Save the Date | SVTC’s Fall Tech Mixer 2019

Join the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council on September 24th for our annual Fall Tech Mixer. Hosted by the SVTC’s Board of Directors, this is our fall networking event.

Come and find out what the SVTC is doing as an organization, and what our members are doing individually. This is our second biggest event of the year (only Tech Nite is bigger). This is where the growing technology community goes in the fall to catch up. SVTC members are corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, coders, programmers and more. Membership is not required to participate in the Fall Tech Mixer nor many SVTC events. Feel free to invite a co-worker, customer, friend or spouse (please register each).

Come out and join current and potential members as they mingle and network. Appetizers are ‘on us’! Drinks are Dutch treat.

Parking: we recommend the Water St. parking garage; the restaurant is right across the street (see downtown Harrisonburg parking information).

SVTC Luncheon | WTF is Strategy and Why Should You Care?

This presentation will focus on understanding the 3 different types of strategic disciplines.  What are their differences and how businesses often gravitate to one not realizing the others are blind spots?  How to build a strategy that leverages all 3 and how to do that to build a better organization.  An ideal topic for business leaders looking to take their business to the next level or understand how to pivot from stagnate/declining revenue.

About the Speaker
David Deaton, founder of Deaton Group, LLC, has over two decades of experience transforming organizations through strategic planning, market research, and effective execution.  David has partnered with organizations worldwide ranging from startups and nonprofits to global businesses to improve growth, manage change and transformation, and develop strong strategic foundations to build and sustain their success.  As the former Director of Strategy and Market Research for the CFA Institute Asia Pacific region, David has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative market analysis. He then went on to become Global Strategic Planning Director where he developed organizational strategy and departmental alignment, guided new teams and projects through effective launches, helped teams plan for implementation, and provided group facilitation for departmental strategic planning.  We know that organizations can overcome their toughest obstacles and reach new levels of success through sound strategy. We’re here to make that happen.

SVTC Luncheon Sign-up | Oct. 24, 2019

Please pre-register so that we can plan the set-up of the location and bring a pre-printed nametag for you.
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Innovate | Shenandoah: Strategic Doing Day

Strategic Doing - Shen Valley Save the Date

Innovate | Shenandoah in an initiative sponsored by SCCF and the VA Department of Housing and Community Development. They are hosting a Strategic Doing Day. What is Strategic Doing? Strategic Doing is a framework developed by Purdue University that helps loosely connected groups, collaborate quickly and effectively. Communities within the Shenandoah Valley are invited to build teams that will work through the Strategic Doing Process to develop projects that highlight entrepreneurship and economic vibrancy in your community.

Want to be a part of a team? Complete the form in the link below and you will get you connected to the appropriate organizer within your region. Please note, some teams may already be full.

Register for the October 30, 2019 Strategic Doing Day and you will be connected within your region

ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course – Charlottesville

Based on the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.ICAP includes FREE introductory training programs and counseling services offered through ICAP instructors and local SBDC counselors. ICAP helps startups identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. It is an ideal program for early-stage companies trying to prepare for eventual venture investment. Apply for ICAP Lean Startup Course at

Important Dates

  • August 21, 2019 – Applications are due by midnight; see the link below.
  • August 28, 2019 – Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.
  • TBD – 6:00pm – 8:00pm – Introductory Conference Call
  • September 11, 2019 – 9:00am – 5:00pm – Initial Team Presentations
  • September 18, 2019 – Each team participates in a pre-scheduled telephone review of the team’s Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
  • September 25, 2019 – 9:00am – 1:00pm – Final Team Presentations
During this introductory 2-week program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to the class meetings and webinar, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and course assignments. At the conclusion of the program, you will remain connected with your ICAP trainers and SBDC Business Advisors to continue your progress on the Five Steps to Startup Success over the following 12 months.
The introductory program is designed to generate a maximum impact over a relatively short duration and should be considered a required first step for anyone interested in commercializing a technology or product, whether through a startup or licensing arrangement. Some graduates of this cohort may be eligible to apply to NSF’s full National Seven-week I-Corps Program, which includes non-dilutive grants for customer discovery and prototype development. Additionally, this program can help teams develop better submissions for SBIR and CRCF grants from Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technologies.

Your ICAP Instructor
Bob Smith is currently the Director of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP), a program funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by George Mason University and the Virginia Small Business Development Center Network (VSBDC). Here he helps researchers, inventors, and technology startups develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He’s also an instructor with the NSF’s DC I-Corp Node.
Bob has 30+ years’ experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of, a leading college rankings website. He’s held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing, and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor, and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing, geospatial analytics, data science, and local media go from launch through to favorable exits.
Bob received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.
For more information email:

Apply for ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course
 (app. deadline August 21 by midnight)

Defense Entrepreneurs Forum | Pop-Up Drink & Think

Drink and Think Pop Up Graphic

Join the SVTC and Defense Entrepreneurs Forum Charlottesville (#DEFCharlottesville) for a Pop-Up Drink & Think, Staunton (8/6, 6 pm) at the Staunton Innovation Hub

The DEF Charlottesville community is excited to have a Pop-Up Drink & Think event to connect virtuous insurgents in the Central Virginia area.

The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum is a non-profit network of problem solvers in the military, government and private sector that work together to increase innovation and support disruptive thinkers in the national security space. The mission of DEF is “Inspire – Connect – Empower” and involves not only monthly gatherings around the world, but periodic DEFx events, an annual conference, and ongoing collaboration via Slack, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

If you’re curious what all the buzz is about in national security and defense innovation, have an interest in how military members and veterans are collaborating with academia, industry, and startups, or just enjoy interacting with other curious members of the military, technology, policy and entrepreneur communities, this is the place to be! Uniforms, ranks, and titles are left at the door to facilitate meaningful conversations that support the national security community.

Daniel Manning, founder of Firepower Concepts and Deputy Director of Regional Affairs for the United States Air Force will be there. He works with executives from business, non-profits, and governments to use applied creativity to unlock ideas and solve tough problems. Blending decades of military experience with the latest academic research into creativity, neuroscience, and psychology, he helps precisely define problems, develop solutions, and craft action plans to put those solutions to work.

If you are a military member, work in government, are an entrepreneur focused on national security, or find the idea of helping solve tough problems enticing, then DEF’s monthly Drink & Thinks are a great way to learn more.


Why should I register? Taking the couple minutes it takes to register helps the local DEF team to better prepare the planned space for everyone who plans on attending. Thanks in advance!

What are my transportation/parking options? Parking is available in the vicinity of the venue.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Feel free to message DEF any questions you may have on Facebook in advance, or shoot us an email. We don’t like spam, but are interested in just about anything else that falls into DEF lanes, so, when in doubt, reach out! We are, after all, about connecting people.

Please register via Eventbrite

Business After Hours: Staunton Innovation Hub

Join us on August 15 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm at the Staunton Innovation Hub!

       Staunton Innovation Hub Logo

Brought to you by the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce, join us on August 15 for Business After Hours. Business After Hours gives you the opportunity to network with many local businesses in a casual, after-hours environment!

Networking is the most affordable way of marketing yourself which results in personal referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. Rise above today’s multitude of advertising white noise, set yourself apart and make those personal relationships. Grab a stack of your business cards and come prepared to make big connections. Don’t delay and register today!

Register for August 15, 2019 Business After Hours at the Staunton Innovation Hub

Valley Women in Tech Lunch

Gathering women “in tech” on October 29 for an informal gathering from around the Valley to connect, network, and share ideas. This is a first meeting to get acquainted  – let’s see what, if anything, we want to do. From students to professionals, we welcome all those who identify as women or girls interested in or associated with technology.

Take a look at an organization in Charlottesville, Charlottesville Women in Tech (, we are keeping them in mind as we start a conversation among women who are in tech, in the Valley. As always, that’s anywhere on the range from tech user to tech creator. Elaine Cheng, Chief Information Officer, Shentel and Nicky Swayne, CEO, Shen. Valley Technology Council will facilitate the meeting.

Please pre-register to attend so that we can bring pre-printed nametags for attendees.

Valley Women in Tech | October 8, 2019

Please pre-register so that we can plan the set-up of the location and bring a pre-printed nametag for you.
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SVTC Luncheon | Building Useful Conversational Software

It’s easy to build a bot; it’s hard to build a useful bot. Chatbots have been circulating the buzzword bins for the last two years, and a day doesn’t go by where you don’t hear about some new chatbot being launched to support customers or processes. Now, look at your phone. How many chatbots are you using? Go ahead. I’ll wait. With chatbots, you can easily build a novelty, but without a clear plan and intuitive design, you might build something that works, but that nobody wants to use. For this luncheon, we’ll discuss what it takes to build a useful and compelling chatbot, as well as how to design and prototype bots before you build them. We will then go over a “useful” chatbot application, and how it was built from end-to-end.

Michael Szul Headshot (chatbots luncheon)About the Speaker

Michael Szul has spent two decades in software engineering in industries as diverse as insurance, energy, travel, and higher education, including consulting with companies such as AIG and Conde Naste. He has worked in both application and product development, as well as framework creation, code generation, API building, and machine learning. Szul is a speaker, blogger, podcaster, Microsoft MVP in AI and Developer Technologies, and author of Building Chatbots in TypeScript with the Microsoft Bot Framework. Currently, he is the manager of undergraduate medical education applications for the University of Virginia’s Health System.


Thank you luncheon sponsors:

segra logo          Cadence logo            Dynamic Aviation Logo

SVTC Luncheon Sign-up | Sept. 12, 2019

Please pre-register so that we can plan the set-up of the location and bring a pre-printed nametag for you.
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Connect Event

Details TBA.

Tech on the Square

Tech on the Square Graphic

Join us on July 17th for Tech on the Square! It’s time for the summer 2019 get-together to compare summer and fall plans. Who’s up to what? Let’s meet for networking, beer, and great tech talk! This event is technology agnostic and informal.

We will be meeting at the Montpelier Restaurant & Bar. Please register using the form below, and we’ll make you a pre-printed name badge.

Registration is not required – but if you do register, it helps us plan for space better. And, we can print that nametag 🙂

Parking Information: Parking will be available in the Mason Street Parking Deck (see upper right of map). Enter through the Martin Luther King Jr. Way entrance and take a ticket at the gate. Please be sure to validate your ticket at the restaurant before you leave to avoid paying the parking fee.


PHOTO RELEASE: By registering for Tech on the Square, I hereby consent to and authorize the use and reproduction, in print or electronic format, by the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council or its authorized agents, of any and all photographs or video which may be taken of me at this event, for any publicity purpose, without compensation. I acknowledge and agree that all images, whether electronic, negatives and positives or otherwise, together with the prints, are owned by the SVTC. I hereby acknowledge that I am 18 years of age or older and have read and understood the terms of this authorization and release.