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Tech & Toast: Cryptocurrency Trends for 2018 – April 19

Join us on April 19th for breakfast and a talk on Cryptocurrency presented by Stan Larimer! Enjoy networking and a meal while learning more about trends in Cryptocurrency for 2018.

On Christmas Eve 2017, Stan Larimer appeared on Coast to Coast AM live for four hours talking about the major trends in cryptocurrencies for the coming year.  Here are a few of them he will talk about at Tech & Toast:

  • TREND 1: The Flight to Safety from Dollar Abuse
  • TREND 2: The Flight to Safety from Crypto Abuse
  • TREND 3: The Dark Side of Trading Freedom for Safety
  • TREND 4: The Great Bitcoin Train Wreck of 2018
  • TREND 5:  Real Time Institutional Grade Blockchains
  • TREND 6:  Easy Adoption and Good Customer Support
  • TREND 7:  Regulation is Dead, Long Live Regulation!

Date: Thursday, April 19, 2018

Time: 7:15- 9:00am

Location: The Inn at Virginia Tech – Latham Ballroom | 901 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060

Fee: $25.00 Member before 4/14/2018 | $35.00 between 4/15 – 4/18

$50.00 Future Member before 4/14/2018 | $60.00 between 4/15 – 4/18

$10.00 Student

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Biz Dev Forum: Net Partnering – March 8

Join us for the next Business Development Forum on Thursday, March 8, sponsored by UPS. This Biz Dev Forum will feature Steve Martin, Registered Representative of Valley Financial Solutions. His talk is titled: Net Partnering… Take the “Work” out of Networking.

Many people dislike, stress, or even fear networking! Let us share how to have fun, bring value to others, and enjoy the opportunities that these events can convey to you personally and professionally.

About Steve:

Steve grew up locally in Giles County, attended Bridgewater College, and lived and worked his first job(s) in Roanoke. He was later relocated to Raleigh, NC where he resided for over 26 years.  Shortly after the company that relocated him to Raleigh was purchased, and he was not retained, he began his current career. Being in a new city, with a new career, and another new child, forced Steve to find a way to meet new prospects…and fast! He worked hard to gather new clients any way that he could; resorting to cold calling, personal observation, and purchasing leads. Considering himself to be a socially outgoing person, he felt more comfortable seeking out business events and networking opportunities. After years of developing a love and skill-set for meeting new people, Steve moved back to the region. He now wants to share his journey and life lessons and utilize his skills to make a difference in the RBTC community.

EVENT DETAILS:

When – Thursday, March 8, 2018 (7:45 – 9:00 AM)

Where: VTCRC – Concept Conference Room | 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2018 Blacksburg, VA 24060

Cost: RBTC members can attend this peer forum at no charge.
Future members are welcome to join at the cost of $10 per person.

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18th Annual RBTC TechNite Awards Ceremony Recipients Announced

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council was pleased to honor a talented group of companies and individuals at its annual TechNite awards banquet, which was held at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center on April 21, 2017.

Nominations were accepted for five awards: STEM-H Educator, Entrepreneur, Innovator, Regional Leadership, and Rising Star. Nominees were narrowed down to a subset of contenders in each category, from which award recipients were selected. This year the awards committee chose to recognize a recipient of the Ruby Award, an occasional award that recognizes a brilliant and valuable asset to the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. The committee also added a new award, the Regional Go To Geek, which recognizes a person that is working to connect technology practitioners across our region.

The RBTC was honored to present the following awards:

  • Regional Go to Geek: Thomas “Tweeks” Weeks, Virginia Tech Cyber Range
  • STEM Educator: Nick Cornwell, Montgomery County Public Schools & Hannah Weiss, Science Museum of Western Virginia
  • Entrepreneur: Baraka Kasongo, Volatia Language Network Inc.
  • Innovator: Josep Bassaganya-Riera, BioTherapeutics
  • Regional Leadership: Greg Feldmann, Skyline Capital Strategies
  • Rising Star: Qualtrax
  • Ruby Award: Sam English, Attention Point

TechNite is an annual celebration of the Roanoke – Blacksburg region’s technology community. The event featured Caitlyn Scaggs, Founder of Blue Mobius Marketing, as the Master of Ceremonies and special guest speaker Bonz Hart, founder of Meridium, local entrepreneur, and former president of the RBTC board of directors.

After the awards were presented, attendees were invited to attend the 5th annual TechNite after party held at the Science Museum of Western Virginia located inside the Center in the Square.

More information from TechNite 2017 can be found at https://www.rbtc.tech/technite.

ABOUT THE ROANOKE – BLACKSBURG TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL (RBTC)
The Roanoke – Blacksburg Technology Council is a non-profit, member-driven association of businesses and organizations in the greater Roanoke – Blacksburg region, working together to promote the growth and success of the region’s technology sector. Its membership includes more than 250 organizations. The RBTC is the leading resource for the region’s growth and success. It exists to connect and unite the region’s technology community, develop and educate thought-leaders, mentors, and the technology workforce, and improve access to talent. To learn more, please visit http://www.rbtc.tech.

Contact: Robert McAden, RBTC President and CEO, (540) 293-3230 or robert.mcaden@rbtc.tech.

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TechNite 2017: Award Nominees Announced

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council is pleased to announce the Top Finalists in each TechNite 2017 award category. Congratulations to all the outstanding nominees! Winners will be announced at the TechNite awards ceremony on Friday, April 21 – get your tickets now!

 

EDUCATOR

Sponsored by: Common Wealth Growth Group & Providence Properties
Montgomery County Public Schools
Courtney Buck
Nick Cornwell
Stephanie Parker
Holly Pauley
Rebecca Rainey
Terri Vangelos
Susie Weaver
Roanoke City Public Schools
April Hill
Roanoke County Public Schools
Travis Anderson
Andy Clapper
Susheela Shanta
Roanoke Valley Governor’s School
Dr. Brent Holt
Science Museum of Western Virginia
Hannah Weiss
Salem Public Schools

Mark Madden


RISING STAR

Sponsored by: Montgomery County
1901 Group
Bonumose Biochem LLC
Click & Pledge
FluxTeq LLC
Game Changineer LLC
GoJourni
Landos Biopharma
Qualtrax
Volatia Language Network Inc.

INNOVATOR

Sponsored by: Kollmorgen
Bonumose Biochem LLC
Excella Consulting – The Extension Center @ VTCRC
Dr. Paul Gaines, Inorganic Ventures
Shockoe
Josep Bassaganya-Riera
Keltech
SyCom Technologies

ENTREPRENEUR

Sponsored by: Virginia Tech
Amy Ankrum, Qualtrax
Dr. Adam Donato, Card Isle
Jay Foster, Flex Metrics
Dr. James D. Rancourt, Polymer Solutions
Caitlyn Scaggs, Blue Mobius Marketing

Baraka Kasongo, Volatia Language Network Inc.

 


REGIONAL LEADERSHIP

Sponsored by: Roanoke County
Kevin Bloomfield
Greg Feldmann
Charlie Jewell
Sue Magliaro
Annette Patterson
Cynthia Rancourt
Jeff Terry
Thomas “Tweeks” Weeks


People’s Choice

GameTracker
L2Ork
FluxTeq

 


Download this list of TechNite 2017 Award Finalists as a PDF

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TechNite 2017: Registration and Nominations

TechNite is an annual celebration of the Roanoke-Blacksburg region’s growing technology community and is one of the largest networking events of the year with hundreds of influential leaders in business and innovation. Join us as we honor the amazing achievements in technology-focused entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership from across the region!

TechNite 2017 will be held Friday, April 21 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center (with after party at The Center in the Square – Science Museum of Western Virginia). This is the biggest technology event of the region and we are excited to have you be a part. Stay tuned and watch for more details in the coming weeks.

Registration Now Open (Early-bird Discounts End March 31 Friday, April 7!)

Registration for TechNite 2017 is open! Take advantage of early-bird registration discounts for both members and non-members (early-bird prices have been extended to Friday, April 7!). Individual and Table registrations are available – get all pricing and details by following the link below:

Register

 

Award Nominations

The evening is highlighted with an awards ceremony, where leaders will be recognized in six categories: Rising Star, Regional Leadership, STEM-H Educator, Entrepreneur, Innovator and People’s Choice. Now is the time to make your nominations (nominations close at 5pm Tuesday, March 28 – see below)! Please note: to nominate in separate categories you will need to refresh the page each time.

Rising Star Award
This award recognizes a local technology company whose “star is rising.” It may not be a household name yet, but it could soon be another local success story in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region.

Regional Leadership Award
This award recognizes one of our own who not only succeeds in the workplace, but also leads by example by contributing significantly to the Roanoke – Blacksburg community in which we live.

STEM-H Educator Award
This award recognizes a K-12 educator in the Roanoke – Blacksburg region that promotes math, science, and/or use of technology in creative ways to transfer knowledge and help develop future technology leaders.

Entrepreneur Award
Entrepreneurs are a different breed. Sometimes it takes nerves of steel to blaze a new path. This award recognizes someone in our community who exemplifies what it means to be a risk-taker in the technology field.

Innovator Award
This award recognizes Innovation in developing or Innovation in applying technology by an individual, a group of individuals, company, or other organization that sets the standard for thought leadership and innovation in their respective field. By definition, they are doing something new or different, and they are doing it well. Their innovation represents a significant technological breakthrough or addresses a great market opportunity or both.

People’s Choice Award
The People’s Choice Award gives the TechNite audience the opportunity to learn more about up and coming companies in the Roanoke – Blacksburg region and vote for their favorite. The highest votes receives the People’s Choice Award.

 


As of March 28 (5pm) Nominations are Now Closed.

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Woods Rogers Pledges $50,000 to Support RAMP Business Accelerator

The Virginia law firm of Wood Rogers PLC will donate $50,000 to the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation in support of the new RAMP technology business accelerator opening in downtown Roanoke. Under a five year agreement, Woods Rogers will contribute $10,000 per year to RAMP beginning in 2017 and concluding in 2021.

The Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization associated with Virginia Western Community College, which will provide business education programming at RAMP, located in the old Gill Memorial Hospital building at 709 S. Jefferson Street in downtown Roanoke.

“The Educational Foundation is proud to support the RAMP initiative and its mission to create jobs in Roanoke,” said Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, Executive Director of the Educational Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Virginia Western Community College. “RAMP provides an example of the direct role that institutions of higher education can play in economic development.”

RAMP’s mission is to propel high-potential startups to expand and create jobs in the STEM-H (Science,
Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health) fields. Other partners in the initiative include the City of Roanoke, which won a state grant to complete renovations on the historical Gill Memorial site; and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, which will recruit RAMP participants and provide them mentorship and networking opportunities.

“It is an honor to be part of RAMP from Day One,” said Dan Summerlin, President of Woods Rogers. “We firmly believe that entrepreneurs and start-up companies are a vital part of the economic future of Roanoke and of Virginia as well. Woods Rogers and its Emerging Growth practice group are committed to helping this initiative succeed. We look forward to being an active contributor of counsel and ideas to RAMP’s participants.”

RAMP, which stands for Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program, is accepting applicants for its first participant teams through March 15. Learn more at www.ramprb.tech. The program is expected to start in June 2017.

RAMP participants will benefit from a mentoring program, networking opportunities, business education and access to capital. The inaugural program includes an intensive “boot camp” that culminates in a $5,000 prize for the accelerator company offering the best jobs-creation strategy.

The program’s model, based on best practices garnered from existing successful business accelerators, will initially focus on accelerating three to five technology- or life science-focused companies in the first cohort. Companies accepted into RAMP will work closely with multiple mentors to focus on building, testing, improving, validating product-market fit, and launching their product for the market.

To be considered for RAMP, applicants must:
• Agree to locate their company, rent-free, inside the accelerator for a six-month residency;
• Have a minimum viable product, preferably with sales traction;
• Work full time on their startup during the program;
• Have a product or service employing workers in the STEM-H field, with scalability potential;
• Be willing to consider operating their company in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region after graduation.


ABOUT THE VIRGINIA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is an independent nonprofit dedicated to enhancing awareness of the college and securing private and public funds. Its efforts support Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program, student scholarships, faculty development and capital projects. To learn more, visit virginiawestern.edu/foundation.

ABOUT VIRGINIA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
With nearly 13,000 students on the college’s main campus in Southwest Roanoke City, to our satellite locations at the Greenfield Education & Training Center in Daleville and the Franklin Center in Rocky Mount, Virginia Western Community College is committed to providing affordable, accessible, and quality educational opportunities and workforce training to meet individual, community, and global needs. To learn more, visit virginiawestern.edu.

ABOUT WOODS ROGERS
Woods Rogers PLC is a full-service law firm providing legal services in more than 19 practice areas to businesses and individuals across Virginia, throughout the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. For more information, visit www.woodsrogers.com.

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TechLab Acquired by Private Equity Firm with Plans to Grow

TechLab, a medical device company founded by a group of Virginia Tech researchers in 1989, has been acquired by a private equity firm with plans to keep growing the Blacksburg-based business.

Co-founders Tracy Wilkins and David Lyerly previously sold 49 percent of the company to publicly-traded Alere in 2006.

On Monday, Texas-based Pharos Capital Group announced it bought Alere’s portion as well as an undisclosed percentage from the founders — enough to claim majority ownership.

No one would comment on the terms of the deal Tuesday, but SEC records show Alere estimated as recently as December 2015 that its 49 percent stake was worth about $13.3 million, up from the $8.8 it paid 10 years earlier.

But Wilkins said Tuesday — as he has several times over the years — it’s not about the money.

TechLab, which creates rapid tests for intestinal diseases, previously agreed to acquisition terms with a different buyer last year.

But Wilkins said he and Lyerly walked away at the last moment when they learned the unnamed buyer planned to move jobs from the region where all of the 130-person company’s research and manufacturing operations have been based for more than two decades.

A handful of TechLab employees told The Roanoke Times on Tuesday that they remember the would-be buyer coming in for a final walkthrough one day last summer. The next morning, they were told the founders canceled the sale and postponed their own windfall until they could find a buyer with intentions to keep everyone else on board…

 

Read More at Roanoke.com

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Established Blacksburg web design firms ACI and IDD merge to grow capabilities in Southwest Virginia

Automation Creations, Inc. (ACI) has just completed the acquisition of Interactive Design and Development, Inc, (IDD) growing their total workforce to 22 full-time employees in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Both companies benefit from the merger, increasing their capabilities and skillsets with a long history of software and multimedia development, for both regional and global customers. ACI develops web and mobile software for businesses with a focus on computer and database programming. IDD develops interactive web and kiosk experiences, focusing on user experience and multimedia.

Henry Bass, founder and president of ACI, says the merger made perfect sense from the beginning: IDD operates in a complimentary space, and the two companies have worked together on multiple projects over the last two years. ACI has senior software developers and database expertise, which combines well with IDD’s project managers, business development and software programming talent.

“We are delighted to formalize our ongoing relationship with the talented staff of IDD” said ACI President Henry Bass. “The result is a stronger web, mobile and kiosk development team. We’re very proud of the tremendous employee experience from both companies.” ACI celebrated its 20th anniversary this June, while IDD celebrated their 25th anniversary in July.

The combined company, operating as ACI, has retained all employees in the acquisition and boasts a merged workforce of 22, with no layoffs and the potential to grow in size with the new capabilities. Dr. Mary Miller, IDD’s President, said, “IDD brings an exceptional kiosk development team, leveraging a content management system we developed for cloud-based kiosk updates, maintenance and monitoring.” The IDD team has been working on a project for the Smithsonian museum since the beginning of this year.

ACI adds its web hosting capability to IDD’s offerings. Jim Wyers, CEO of ACI noted “Over 250 local customers enjoy the fact that their web, email and applications are hosted locally. If a customer has trouble, we are the only call they need to make.” noting that other firms or hosting environments may require a customer to contact multiple services to track down a problem with email or website issues between the designer, the domain name server, the web site host and email host.

ACI pursued this merger as part of a growth strategy, augmenting a strong data-driven web programming team with user experience expertise from IDD, their software development talent in .Net content management, and the cloud-kiosk market. Dr. Miller’s business development talent combined with educational technology is another key component to the expanded company’s growth plans.
“From a customer perspective, both companies have a strong brand, and continue to offer the services our customers value.” Said Laureen Fleming, commercial projects director. Dr. Miller is an engaging speaker with a wealth of multimedia and web experience. She represents the first technical marketing director of ACI. “We have increased capacity to handle the exciting projects both companies have lined up, and can offer faster response to both existing customer needs and new projects Mary brings” said Fleming.

Both companies have been active in the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council, serving in leadership positions. Dr. Miller was president of the RBTC from 2009 through 2010, is a member of the RBTC Hall of Fame, and is active in 4H leadership. Henry Bass chairs the RBTC member development committee, serving as an advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) development among the future workforce of the Roanoke Blacksburg region. He also serves as the STEM co-chair on the board of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Henry is the Vice President of New River Robotics Association, a volunteer in the non-profit, where he is an assistant coach for the Tuxedo Pandas competitive robotics team and head judge for the Roanoke Blacksburg FIRST Lego League competition in November. Both Miller and Bass agree that giving back to the community is fundamental to corporate and regional success.


 

Contact:
Henry Bass, President
Automation Creations, Inc.

Phone 540-552-7670, ext 3101
Fax 540-552-1657
Henry.Bass@aciwebs.com

2020 Kraft Drive, Ste 3000
Blacksburg, VA 24060

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