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The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council is again offering mini-grants in order to grow our local tech community. In order to be considered, interested non-profit teams, projects, or organizations need to connect with a SVTC board member before Oct 23.  
As a non-profit, the Shenandoah Valley Tech Council works through its board of directors and three committees to connect with the Valley's tech community. In particular, it is the mission of the Community Outreach Committee (COC) to  create a nd coordinate outreach  programs in the community that develop and highlight the  Shenandoah Valley's  technology sector,  as a  career field for students  (K16),  as a destination for technology businesses, and as place where  technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens.

From now until Fri., Oct 23 our board of directors is looking to connect with non-profit teams, projects, and organizations. Board members will want to know all there is to know about the project, team or organization in order to gather sufficient information for members of the COC, who will make the decision on funding. Note: There isn't a form for a grant seeker to fill out; there is not a minimum or maximum Dollar amount we will grant; and we don't know if after this funding round whether there will ever be another one. We have modest funds set aside for the fall 2015 distribution.

We are plainly looking to develop the local tech sector as a career field for students (K16), as a destination for technology businesses, and as place where technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens. 

Connect with a SVTC board member asap, tell her/him how your non-profit project, team, or organization does those things now, and how funds from us would enhance and further develop these things. Invite that board member to meet with you, show him or her what you do. Get connected: find a SVTC Board member and tell your story; or ask Nicky to connect you with your favorite one. Time is of the essence as all info needs to be gathered, pictures taken, questions answered, etc by Oct 23. (Funds will be disbursed in early Dec.) 

In the spring of 2015, we funded several local non-profit projects, teams and organizations. Over the summer we asked them how our funds made a difference. Here is Chris Martin / Shen Valley Governor's School with how our funds made a difference for robotics and the FIRST Lego League (FLL) at the school.  


JMU IA Program Soliciting for Capstone Project Sponsors

The Intelligence Analysis program at James Madison University is soliciting for sponsors of capstone projects for the seniors in the intelligence analysis program. The purpose of the IA program is to educate prospective future intelligence analysts by teaching them critical thinking, analytic methodology, and technological applications, all within broader contexts. On the whole the students tend to be more interested in security topics, though interests do vary widely. We have 200 students in the major, with about 60 seniors doing their capstone projects this year. In terms of the capstone, what I'm looking for are sponsors for capstone projects who would provide the students with an interesting topic to focus on (or question for them to answer) through the rest of the academic year. As these projects serve a couple of different purposes, the topics should be large enough to give the students broad scope to do research/thinking, but focused enough to give them the opportunity to come up with useful/interesting analysis. The students will then deliver/brief the results of the project in the April/May time frame. If you have strategic topics for analysis that you'd like to "outsource" to students in an academic context and would like to talk about specific aspects of this, please contact Stephen Marrin at marrinsp@jmu.edu or 540-568-2746.


John Elder to Keynote ASQ Innovation Conference Held in Charlottesville Sept 18-20, 2015

If you’re curious about the Quality-Innovation connection and haven’t yet had a chance to explore this exciting area, you won’t want to miss an opportunity coming in September. The ASQ Innovation Division is hosting its Third Annual Innovation Conference Friday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015 at the Holiday Inn University Area and Conference Center in Charlottesville, VA. SVTC members receive a discount! 


Keynote speakers: John F. Elder IV PhD, President of Elder Research, Inc. and Mark Moyer, Administrative Director of the CAMLS Innovation Center

They will be joined by more than 15 other experts presenting in three parallel tracks:

  • Strategy and Leadership
  • Quality and Innovation in Organizations
  • Managing Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Process and Tools
  • Innovation Culture

The Innovation Division gratefully acknowledges the support of these sponsors:

  • ASQ Blue Ridge Section
  • Cadence
  • Charlottesville Business Innovation Council
  • Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
  • DNV-GL
  • Medical Decision Network LLC

Friday, September 18, 2015

Evening reception hosted by Blue Ridge Section 1108 – tour of CHS Sigma Labs

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Full day conference with keynote speaker(s) and three tracks of presentations 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Morning workshop on an Innovation and Quality

SVTC Members Receive a Discount:  $50 off for first 10 SVTC members on a first come first serve basis.

$199 registration (early bird – register by Aug. 15)

$250 regular registration (all 3 days)

There is also a special conference hotel room rate of $159 if you register by Aug. 18. 

For registration or more information, visit the ASQ Innovation Division website at www.asq.org/innovation-group/About/innovation-conference


Be an Active Member or Reader: Help choose our programs for 2015-2016

Suggest topics for events and luncheons or better yet, join the events and programming committee!

Take a quick minute and tell us about topics, speakers, locations you want to hear about or visit Sept 2015 - June 2016. What tech topic is on your mind? What makes a techie's heart skip a beat? Is there an organization, program, team, or business location you'd like to hear from or visit? What about social events -- would you make room on your calendar?

The topics of previously held luncheons (plus the presenters' files) are in a pdf on this page: SVTC Luncheons Re-cap

SUBMIT YOUR IDEAS: SVTC 2015-2016 programming suggestions

The Events and Programming committee will meet in the next few weeks -- please join in! Connect with others who are active in the tech council. More info: SVTC committees. Send Nicky an email: info@svtc-va.org for more information and to join.


Governor McAuliffe Announces 29 New Jobs in City of Harrisonburg
AXON Ghost Sentinel, Inc. to invest $1.5 million to expand cybersecurity operation

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."


Hello Harrisonburg Interview

The SVTC CEO, Nicky Swayne, was interviews by Kai Degner, the creator of the Hello Harrisonburg Podcast to share the benefits of this regional networking organization.

View the webpage here.


Tech Nite 15 Keynote Speaker: Joseph Rogers, PhD., SRI International

Dr. Joseph Rogers

Joseph Rogers is the Executive Director of Brain Sciences at SRI International. The title of his talk will be Alzheimer's Disease:  What Is it, Who Gets It, and What's Being Done About It

He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, and began studying Alzheimer's disease in 1978 while a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute.  Since that time, he has made multiple seminal discoveries in the field, including the revelation that brain inflammation plays a key role in Alzheimer's, a finding that has spawned thousands of research papers and is beginning to bear tangible fruit in new therapies.  For this body of work, Dr. Rogers was recently awarded, among other honors, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the national Alzheimer's Association.

Happily married, Dr. Rogers has two grandsons and three children—one of whom has Down Syndrome, making her especially vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease.  He has no intention of retiring until his daughter is vouchsafed.

In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Rogers enjoys cooking good Southern food for his family (he is a native of Oxford, Mississippi).  He is also a sufficiently proficient golfer to wager anyone in the audience a year of biomedical consultation against a sizable donation to Alzheimer's research.  No strokes asked. None given.

Join us for Tech Nite 15! Reservations are open from April 1 to May 1


Announcing the 3rd Annual HCPS STEM Day! Coming Feb. 21, 2015 to the Valley Mall


Come join HCPS on Feb. 21st from 10am-3pm at the Harrisonburg Valley Mall to celebrate all the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs and learning at Harrisonburg City Schools.

HCPS invites the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communities to come celebrate the exciting fields of Science, Math, Engineering and Technology. Students and parents will be able to find exciting demonstrations, hands on activities, and exhibits created by students and teachers of Harrisonburg City Schools.

Visit the HCPS STEM Day Webpage to learn more and watch last year's footage.


CIT to Host Innovation Funding Seminars  

Events provide an overview of the CIT funding sources and programs for researchers, entrepreneurs

February 4, 2015 HERNDON, Va. – As part of its ongoing partnership with the Small Business Administration, the Center for Innovative Technology announced today a series of funding seminars to stimulate innovation and research in Virginia.
The seminars focus on federal funding opportunities available through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs as sources to facilitate technology transfer out of Virginia’s research universities, increase the number of SBIR/STTRs in underserved (rural and minority participation) communities of Virginia, and increase the use of SBIR and STTR among Virginia’s cybersecurity small business community.  With some exceptions, training programs are open to all Virginia-based small technology firms, and university researchers and students.
QuickBooks and Compliance for SBIR/STTR Award Winners – WEBINAR
Feb. 27, 1:00 - 2:30PM
Targeted to SBIR/STTR award winners who want to better manage their projects through best practices and the use of QuickBooks.  Experts will discuss how to manage your SBIR/STTR grant or contract to improve your odds of moving from Phase I to Phase II, and Phase II to Phase III (transition and/or commercialization). Topics will include: Federal agency financial compliance; setting up a chart of accounts; time and effort reporting; creating a budget; reporting by project; separation of costs by project.
Best Practices to Increase University Participation in SBIR/STTR

Mar. 3, 9:00AM - 11:30PM, Blacksburg, VA
Mar. 4, 9:00AM - 11:30PM, Charlottesville, VA
Targeted to key university administrators, grants administration, tech transfer offices and IP offices at any Virginia-based research institution.  Each session covers specifics to SBIR/STTR development from the university perspective.  Is your university getting the most out of the program?  Are you doing it correctly?  Experts also cover updated information on SBIR/STTR policies since the 2012 reauthorization, as well as best practices to use SBIR/STTR as a way to produce more positive tech transfer results.
SBIR/STTR Lunch & Learn
Mar. 3, 12:00 - 1:30PM, Blacksburg, VA
Mar. 4, 12:00 - 1:30PM, Charlottesville, VA
Experts provide an overview of SBIR and STTR programs: their purpose; basic qualifications; participating agencies; funding amounts; and writing a winning proposal. Also included is a brief discussion on how university PostDocs and graduate students can participate in these programs. Lunch will be provided.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR Proposal Prep Workshop
Mar. 16, 9AM-5PM, Manassas, VA
Workshop discusses a “How to Win” approach to the process, covering background and basics, and detailed proposal development techniques for NIH SBIR/STTR programs. (All participants are invited to attend a half-day commercialization planning and budgeting session on Mar. 18 in Fairfax, VA).
National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep Workshop

Mar. 17, 9AM-5PM, Fairfax, VA (GMU)
Workshop discusses a “How to Win” approach to the process, covering background and basics, and detailed proposal development techniques for NSF SBIR/STTR programs. (All participants are invited to attend a half-day commercialization planning and budgeting session on Mar. 18 in Fairfax, VA).
NSF SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep Workshop
Ap. 14-16, 8AM-noon or 1-5PM each day, Blacksburg, VA
Targeted to university researchers, postdocs, graduate students, and small tech firms.  Special ½ day format allow choice of morning or afternoon session each day to work around busy schedules. Day 1 is SBIR/STTR background and homework, Day 2 is NSF SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep, Day 3 is NSF Commercialization Planning. Attend all or part of 3-day session.
SBIR Lunch & Learn for Cybersecurity Firms
Ap. 17, noon-2PM, MACH37 Cyber Accelerator at CIT offices, Herndon, VA
Experts provide an introduction to SBIR/STTR, followed by presentations from several federal agencies on their cybersecurity areas of interest involving SBIR.

For complete information and to register, visit www.cit.org/events.  Questions may be forwarded to Robert Brooke, Director, Federal Funding Programs, CIT, 703-689-3080, or robert.brooke@cit.org.
About the Center for Innovative Technology, www.cit.org
Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia’s primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. CIT accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71. To learn more, please visit www.cit.org. Follow CIT on Twitter @CITorg and add the Center for Innovative Technology on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Contact:           Hap Connors
                        (703) 689-3048
                        Kevin May
                        (703) 689-3064




A Harrisonburg FIRST Lego League (FLL) Team to Compete at World Championship, April 2015, St. Louis, Missouri


Virginia's FIRST Lego League (FLL) VA-DC FLL (a non-profit organization) is the largest FLL group in the world with over 600 teams and more than 20 regional qualifying tournaments and events in Virginia and Washington D.C. On December 6 & 7, 2014 VA-DC FLL hosted the state championship in Harrisonburg, VA (VA-DC FLL State Competition ) at Memorial Hall and Harrisonburg High School. 

Besides two insanely busy days and many happy visitors and competitors, who came from all over Virginia to compete ( and filled up hotel rooms and shopped, too) the excellent news is: a Harrisonburg team, the Brick Dawgs, won and were offered a slot at the World Festival in April 2015! Congratulations to this Shenandoah Valley team!

You might want to check out the Brick Dawgs site,  they have some excellent videos  -- home made stop motion animation --on GATE logichttp://www.brickdawgs.com/the-binaryville-blog.html 

The two FLL teams from Virginia going to the World Festival in St. Louis are:

  • Brick Dawgs, Team 3142 from Harrisonburg
  • Geared Up, Team 168 from Ashburn

There are also 3 teams that have been invited to the North American Open at LEGOLand, California, one team has been invited to the Razorback Invitational in Arkansas and another team has been invited to the South Pacific Invitational in Sydney Australia.

It's noteworthy that the national organization that is the brains behind all of these actvities ( FIRST, aka For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) has grown the annual championship event for the three major FIRST programs, incl. FLL, to such proportions over the last 25 years that in 2015 the championship will be held in three separate venues in St. Louis to accommodate the sheer number of attendees. Yes, this is a major "sports for the mind" event.

We are so proud of our Virginia FLL teams!! [But especially proud of the Valley teams, of course :-) ]

About the FIRST Championship: The FIRST Championship is the culmination of the season's FIRST programs, bringing together three separate robotics competitions for the ultimate Sport for the Mind™. The event includes the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship, the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship, and the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Festival. Also featured is the JuniorFIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) World Festival Expo. | Our high-tech spectator events combine the excitement of sport with science and technology. 


Innovate LIVE | April 24-26, 2015 | Staunton, VA

Innovate LIVE is a crowd-sourced, energy-packed, festive convergence of local innovators, visionaries, and entrepreneurs.

Over two days, social enterprises, community organizers, and artistic creators will converge in coffee shops, patios, and classrooms to explore the next wave of innovative ideas that are transforming our local communities. Sustainability, cooperation, the new economy, and arts and music will be the lenses through which we explore local opportunities for change and evolution. Together, we will develop and share the tools to build more vibrant communities, more creative lives, and more meaningful entrepreneurial opportunities.

The open-air format includes interactive workshops hosted by successful entrepreneurs, keynotes from leading change-makers, funding forums for new projects, and laid-back evenings for odd minds and young ideas to mingle.

Conceived as a small city interpretation of the wave of “Start-Up weekends” being held around the state and country, this weekend will connect entrepreneurs with the peers, tools, and resources needed to spark new innovation, while maintaining a creative and community-centered celebratory design that mirrors the character of the City of Staunton and our commitment to placed-based and small-city community development.

To find out more, visit innovatelive.org.




SourceLink Virginia

SourceLink Virginia is a project of the Virginia Community Economic Network. This online portal It is designed to connect aspiring, emerging, and established entrepreneurs to business assistance providers who can help them grow and succeed. SourceLink Virginia provides entrepreneurs with free and easy access to the resources they need- when they need it. 

How do we accomplish this?

SourceLink Virginia connects a large network of business assistance organizations who offer a wide variety of business-building services for small businesses and entrepreneurs. We facilitate the linking of these resource providers to one another and to established, emerging and start-up enterprises throughout the Commonwealth.
Our network's resource partners provide a wide range of business-related services, including:

  • Business Planning
  • Loans/Financing
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Licenses/Permits
  • Startups
  • Product Development
  • Training Classes
  • Government Contracts
  • Operations
Check out SourceLink at http://sourcelinkvirginia.org/

Member News:

RICHMOND, VA (12/10/14) --- PBMares, LLP – a Virginia-based accounting and business consulting firm - has been named to Inside Public Accounting’s (IPA) 2014 Top 200 Firms. This is Inside Public Accounting’s fifth annual ranking of the 200 largest accounting firms in the nation.

Ranked by U.S. net revenue, PBMares is the 110 largest accounting firm in the U.S. and grew 1.6% to $28, 964, 442 in the past year.

"We are proud that our firm has been named to Inside Public Accounting’s prestigious Top 200 Firms," said Alan Witt, CPA, CEO of PBMares. “Most importantly, inclusion in this ranking demonstrates our commitment to understanding the needs of our clients and then following through with innovative strategies to meet their goals.”

The IPA Top 200 looked at the financial and operations health of the profession. The rankings were compiled by net revenues, using data gathered from IPA’s survey and analysis of firms, which attracted 540 entries, a record number for IPA.

IPA 200 firms range in size from $14 million to $31 million and between 60 to 235 employees. IPA 200 firms have been in business for an average of 50 years, account for more than 12,000 staff across 300 offices, generate $2.1 billion in revenue, and serve more than 250 publicly traded companies.



CIT and MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator Hold 3rd Demo Day for Cyber Startups: 12 entrepreneurs of cybersecurity startups presented to investors, industry leaders 


December 2, 2014 (HERNDON, Va.) - The Center for Innovative Technology and the MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator hosted over 100 investors today at its third Demo Day to hear pitches from entrepreneurs of 12 cybersecurity startups. Guests included accredited investors representing top-tier venture capital firms, leading edge technology companies and angel groups from the Washington, D.C. region and east coast.


Rick Gordon, Managing Partner of MACH37™, said, “The Fall 2014 cohort is an outstanding representation of the creativity and deep domain expertise that is nationally attracted to participate in MACH37. This is a testimony to not only the strong mentor support assets we have in this area, but also to the excellent program we have developed by leveraging those assets to rapidly create new companies that deliver disruptive innovations to this growing market.”


Today’s presenters included seven startups that graduated from the MACH37™ Fall Cohort. They are creating innovations in several critical areas of security, including messaging cryptography, cloud-based security, encryption, incident response and simulation. Below are the companies that comprise the Fall Cohort:

•          Joshua Marpet, Co-Founder/CEO, BiJoTi

•          Ryan Lester, Co-Founder/CEO, and Josh Boehm, Co-Founder, Cyph

•          Eric Whittleton, Co-Founder/CEO, iAspire

•          Karthik Bhat, Founder/CEO, SecureDB

•          JP Bourget, Co-Founder/CEO, Syncurity Networks

•          Michael W. Wellman, Co-Founder/CEO, Virgil Security

•          Marcus Carey, Founder/CEO, vThreat


Others presenting at today’s Demo Day graduated from earlier MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator programs:

•          Joe Klein, CEO, Disrupt6

•          Nick Duan, CEO, IDentia, Inc.

•          Shawn Key, CEO, Key Cybersecurity

•          Roy Stephan, CEO, PierceGTI

•          Ethan Allen, CEO, and Roderick Flores, Founder, Sikernes


For more information on the presenting companies, please visit: https://www.mach37.com/explore/cohort-companies/.


Pete Jobse, CIT President and CEO and MACH37™ Executive Chairman, said, “MACH37™ reduces barriers to cyber security product company formation by delivering customer, investor and management relationships and guidance that enable next generation technology to be more rapidly deployed while reducing investor risk. MACH37 has created an ecosystem that is globally unique and will serve as the creative center for cyber security products.”


The application period for the MACH37™ Spring 2015 (S15) Cohort is now open.  Entrepreneurs with emerging products and companies are encouraged to apply by visiting www.mach37.com and filling out the online application.  The program is open to startups from any geography whose founders are ready to engage in a rigorous mentorship program designed to produce the next generation of leading security product companies. 


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, 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 www.mach37.com and follow @MACH37cyber on Twitter.


About the Center for Innovative Technology

Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia’s primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship.  To learn more, please visit www.cit.org.  Follow CIT on Twitter @CITorg and add the Center for Innovative Technology on LinkedIn and Facebook.




Hap Connors

(703) 689-3048(703) 689-3048 



Michelle Schafer

Merritt Group for MACH37™

(703) 403-6377(703) 403-6377 




Cadence, Inc. Acquires New Capabilities, Expands Internationally

Staunton, VA - August 1, 2014 

Precision Plastic Injection Molding, Metal Stamping and Nearshore Operations

Cadence, Inc., a leading contract manufacturer and maker of complex components and sub-assemblies for medical device and life sciences companies, today announced that it has acquired three operating business units of Plainfield Precision Holdings. The operating units are Plainfield Precision – Sturgeon Bay, WI; Plainfield Precision – Plymouth, MA; and Plainfield Precision – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Plainfield Precision Holdings is a highly specialized solutions provider of assembled products that integrate stamped metal and molded plastic components. This acquisition firmly positions Cadence within the top global providers of technologies and services used in Advanced Surgical products. 


“Plainfield Precision Holding’s unique portfolio of Precision Plastic Injection Molding and Metal Stamping Capabilities provides key building blocks for our supply chain integration strategy,” said Alan Connor, CEO. “Our customers are increasingly looking to more strategic partners to fulfill their supply chain requirements. With our broad base of capabilities, including plastics and metals, Cadence is well positioned to meet these evolving contract manufacturing needs.”


“We focus on minimally invasive surgical tools and this drives continued expansion of the capabilities of our trusted platform.  Having nearshore operations located strategically in the Dominican Republic provides additional flexibility for our customers.”


"Our success is a direct result of the hard work, innovation, adaptability, and integrity of our people. I am excited to welcome our new team members from the Plainfield family and look forward to their contributions to our on-going success,” Connor added.

Link to PDF of full press release



Verizon Announces Innovative App Challenge
For High School and Middle School Students and Classrooms
Registration opens on August 4 with the submission deadline being November 11, 2014.


The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students, working with a faculty adviser, to apply their STEM knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity to develop an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community.  No mobile device or coding experience is required to enter.  Community education groups are encouraged to apply.  This could be a great hands on project for media, technology as well as social studies, math and language arts classrooms.

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is an exciting, creative and collaborative competition that offers $20,000 grants for winning middle schools and high schools and Samsung Galaxy Tabs for students on the winning teams. Designed to ignite students’ interest in STEM. The Challenge

a unique opportunity for students around the country to participate in a rich, project-based learning experience that fosters teamwork and encourages them to explore new ideas and consider future careers in STEM. Grants are given at the state, regional and national level as the competition progresses.  Winning teams will learn coding in-person and online from MIT experts to turn their idea into a mobile app.
Working with a faculty adviser in teams of 5 - 7, students develop an original concept for a mobile app that incorporates STEM principles and content and addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. While designing their apps, students consider marketplace need, usefulness, audience and viability and align their app concept with one of the three Verizon Foundation focus areas of Education, Energy Management or Healthcare. | Teams submit their design concepts online through a App Concept Overview and Summary, a three-to-five minute Video and Essay Responses.

Help Assess Virginia's Workforce Needs by Particpating in this Survey

The Virginia General Assembly has directed staff of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to evaluate the success of the state’s workforce development programs in equipping Virginia workers with the skills and credentials that employers need. To incorporate the perspective of the business community, JLARC researchers are conducting an online survey of Virginia employers. 

Please take the time to complete this important survey. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Participating in the survey is important for several reasons: 

  • The effectiveness of workforce development programs cannot be assessed without the input of the business community.
  • Your input could improve the quality of Virginia’s workforce.
  • Your input could increase the number of Virginians that possess the skills and credentials most valuable to your company. 
  • Your input could improve the quality and effectiveness of Virginia’s publicly-provided recruitment and training services, which can be economical resources for businesses.

Please participate by clicking on the link below:


Please complete this survey by Friday, July 11th, 2014.

Questions about this survey can be directed to Chris Duncombe at (804) 371-4578 or jlarcworkforcestudy@jlarc.virginia.gov. Alternatively, contact the project leader Tracey Smith at (804) 371-4567

Some important information about this survey:

  • Your responses are confidential. Survey results will be presented only in aggregate form and will not be attributed to specific individuals or companies. 
  • The survey is intended for private sector companies (both for-profit and not-for-profit) that have operations in Virginia and employ Virginians.
  •  Executive leaders and human resources staff will generally be best suited to answer the survey questions. Respondents are encouraged to seek the input of colleagues when needed. However, JLARC can only accept one response per company.

Posted 06/27/2014


CIT and VDOE Announce 2014 Winners of Apps4VA JMU Challenge
Twenty-three student teams at JMU develop educational apps using data from VLDS

May 28, 2014 (HERNDON, VA.) – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced the winners of the 2014 Apps4VA JMU software application (app) development competition. The competition is part of a joint CIT and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) initiative to engage the public in the development of new tools to analyze and report education data.

More than 85 James Madison University students participated in the semester-long competition. Students in three Computer Science sections worked in teams to develop data-analysis and reporting tools for parents, teachers, school administrators and policy makers. The teams were given access to cell-suppressed aggregate data maintained by VDOE for use by researchers. The data sets included information on enrollment, performance on state assessments, graduation and dropout rates, career and technical education programs, and postsecondary enrollment and achievement.

Chris Mayfield, Assistant Professor, and Nancy Harris, Lecturer, in JMU’s Computer Science Department, said, “This type of application development has the potential to impact students and local communities in many positive ways. In our experience, students were motivated to develop successful, high-quality projects because the data was about them and the future of their educational system.”Winners of the Apps4VA JMU challenge will be highlighted at the 2014 Insights Conference on June 24, 2014.

Full press release



MACH37™ Seeks Security Start-ups for Fall Cohort


May 1, 2014 (HERNDON, Va.) – The MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator has officially opened the application period for its “F14” Fall Cohort, which will begin September 2, 2014 in its Herndon, Virginia headquarters.  The 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.  Participants receive a $50,000 investment to develop and launch their ideas into the market.

Meeting the challenges of the global cybersecurity threat requires continuous innovation and the skills to bring fresh products into the mainstream.  MACH37™ looks for entrepreneurs with solutions that address the drivers of this demand for innovation, including:

  •   New mainstream demand for advanced capabilities
  •  Porous network perimeters that are making traditional solutions less relevant 
  • Opportunities created from software defined networking; and
  • Challenges of a hyper-connected world with an Internet-of-everything.

MACH37™ encourages entrepreneurs with emerging products and companies to apply for the F14 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.  To apply, visit www.mach37.com and fill-out the online application.  Evaluation of applications will begin in June, with final selections announced in August.

MACH37™ is the only business accelerator focused 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, 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 www.mach37.com and follow @MACH37cyber on Twitter.

About the Center for Innovative Technology

Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia’s primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, please visit www.cit.org.  Follow CIT on Twitter @CITorg and add the Center for Innovative Technology on LinkedIn and Facebook.


Announcing Tech Nite 14 Keynote Speaker:

Karen Jackson, Secretary of Technology, Commonwealth of VirginiaKaren Jackson, Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia

Karen Jackson previously served as the Deputy Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this capacity, she served as a senior advisor to the Governor on technology matters including modeling and simulation, telecommunications, telework, and unmanned aerial systems. In these areas, she was responsible for policy and legislative initiatives as well as developing programs to facilitate innovation, collaborations, technology development and adoption. Ms. Jackson serves as the Virginia lead for the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership with New Jersey (MAAP). Prior to her current appointment, she served as Deputy Secretary of Technology and director of the Commonwealth's Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance for the Kaine Administration.

 Ms. Jackson has been actively engaged in the federal policy initiatives including the development of the National Broadband Plan. She received a 2009 IP3 award from Public Knowledge for her work in information policy and was named to Government Technology's 2010 list of the top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers.

 Ms. Jackson serves on a number of Boards including the Virginia Telehealth Network, the Information Technology Advisory Council, the Policy Committee of the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition, and the National Center for Collaboration in Medical Modeling and Simulation. She holds a bachelor's of science in business management from Christopher Newport University and a master's of business administration from The College of William and Mary.

Posted 4/14



CIT Announces 2014 Mid-Atlantic SBIR/STTR Funding Strategies Symposium

Symposium will help Virginia entrepreneurs with SBIR/STTR application and other funding opportunities

March 18, 2014 (HERNDON, Va.) – The Center for Innovative Technology announced today the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Funding Strategies Symposium on April 22-23 at the CIT building in Herndon, Virginia.    

The event features introductory and advanced discussions of federal SBIR/STTR programs that provide $2.5 billion set aside for small technology firms engaged in early research and development.  Experts will discuss unique agency requirements, best practices used by successful proposals, recent and upcoming program changes, and commercialization planning to improve phase I and phase II submissions. 

Kent Murphy, co-founder and CEO of Axon Connected and serial entrepreneur, will discuss the keys to successful SBIR/STTR participation learned through receiving multiple SBIR awards.  Stephen Chen, of Blu Venture Investors, will discuss tips to secure SBIR awards and angel funding.  Key representatives of SBIR offices, prime contractors and business support services will also be attending and available to attendees.

Confirmed federal agencies include the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, ARMY, DARPA, NAVY, NIST, NASA, Department of Homeland Security, USDA and NOAA.  Other participating organizations include Northrop Grumman, BASF, Lockheed Martin, SRI International, The Boeing Company, NeoSystems, Cherry Bekaert, LLP, Miles & Stockbridge, CSC Leasing, Access National Bank, GenEdge Alliance, Prototype Productions, Inc., Virginia SBDC network, Fairfax County Economic Development, Loudoun County Economic Development, Prince William County Economic Development, SBIR Resource Center and others.    

Workshop fees are:   

  •  $95 per person for small technology firms, includes both days
  •  $60 per person for small technology firms, only one day
  •  $200 per person for all others (service providers, consultants, contractors, etc.)

To register for this event, visit http://www.cit.org/events/2014-mid-atlantic-sbirsttr-strategies-symposium/. Please direct any questions to Robert Brooke, at robert.brooke@cit.org  or (703) 689-3080(703) 689-3080 .

These and other workshops are managed by the CIT Entrepreneur service line, which provides valuable funding opportunities for Virginia’s emerging technology entrepreneurs through the CIT GAP Funds and CIT Federal Funding Assistance Program.  The Federal Funding Assistance Program provides training, mentoring, funding support and other key programs to help Virginia’s SBIR/STTR community. 

About the Center for Innovative Technology, www.cit.org

Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been the Commonwealth’s primary driver in developing innovation-based economic development strategies and opportunities.  CIT accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development and revenue generation services.  To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology startup companies and advanced technology consumers.


International Women’s Hackathon 2014

April 25–27, 2014 | Worldwide on university campuses and live at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Washington DC


International Women's Hackathon


The International Women’s Hackathon is a crowdsourcing event to empower young women leaders in computer science. By providing a fun and safe environment in which to explore computing, the hackathon encourages and supports university women around the world to become producers of future innovations in technology and help solve challenges in the world today. After much success last year and many requests to hold the event again this year, we are pleased to announce that the next event is planned for the weekend of April 25 to 27, 2014, on university campuses all over the world. We will connect via Skype from our live event at the USA Science & Engineering Festival with all worldwide sites during the hackathon.


MODSIM World 2014 Entrepreneur Competition I Competion opens March 1, 2014 I Convention will be April 15-17 in Hampton, VA
Introducing MODSIM World 2014 Entrepreneur Competition, a first of its kind platform for innovative start up ideas in Modeling and Simulation field.

  • Are you an entrepreneur using ModSim tools to solve problems in Manufacturing, Energy, Finance, Transportation, Retail, Serious Gaming, or other industry? Does your new approach create opportunities for non-experts to use ModSim tools to solve new and important problems? Would you like to help the world see how ModSim makes a difference in unexpected places?
  • Competition: The competition will begin on March 1st 2014 and will consist of two phases. The first round of the competition will be held online via MODSIM World Conference website. Public will be asked to vote on their favorite ideas. The finalists with the most votes will be invited to participate in the finals at MODSIM World Conference on April 16th, 2014 and pitch their idea live to a panel of distinguished subject matter experts for a chance to win a cash prize.
  • Social media: Every week MODSIM World Conference Facebook page will showcase a new contestant and their idea. The contestant with the most “likes” will have a guaranteed spot in the finals.
  • Who is eligible: We’re looking for individuals, small teams, and existing small businesses who believe their new product or service has the potential to grow to significant size and value! Teams may include a large business in a form of a mentor, where cash winnings will go to the individual/small business.
  • How to enter: To enter submit a short pitch of your idea here. The contest kicks off on March 1st. Do not delay, enter now!
  • How to sponsor: We invite leaders in innovative thinking interested in sponsoring the cash prize for this event to contact Debbie Langelier at ddyson@ndia.org or 703-247-9480 

PDF of press release


Congressman Goodlatte's Office announces "House App Contest"

Registration open for High School Students

February 1, 2014- April 30, 2014

"STEM education is of increasing importance in the United States. As the technology industry continues to grow, so does the demand for those skilled in these fields.  Through the House App Contest, we hope to give students the opportunity to learn about STEM fields as well as develop and highlight their technology skills."


The Congressional STEM Competition was authorized by H.Res 77 to encourage student participation in STEM fields. Initially the competition will be in the field of computer science. Participating students in the district will develop an app on a platform of their choice and submit a video of the functioning app to Challenge.GOV.   The contest opens on February 1, 2014. Students will develop their app for submission in February and March. The final submission deadline is April 30, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. The overall winner from each district will be featured on House.GOV. There will be a display in the Capitol to honor all of the district winners. 

Contest FAQs PDF I Contest RulesPDF



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