or Engineering required. Must be detail-oriented and work well independently.


To be considered as a potential applicant you must complete an application available at www.beambros.comInstructions are posted on our website.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status or status as an individual with disability.


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Governor McAuliffe Announces Submission Period Open for Technology Awards Nominations

Submissions should highlight IT-driven improvements in government efficiency


RICHMOND - Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson and Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth Nelson Moe today officially invite nominations for the 2015 Governor's Technology Awards.


These awards recognize the success of public sector information technology (IT) projects that improve government service delivery and efficiency.


"Virginia is committed to innovation, stewardship of public dollars and giving taxpayers the best possible customer service," said Governor Terry McAuliffe. "These awards are an opportunity to highlight innovative technology projects that are making life better for citizens and helping us build a new Virginia economy."


Nine award categories highlight areas of innovation for state, local and educational entities. Submissions should focus on improvements in the business of government made possible by strategic use of IT. All nominations must be submitted by a Virginia public body and are due by midnight on Friday, July 24.


Nominations will be evaluated by a panel of judges that includes IT leaders from state agencies, localities, the legislature, the courts and education. Awards will be presented to honorees at a special ceremony during the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Executive summaries of winning nominations will be posted online to provide best practice examples to peers and partners.


The 2015 Governor's Technology Awards categories are:

  • Cross-boundary collaboration on IT service delivery initiatives: Recognizes the innovative use of IT to share data easily across boundaries, create knowledge-sharing culture, support common business processes or promote innovative partnership programs. Nominations should be submitted jointly by at least two government entities.
  • IT as efficiency driver - government to citizen: Recognizes the innovative use of IT to improve citizen access to and service from governmental entities. Included are projects which improve citizens' electronic interaction with government, promote availability, usability and/or transparency of information and increase public awareness and adoption of services.
  • IT as efficiency driver - government to business: Recognizes the innovative use of IT to promote efficiency by improving business access to and service from governmental entities. Included are projects to improve business' electronic interaction with government, promote availability, usability and/or transparency of information and increase business awareness and adoption of available services.
  • IT as efficiency driver - government to government: Recognizes the innovative use of IT to promote efficiency in government. This category promotes projects that enable organizations to do more with less. Results realized may include a dollar return on investment, realignment of staff time and/or newly transparent processes/information.
  • Innovative use of technology in local government: Recognizes the innovative use of IT to solve a business problem at the local level. This category is open to any local government entity, including social services, first responders and GIS practitioners.
  • Innovative use of technology in education: Recognizes the innovative use of IT to support the unique missions of Virginia's schools, colleges and universities. Cooperative projects between educational institutions and other governmental entities, including research and development programs, fall into this category.
  • Innovative use of big data and analytics: Recognizes the innovative use of technology in collecting, storing, retrieving and analyzing a variety of structured and unstructured data sources.
  • Innovative use of open data: Recognizes the innovative use of technology and transparency in making data available to citizens, businesses or other government entities. Preference will be given to those projects that encourage and facilitate creative and low-cost utilization of information to expand and enhance citizen services and engagement.
  • Best citizen portal: Recognizes the innovative use of an online portal that demonstrates innovation, functionality, attractiveness, efficiency and ease of use. Open to any Virginia government organization, agency or jurisdiction that is citizen-facing. 

The judging criteria, eligibility requirements and directions for online submission of nominations are posted online at on the COVITS website at News and updates can be followed @COVITS, @kareninva and #TechinVA on Twitter.


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Upcoming SBIR/STTR Events


WEBINARS on July 14, 21, 28, and Aug. 14, 18

CIT is pleased to announce a 5 part NIH SBIR/STTR Webinar series to help those who

are planning a submission to NIH for Sept. 7 (2015) or January 5 (2016) omnibus 

solicitations.  Low cost for each session, and discounts if registered for all five.

All sessions to be recorded in case you register after the series starts.


July 14 - Contacting NIH and Writing Your Specific Aims

The Specific Aims section is the most important page in your proposal. This is where

you tell your story, concisely stating the goals of the proposed research and summarizing

the expected outcomes.  This session covers tips on how to approach your Aims, what

to include and what to avoid, what reviewers are looking, etc. We will also review

when and how to touch base with NIH.


July 21 - Writing Research Strategy and Demonstrating Impact

The Research Strategy explains the Significance of the problem or critical barrier

your project addresses its technological Innovation (how does it move the field 

forward?) and the Approach you will take to prove its feasibility. This session 

will delve into these areas and making sure your project has IMPACT.


July 28 - Developing Your Commercialization Strategy

To be eligible for SBIR/STTR funding your state-of-the-art of technology must have

commercial potential.  Applicants must know their market size, characteristics, 

customers and competitors and how their innovation will address an unmet market 

need. This session deals with how to approach these topics and what information 

you'll need to determine financial projections and the impact of your product.


August 14 - Tips on Preparing the Biosketches and Facilities Sections

This session will help you identify who comprises your key personnel, what to include

in a personal statement, who needs to provide letters of support and what the letters

should include, and more. In addition, we will review key aspects of the Facilities

and Resources section (not just a cut and paste list!).


August 18 - Formidable Forms, Pushing the Button and Tracking Your Submission

This webinar provides important information about identifying and completing the

required forms for an SBIR/STTR submission to the National Institutes of Health

as well as how to navigate the electronic submission process.  You will learn how

to avoid common mistakes and make corrections, formatting pointers, and how to track

your submission.


All sessions presented by BBC ETC.


Questions, contact or 703-689-3080.

Cost:  $15 for Virginia firms for each session. $50 for all five.  Higher for all others.




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Nomination season is open for the 2015 Governor's Technology Awards!


Nomination season is open for the 2015 Governor's Technology Awards, hosted by the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS).  The purpose of the awards program is to recognize outstanding public sector technology projects, and nominations are due by July 24th.  Our region has had past success in this program, with JMU winning awards in 2008 and 2013, and the SVP winning an award in 2013.  This event provides great visibility for award winners and nominees, culminating in a reception and awards ceremony in Richmond on September 9th, which typically attracts 200+ state, local, and private sector technology leaders. 

Detailed information on how to submit can be found on the following webpage:

There are nine categories this year, and organizations can submit nominations in multiple award categories, but only one submission per category.  In order to track the one nomination per category limit, I would appreciate it if any JMU departments or offices that are interested in submitting could please keep me in the loop, as the "Use of Technology in Education" may be a popular category requiring an internal, limited submission review.

If anyone is interested in attending the conference (September 9-10 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel in Short Pump), registration is now open:

Please feel free to share these details w/ others who may be interested, and I'm happy to answer any questions about the process.

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SVTC's Bits and Grits
July 20, 8-9am; Mrs. Rowes, Staunton, VA


Come get together for great breakfast and to talk some tech. Dutch treat. No reservations required. 


This is where our technology users and creators get together to connect about various topics (while eating some good food!). This occurs on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Look for Kurt Plowman. No reservations required.


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Member News: Check out Cadence's new media project by DIGICO


SVTC member Cadence, in business for 30 years this year, has released a new corporate brand video 'One Cadence' produced with SVTC member DIGICO Shoot | Post | Design. Filmed on location at five of Cadence's six facilities including their Staunton headquarters, and locations in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, the video highlights all of Cadence's products and services for the markets they serve.


One Cadence
One Cadence


View this on YouTube or on the Cadence, Inc. website.


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CIT and VDOE Announce 2015 Winners of Apps4VA JMU App Development Challenge to Improve Educational Outcomes
Twenty-eight student teams at JMU develop educational apps using data from the VLDS


June 24, 2015 (HERNDON, VA.) - The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), announced today the winners of the 2015 Apps4VA James Madison University software application (app) development competition. The Apps4VA initiative focuses on improving K-12 education by engaging the public in contributing fresh and innovative ideas on how to use education data. 


Jointly sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and CIT, the Apps4VA JMU competition engaged more than 100 James Madison University students in a semester-long project to develop innovative solutions and software tools to improve education and educational decisions in Virginia. Students collaborated on teams to design and implement an application that would solve an educational challenge based on the Apps4VA data catalog.


Chris Mayfield, Assistant Professor, and Michael Norton, Associate Professor, in JMU's Computer Science Department, said, "For the second straight year, we have seen a very impressive set of applications result from our students' work in the Apps4VA project. This type of application development fits seamlessly with our curriculum and provides our students with the ability to produce applications that have the potential to impact the education ecosystem across the State."


The winners of the competition are:


Grand Prize Winner:

Team VEBA: Virginia Educational Budget Analyzer: VEBA is a web application which highlights trends in how government spending affects various metrics related to the Virginia school system. The application uses student metrics from the VLDS and the educational budget records available through Student developers included: Dave McVicar, Abhisek Luthra and Nick Love.


Second Place Team:

Team Dry Bump: SmartFinance: The SmartFinance application allows administrators and politicians with quick access to financial data from across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The application allows for the comparison between instructional spending per capita and student postsecondary success to identify schools that may be suffering from a funding gap or schools that are achieving high success rates with limited resources. Student developers included Stephen Banghart, Zach Bolan, Chris Peterkin and Aaron Zamecnik.


Apps4VA was launched by CIT and VDOE as a way to raise awareness of the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS), which provides research information on Virginia public school students' progress toward college and career readiness; to engage the public in using the data to develop new insights and tools for educators, researchers and policymakers; and to increase government transparency.  Since its inception, the Apps4VA program has engaged more than 400 participants who have developed more than 200 cutting-edge, education-focused apps.


Bethann Canada, Director of Educational Information Management at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), said, "The expansion of the Apps4VA program into the course curriculum at James Madison University is a perfect example of how the VDOE is looking for new ways to use our educational data. Over the course of the last two years, the classes at JMU have developed dozens of applications that show the VLDS can play a critical role in improving education policies across the Commonwealth. The Apps4VA program is not a single event, but an ongoing process. VDOE is very interested in finding additional strategic partners like JMU to help find new uses for the VLDS."


Winners of the Apps4VA JMU challenge will be highlighted at the 2015 Insights Conference on June 30, 2015 at the University of Mary Washington Stafford Campus (


For more information on the program, visit the Apps4VA website.


About CIT Connect,

Recognizing a need in the marketplace, CIT Connect was established to help federal, state, and corporate consumers of technology identify and assimilate innovation. The CIT Connect service line delivers unique and innovative value-add solutions enabling technology consumption, adoption, and integration into organizations. CIT Connect's experts work with organizations to assess the spectrum of inputs into the development and implementation process, including stakeholders, corporate culture and policies, technology and market environment.


About the Virginia Department of Education,

The Virginia Department of Education provides support and guidance to the commonwealth's 132 public school divisions which, combined, educate approximately 1.2 million PK-12 students. The department administers regulations promulgated by the state Board of Education and supports the board in carrying out its responsibilities under state and federal education law.


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