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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
November 27, 2015
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Annual Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast (December 3)
SVTC's Dec. Bits and Grits (Dec 15)
Lessons Learned: Snapshots from Virginia's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Commonwealth Conference on Cyber and Education 2015
MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Accepting Applications for spring 2016 session
Upcoming "solarize" webinar event on Dec 1, 2015 offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension (ref. solar cooperatives)
Job Opportunity: Database Administrator - TSSi
Annual Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast
December 3, 7:30am-9:00am, JMU Festival, Harrisonburg

The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce together host the annual pre-session legislative breakfast. This is a time that we listen to and engage with our area legislators about issues affecting business in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Invited delegates are: Emmett Hanger, Tony Wilt, Steve Landes, Dickie Bell, and Mark Obenshain.

FYI: Registration and payment is done through the HR Chamber of Commerce, and you will notice 'member' and 'non-member' pricing. If you are a member of the SVTC, please choose the '$10 member rate' on the registration page.

SVTC's Bits and Grits
December 15, 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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Lessons Learned: Snapshots from Virginia's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Posted by Conaway Haskins on Nov 17, 2015

This is a hot time for entrepreneurial development in Virginia. All across the Commonwealth, conferences, hackathons, startup weekends, coffee chats, summits, and festivals are popping up. Workshops are increasingly being offered to help Virginians pursue what is fast becoming the new American dream - owning a small business. This trend is reinforced by national data and analysis:
  • Small Business Ownership is the second greatest source of household wealth after home equity, and over 15% of the U.S. Labor-force owns a microbusiness (CFED).
  • In most counties in the U.S., the percent of workers employed by locally- or resident-owned businesses outweigh the percent of workers employed by nonresident-owned businesses Smaller local businesses have a more positive effect on local economic performance - per-capita income growth, employment growth, and change in poverty - than larger local businesses. (Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank).
  • From 2001 through 2009 (including the 9/11 crisis and the Great Recession), non-local employers (businesses located in one region but headquartered in another state) cut 7.1 million jobs and America's largest employers eliminated another 9 million jobs. Meanwhile, America's smallest firms generated 8 million net new jobs and self-employment grew by 3.2 million, a 91% increase (Center for Rural Entrepreneurship)
  • Between 1998 and 2008, Stage 2 companies (10-99 workers) were responsible for the creation of an estimated 2 million jobs, while large companies lost 3.7 million jobs (Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank)
Engagement with a wide array of community and economic developers, business assistance groups, entrepreneurs, civic and government leaders across Virginia has provided us with a bird's eye view for the happenings in and around Virginia's economic & entrepreneurial development scene over the past year.  Now that Global Entrepreneurship Week is upon us, there may be no better time to offer up some snapshot reflections on what we've seen as VCEN &SourceLink Virginia have journeyed to the heart of Virginia's entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Here's some of what we've learned so far:
  • Entrepreneurship ecosystems are inherently and fundamentally local and <read  the rest>
Commonwealth Conference on Cyber and Education 2015
Wed., Dec. 2, 2015 - Northern VA Community College (Woodbridge)

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, Governor McAuliffe is hosting Virginia's first statewide conference on cyber security on the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College.  This conference will bring together government, private sector and educational representatives for candid discussions on opportunities and strategies for filling the cyber talent pipeline.  We are planning a day-long event that will provide insight on emerging cyber trends and provide opportunities for networking and one-on-one conversations with Virginia's leading cyber security companies and federal agencies.

MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Accepting Applications for spring 2016 session 
Spring '16 Cohort to Begin on March 14th
The MACH37 Cyber Accelerator has officially announced it will begin accepting applications from information security product startups and security entrepreneurs for its Spring 2016 (S16) Cohort that begins on March 14th. The MACH37 program consists of an intense 90-day program in which the selected startups are coached in all aspects of creating a sustainable and successful business.  
MACH37 encourages entrepreneurs with emerging products and companies to apply for the S16 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.  Following completion of the program and a successful Demo Day presentation, the CIT GAP Fund will match up to $100,000 of outside investment for companies located in Virginia.  MACH37 companies will benefit from ongoing access to the MACH37 Stars Mentor Network and will receive support throughout the life of their enterprise.
Since MACH37 was launched in 2013, the accelerator has accepted five classes of startups to participate in the program. The Fall 2015 Cohort is currently in session and will culminate with a Demo Day on December 8th, 2015. Following the graduation of the F15 class, MACH37 will have helped create 29 new cybersecurity companies.
Bob Stratton, MACH37 General Partner, said, "Every day, we add new connected devices and new security risks to almost every aspect of our online lives. MACH37's unique program allows entrepreneurs to validate their disruptive cybersecurity concepts that solve these problems, and prepare their companies for investment. For the upcoming Spring 2016 Cohort, we are looking for companies and founders who are putting their best ideas into developing innovative products that address these risks at scale."
MACH37 is looking for candidates who:
  • Are building a disruptive information security technology product
  • Are delivering foundational security capabilities that enable entirely new products & 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
MACH37 is the first business accelerator to focus exclusively on information security innovations and startups. It brings together domain experts, successful cybersecurity entrepreneurs, and investors to create a platform for innovators and their startups to rapidly develop themselves into promising companies prepared for financing.
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, buyers, 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.  To learn more, please visit and follow  @MACH37cyber on Twitter

Upcoming "solarize" webinar event on Dec 1, 2015 offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension (ref. solar cooperatives)

Virginia Cooperative Extension will be hosting an educational webinar titled "Exploring Virginia-based Solarize Project Models" on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 from 10-11AM (EST).  
Solarize project models, also called solar cooperatives, attempt to increase efficiencies (and reduce project costs) by typically grouping many smaller solar photovoltaic projects in a region into a larger project that is then put up for a competitive bidding process.  The US Department of Energy indicates that these solarize project models generally serve to help overcome "... three major market barriers: cost, complexity, and customer inertia." (source: DOE, 2012, The Solarize Guidebook: A community guide to collective purchasing of residential PV systems, page 5) 
This educational webinar will highlight some of the solarize project experiences in Virginia and also include a presentation on the Rural Energy for America (REAP) program from the USDA's Rural Development agency.  REAP includes an energy-focused competitive grant program, for which farmers and rural small businesses may be eligible.         
Registration is required, please register for the webinar by completing this survey:   

You'll receive the link for the webinar meeting via WebEx upon completion of your registration.  Additionally, two reminder emails will also be sent to the email you've provided at a later date. 
This webinar will focus on "solarize" project models.  For additional information on solar energy conversion technologies themselves please refer to the solar energy educational videos from Virginia Cooperative Extension which are included below as YouTube videos


Fundamentals of Solar Photovoltaics

Fundamentals of Solar Hot Water Systems

Job Opportunity: Database Administrator - TSSi

TSSi is seeking qualified candidates for a Database Administrator position.  This position will be responsible for maintaining the ERP (Dynamics AX) databases and applications.  Requiring both technical level experience and the ability to interface with all levels of users including user support and training.  Previous experience in Database Administration and  familiarity with the implementation of new systems a plus.  Experience with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and/or 2012 and Dynamics NAV or AX is highly preferred.  Qualifications include the ability to maintain and administer TCP/IP networks, assist technical end users in database design and query optimization, create and implement training on AX system for all end users.
TSSi offers a competitive salary and benefits.  For additional information about TSSi or to view the full job description go to No calls please, qualified candidates can apply by submitting resume and/or application to  TSSi is an equal opportunity employer. 

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