What have we been doing this fall? Focusing on technology, tech-based business creation, and helping to create the future Valley workforce!

Tech Workforce: TECHSTERS 2018

Head volunteer Dr. Brett Tjaden assists a team during TECHSTERS


The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council has worked hard this fall to help GROW the Valley’s future tech workforce, help CREATE new tech-based businesses, and connect grant seekers/ researchers with those that have the resources. We’re strengthening the tech “fabric” of the Shenandoah Valley. We’ve had a blast facilitating and engaging with these endeavors.

Sometimes we’re asked, “What do you do” – so here’s a recap of the fall 2018 activities. Many of them are annual events and you may want to participate next year, as an attendee or sponsor. (For example, a sponsorship enabled us to award 4 iPads to the winning team at Techsters, pictured above.)

We’d also like to like to thank our members for supporting us. With your support, via your membership, we’re able to continue hosting events like the ones below (plus fun outings to places like the crash test track in Ruckersville). Thank you!

OCT 19, 2018 – NOV 2, 2018
Virginia ICAP Lean Start-Up Course | Shen Valley Cohort
Together with local partners, the SVTC hosted the 2nd course of ICAP. ICAP helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing their new technologies and innovations to market. This program included free introductory training and counseling. Through in-person classes at the Ice House in Harrisonburg and follow-up phone reviews, 6 local startups were able to identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. We are aiming to collaborate for a third installment in spring 2019. (Details)

OCT 23, 2018
Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) Information Session
A information session for the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) was held regarding funding for technology research or commercialization available through the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), a program managed by CIT. During the session Jennifer Hiltwine, a CRCF staff member, explained the program, the application process, and answered questions from prospective applicants. (Details)

NOV 3, 2018
TECHSTERS | A Cybersecurity Competition for Girls
The call went out to middle school girls in the Shenandoah Valley and on Nov. 3, we (and other tech councils) hosted TECHSTERS. Ours was held at JMU and two more were hosted elsewhere in the state. Techsters was a capture-the-flag (CTF) event intended to introduce middle-school girls to the cybersecurity industry in a fun and interactive game style. Twenty-five girls from the Shen. Valley competed their hearts out (with mentors along side them to help) as they utilized their resources, attacked problems with their problem-solving skills, and used their team knowledge, together with education from mentors, to score points. In the end, our teams were in the top 10 (with 7 of the top 10 from the Shen. Valley)! (Details)


NOV 3, 2018
FIRST LEGO League Regional Competition
In early December, the VA-DC FLL league hosted their state competition in town and it was the BIGGEST one in the world (102 teams from across the state came)! FIRST LEGO League (FLL) challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the INTO ORBIT season teams built, tested, and programmed an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a set of missions in the robot game tournament. Teams also created and presented a project by choosing and solving a real-world problem. The Shen. Valley Tech Council sponsored a Valley team and volunteered on both days of the competition.

Be part of it all and get involved with these and similar activities. How? Connect with and support the local tech ecosystem. Attend luncheons, learn about & discuss tech trends! Become a member and get an online profile. Grab some visibility at our premier event for tech users and creators, Tech Nite, in late spring and help highlight tech, innovators, educators, and leaders.