May Luncheon. JP Berrizbeitia: Managing the innovation process in a company (And Annual Meeting)

Juan Pablo Berritzbeitia

Juan Pablo Berrizbeitia (Founder and CEO, JP Berriz Consulting; and adjunct faculty at JMU)

Managing the innovation process in a company

Everywhere, including in the Shenandoah Valley, we’ve been using the term “innovation” a lot. We use it because we know we want our companies to be innovative. We understand that innovation translates into competitiveness and that it drives our local and regional economies. We want to promote innovation among our companies. Yet, some companies are more capable of innovation than others. Some companies are able to innovate continuously, others sporadically, and others rarely. Why? What does it take to innovate frequently?

This talk attempts to offer some insights to answer these questions. I will share with you some ideas about how to increase the capabilities of your company to innovate and manage the innovation process successfully.

About JP Berrizbeitia (see also:
Juan Pablo is an international consultant with over 25 years of experience. He has developed expertise in three operational areas: nonprofit management, innovation management, and international development project management. He is also a specialist in three thematic areas: justice reform, access to justice, and rule of law. His clients have included the World Bank, the United Nations, the Pan American Development Foundation, and the Supreme Court of Venezuela. Juan Pablo also has formal training in classical guitar, aikido, and improvisational comedy.

On May 26, the SVTC will host its Annual Meeting AND the May luncheon. Prior to the Annual Meeting, we will conduct our spring 2022 election for class 2 of directors electronically, as we always do. Please read all about the process and the class 2 candidates: SVTC election page. Any SVTC member who didn’t have a chance to vote electronically can vote in person, on May 26 with a paper ballot.

Annual Meeting and SVTC Luncheon Sign-up | May 26, 2022

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Tech Nite 22

Once a year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council highlights local tech innovation. We celebrate the successes of technology firms, organizations, and programs in the region — and the entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, and educators behind those successes. In 2022, we will honor 22 nominees from all over the Valley: Tech Nite 22 Nominees

We are delighted to welcome Elaine Cheng, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Shentel, the parent company of Glo Fiber Enterprise, as keynote speaker. She joined the company in March 2019 and has 20+ years of experience in diverse business environments across all areas of Information Technology.

Cheng, Elaine

Winning the Talent and Innovation War

Women in Tech

 Never has the environment been so challenging. Finding new ideas and new markets is always tough. Layer on top of that a competitive and constrained talent pool. What can you do? How can you win?
Join us for Tech Nite 22 for Elaine’s keynote as we explore the game-changing solution. We will learn how to engage, recruit and develop women in technology and how that will determine success.
Add’l detailed location and parking info is posted on the Tech Nite reservations page:

SCCF Entrepreneurship Summit

SVTC April Luncheon | Rising Above the Security Noise Floor

Rising Above the Security Noise Floor

The typical mid-market business enterprise faces a constant struggle to do more with less; more productivity with less IT staff and more security with fewer (or no) dedicated security engineers. And with the “new normal” as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic IT organizations must master the ability to stay productive and remain secure while the boundaries of the corporate network expand beyond the traditional “four walls.”

Multiple security platforms are often presented as solutions to the workforce challenge. Next-generation firewalls, end-point protection applications, and intrusion detection/intrusion prevention solutions are all presented as fixes for the do-more-with-less conundrum.  Yet these platforms, as part of their basic functionality, create a lot of “noise.” Specifically, logs are generated –and often collected and archived– only to be reviewed as part of compliance mandates or, in a worst-case scenario, during or after a security incident.

Using the analogy of radio frequency interference and a “noise floor” this presentation will discuss a solution intended to get above the security noise floor with actionable intelligence. Regulatory compliance reporting will also be discussed as an additional benefit to be realized in the process.

About the Presenter:

Jim Mundy is the Senior Manager of Security Operations at Segra. Jim has worked as a Sales Engineer, Sales Engineering Manager, and Product Manager for companies in the telecommunications and managed service provider space. Jim is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and has recently held Cisco professional-level network and voice certifications. Jim has also worked as an entrepreneur – starting an ISP, PaxNet, in Greenville South Carolina, which was later sold to NewSouth Communications. Jim began his IT and networking career in a family-owned cable television company.

(Not at the Wood Grill)




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VACE 2022 Conference

Virginia Association of Colleges and Employers (VACE)
Strengthening relationships between colleges and employers in Virginia and neighboring areas.

The mission of VACE is to facilitate career development and growth among career services and employer members and promote the accomplishment of professional goals by providing opportunities for relationship building and professional development activities.

Registration Deadline:  April 6th, 11:59 PM
Members: $300
Non-Members: $385
Students: $115*
One-day (Wed. or Thurs. only): $150

Tentative Schedule At A Glance: Overview
Wednesday, April 20
10:30 am                          Registration Begins
11:30 am -12:30 pm       Box Lunches available for pick up
12:30 pm                          Opening Keynote
1:45-3:00 pm                  Breakout Sessions/Think Tanks*
3- 4:15 pm                       Employer/College Panel
5:00-6:00 pm                 Newcomers Reception
5:30-6:30 pm                 Presidents Reception
6:30 pm                          Awards Dinner

Thursday, April 21
8:30-9:30 am                Breakfast Available
9:00 am                          Business Meeting and Breakfast
10:15-Noon                    Breakout Sessions/Think Tanks*
Noon:                              Lunch with Employer/College panel
1-3:00 pm                      Breakout Sessions/Think Tanks*
3:00 pm                         Closing Keynote from NACE President Dave Ong
4:30 pm                         Conclusion of formal conference
Dinner                           on own

Friday, April 22
Optional Site Visits: Available for both employers and college members (Registration will be required. More information to follow)

TechStars StartUp Weekend Harrisonburg

The Shenandoah Community Capital Fund is calling on all hopeful entrepreneurs to sign up for Techstars Startup Weekend Harrisonburg.

Anyone from students with just an idea, to entrepreneurs who have been in the entrepreneur space for years, are encouraged to register and participate in the April 8-10 event.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a 54-hour educational weekend that helps to educate, support, and empower people to become entrepreneurs. Valley-area entrepreneurs will practice their entrepreneurial skills over the course of the weekend by creating and presenting a startup business concept.

SCCF is partnering with James Madison University’s Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship to sponsor the event. Startup Weekend Harrisonburg marks the second in a series of Startup Weekend events that will occur throughout the Valley. Participants will form teams and work together to share business ideas, mentors will validate their ideas and provide guidance, and judges will evaluate each team’s business pitch.

The winning team will receive a prize package valued at $2,000 that includes a three-month team membership at the Perch coworking space, a spot in the next SCCF Bootcamp, and mentoring around startup law and patents.

“Having received the Build to Scale program grant through the Economic Development Administration, SCCF is especially poised to support the launch of scalable tech startups,” says Debbie Irwin, executive director for the SCCF. “The Techstars Startup Weekend Harrisonburg event will be one of many that will help us identify tomorrow’s tech stars.”

“This will be the 16th Startup Weekend that I’ve been involved with, and I am so excited,” says Suzanne Bergmeister, executive director of the James Madison University Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship. “In the past, students have said that attending a SUW ‘changed their life!’ This weekend event is a fun, energizing, hands-on way to learn about the entrepreneurial process, whether you have an idea or not. You will meet lots of new people, gain insight into how to build a start-up, and share a unique experience with lots of innovative, like-minded people.”

Startup Weekend is one among several startup programs operated by Techstars, an international platform for innovation and investment. Techstars connects with and convenes entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, investors, community, and corporate leaders to help businesses grow. Organizer Contact Email: with questions

Event Registration 

Coffee With Virginia Venture Partners

Join us for Coffee with Virginia Venture Partners

Date: March 18, 2022
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Registration Required: RSVP HERE
Join host Jen O’Daniel, Virginia Venture Partner for a Fireside Chat with Tom Weithman, Virginia Venture Partners, & Ashish Kachru, Co-founder & President of Altruista Health.

SVTC March Luncheon | How Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) Helps Entrepreneurs and Startups

How Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation | VIPC Helps Entrepreneurs and Startups
VIPC is Virginia’s state-funded grant-making and investment organization that supports emerging entrepreneurs and scalable technology-based startups. Sean Mallon, VP of Commercialization, will talk about VIPC’s funding and entrepreneurial support programs. (There are many, e.g. Virginia Venture Partners (formerly CIT GAP Funds);  Virginia Founders Fund; Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF); VIPC’s Federal Funding Assistance Program called Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR); and the Regional Innovation Fund (RIF). VIPC Market Development focuses on Smart Communities, Unmanned Systems, and Cybersecurity. 

About Sean Mallon
Sean Mallon serves as Vice President of Commercialization. In this role, he provides strategic vision for the Commercialization Division’s mission, and he oversees the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF), a grant program that supports the commercialization of Virginia-based high-potential research and technology.
About VIPC
VIPC accelerates early commercialization & funding support for Virginia innovations, entrepreneurs, startups & market development initiatives. VIPC concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high-paying jobs, and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. You can visit their website at

(If this sounds familiar, you’re on to something. CIT, the Center for Innovative Technology, rebranded at the end of 2021. CIT was known for its efforts to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy by investing in and accelerating innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship for more than 35 years became the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) and will function as the nonprofit operating arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA). CIT’s name and brand change to VIPC reflects a new era in the prioritization of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth. The new Authority consolidates and builds on an existing foundation of successful programs and regional ecosystems that are key elements in Virginia’s strategy to nurture emerging technologies and create high-tech startups and jobs.)


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 Use the form below, then meet us at the Wood Grill at 11:40 or so on March 24, 2022

SVTC February Luncheon | What it’s like to build a global remote-first tech startup? (Q&A session)

Ask a Practitioner | What it’s like to build a global remote-first tech startup? (Q&A session)

Rachael Harnish, Chief of Staff, Shogun, has experience in the operational side of venture-backed tech startups, having formerly been responsible for HR, Legal, Accounting, Business Operations, and more as a Director of Operations at both hybrid remote/in-person and fully remote companies. On February 24, she will answer questions (pre-submitted) about life in a 100% distributed tech startup.

Register for the Luncheon (Zoom)

Help Rachael prepare: submit your question(s) by February 24, 2022!

About Shogun:

Shogun is an e-commerce experience platform empowering brands to drive higher conversions and revenue. Shogun Page Builder and Shogun Frontend help teams build and optimize their online stores to deliver exceptional experiences. The Shogun team is fully remote and distributed to over 20+ countries. Get a glimpse now and read the blog:


(If you’d like hands-on guides that help manage remote or hybrid teams, there are some excellent resources available from Workplaceless, of Winchester, VA, such as Proven Practices for Leading Hybrid Teams; Async vs Sync: Balancing Remote Team Communication, Tips, and Training for Async-First Slack. Start here: )


Thank You to Our Luncheon Sponsors!

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SVTC Bits and Grits

Come join us for Bits and Grits at Mrs. Rowe’s in Staunton! This is a casual event. Just show up to drink coffee, have breakfast, or just talk with fellow techies in the Shenandoah Valley. Attendees should look for Kurt Plowman when entering Mrs. Rowe’s.