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Tech & Toast: Succeeding at Failing – January 17

Join us for the upcoming Tech & Toast where Jane Machin will discuss, Kakorrhaphiophobia – the fear of failure. Over the course of our lifetime, we learn that there is a correct and an incorrect answer. We penalize mistakes and the social pressure for success increases as we get older, making the cost of failure increasingly expensive too. We stop suggesting new ideas and stay inside our comfort zones. Unfortunately, this fear of failure hinders creative problem-solving. Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of failure as the key to ultimate success. In this session, you will learn concrete steps on how to fail better and get more comfortable taking risks. 

Our Presenter

Jane Machin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Radford University. She earned her Ph.D. in Marketing at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Jane is an energetic educator with experience teaching advertising, marketing communications, creativity and innovation. Her research, which examines the intersection of decision making, stigma and consumer wellbeing, has been presented at top conferences in the field, such as the Association of Consumer Research and Marketing and Public Policy Conference, and published in top journals, such as the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Appetite and Marketing Education Review. Jane is the recipient of numerous awards for both her research and teaching, including the Thomas C. Kinnear Best Paper Award, the Cengage Pride/Ferrell Innovations in Teaching Competition and The College of Business and Economics Outstanding Faculty Award. Prior to becoming an academic Jane worked in international brand management with Unilever PLC.

Event Details

Date: Thursday, January 17, 2019

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 1/12/2019 | $35.00 between 1/13 – 1/16

$50.00 Future Member before 1/12/2019 | $60.00 between 1/13 – 1/16

$10.00 Student

Thank you to our 2019 series sponsor

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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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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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Common Wealth Growth Group invests millions in Blacksburg’s Qualtrax

Roanoke’s newest investing firm is betting millions on its first local company: a 23-year-old software firm with a swanky new office and plans to finally shed its low profile.

Qualtrax only became a standalone business last year, after two decades inside Christiansburg’s CCS Inc. (now FoxGuard Solutions), which had made compliance software since the 1980s.

Qualtrax is preparing to make its public debut with a $3 million cash infusion.

The funding was led by Common Wealth Growth Group, the investing firm launched last year by Roanoke’s former Interactive Achievement CEO Jon Hagmaier. Other investors include San Francisco venture capital firm Lyden Capital and CCS executives Marty Muscatello and Tim Lawson.

With the investment announced Tuesday, Qualtrax President Amy Ankrum said she hopes to see things take off with more employees and better brand exposure right in Virginia Tech’s back yard.

Read the full story at The Roanoke Times website >>>

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17th Annual RBTC TechNite Awards Ceremony Winners 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 22, 2016.

Nominations were accepted for six awards: STEM-H Educator, Entrepreneur, Innovator, Regional Leadership, and Rising Star. Nominees were narrowed down to groups of ten finalists in each category and then a confidential committee of RBTC members chose award winners. The committee was also charged with naming the nominees for the People’s Choice Award, as well as the nominees and winner of the Ruby Award, which recognizes a brilliant and valuable asset to the Roanoke-Blacksburg region.

The RBTC was honored to present the following awards:

  • STEM Educator: Dr. Nancy Boerth (Montgomery County Public Schools), Shawn Burns (Roanoke County Public Schools)
  • Entrepreneur: Nanci Hardwick, Aeroprobe Corporation
  • Innovator: Synthonics, Inc.
  • Regional Leadership: Marty Muscatello, Foxguard Solutions/Qualtrax
  • Rising Star: Industrial Biodynamics
  • Ruby Award: Dr. Robert Sandel, Virginia Western Community College

The RBTC also inducted a new member into its Technology Hall of Fame during the event: Dr. Joe Meredith, former RBTC President, and current President and CEO of Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

TechNite is an annual celebration of the Roanoke – Blacksburg region’s technology community. The event featured Anthony Quinn Robinson, Director of Marketing for NewCity Media, Inc., as the Master of Ceremonies and special guest speaker Jonathan Hagmaier, local entrepreneur and long-time supporter of the RBTC.

After the awards were presented, attendees were invited to attend an after party held at the Center in the Square atrium and Roanoke Pinball Museum.

More information from TechNite 2016 can be found at http://www.RBTCTechNite.com.

View or download the full press release as a PDF

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RBTC Announces TechNite 2016: People’s Choice Award Finalists

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Each year 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.

If you are attending TechNite 2016 you will have the ability to vote live at the event – all three companies will be present with exhibits and can meet with them during the networking reception.

Congratulations to this year’s People Choice Award Nominees: Follow My Vote, GoJourni, We Evolve Us. Learn more about each company below:

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follow-my-vote

Company Name: Follow My Vote
Website: https://followmyvote.com/
Description:
At Follow My Vote, we are a team of innovators with the mission of using blockchain technology to revolutionize today’s obsolete and vulnerable voting systems.

Follow My Vote began originally as a polling system designed to ensure that elected representatives were truly voting in the interests of their constituents. However, Follow My Vote soon entered into a joint venture with BitShares; effectively shifting its focus to the development of a verifiable online voting platform secured with the BitShares blockchain technology. In order to ensure the success of the venture, Follow My Vote moved from their previous location with NuSpark into a shared space in Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center.

Since then, Follow My Vote has focused on product and business development and has forged ties with election officials and voting organizations around the globe. In late 2014, Follow My Vote joined the California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO), an organization which has been a critical proponent of the open-source voting movement for over a decade. Follow My Vote also completed a proof of concept, which has been successfully demonstrated at several events.

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Company Name: GoJourni
Website: http://www.gojourni.com
Description:
GoJourni exists to show people it is possible to alter one’s reality. We bring people together who are geographically separated, reconfigure mental models, and allow you to pick your own adventure through traversing 360° video in virtual reality. We believe you are the creator of your own universe and wish to engender a sense of wonder, amazement, and excitement towards life.

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we-evolve-us

Company Name: We Evolve Us
Website: https://weevolveus.com
Description:
We are a team of developers, designers, engineers, and content creators. WeEvolveUs.com is what we spend our time building. The platform itself is made up of 3 main components:

  • A cloud platform for project management and organization. There are similar tools in the corporate world that have been around for a long time, but for some reason no one has offered these services to the general public.
  • A social sharing site for raising awareness about great ideas being built. We break everything down into locations you can quickly jump between to see what’s happening in your local city or across the entire globe.
  • A crowd-sourcing site for finding the things you need to implement your ideas. We want to help encourage the sharing economy that’s emerging and help take it to the next level. Crowd-souring not just funding for your ideas, but also the people with specific knowledge, skills, or tools you need.

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CEO Insights: Company Exits – Sowing Seeds for Future Growth

CEO Insights is a new series on the RBTC blog that features technology and business perspectives from the RBTC President and CEO, Jonathan Whitt.


When we think of saying goodbye, we usually don’t want to say that to the locally-owned companies that leave our community. A recent Roanoke Times editorial mentions Heyo and Interactive Achievement as two such examples. However, the recent “exits” of these high-tech start-ups demonstrates the workings of a healthy, growth-oriented entrepreneurial ecosystem in our community. They are not our first either, in fact there have been several others over the past few years. Let me explain why that’s a good sign for our community.

A prime example of this is the story of ITT, which was a pioneer in fiber optics and spawned the creation of Optical Cable Corporation. Then there’s also Innotech, which led to Pixel Optics (and a few other companies), not to mention New River Pharmaceuticals, which was followed by Intrexon. When these companies “went public” (via IPOs) their exits seeded the next generation of entrepreneurs and the entrance of new prosperous locally-owned technology companies, which in turn strengthened our community.

All companies have lifecycles and if successful, it may include selling to a larger company. These company exits cultivate an innovative environment in the region that attracts smart entrepreneurs. It also cultivates an ecosystem that continually refreshes an infrastructure to support creativity and risk taking. Ultimately, this leads to more successful companies. This environment creates profitable, diverse businesses, quality jobs, and the building of local wealth for both entrepreneurs and investors. An entrepreneurial economy strengthens the community with tax revenues, philanthropy, new business leaders, and investments into other businesses.

Consider these facts when thinking about the recent press about job losses. Most jobs in our region (84%) are from “homegrown” or “resident” businesses and the number of these jobs have dramatically increased over time. Since 2009, “non-resident” companies (out-of-state headquartered), have lost 9,000 jobs compared to a growth of 37,000 from our resident businesses.

Privco’s 2014 Private Tech Company M&A Research Report states that the number of tech companies worth acquiring is the ultimate barometer that a city is a top-notch tech hub. Another example of a local high-growth technology company that started as a homegrown business is Webmail.us. Webmail.us grew dramatically and was acquired by Rackspace in 2007, which shifted it into the non-resident category, but it was able to grow its customer and revenue base significantly, opening a new building in 2014. Rackspace has expanded from 73 to more than125 employees since 2009 and continues to do well, and it certainly bucks the trend of non-resident businesses losing jobs.

In the March 2015 Kauffman Report (private educational foundation), one of the four indicators used to measure the vibrancy of an entrepreneurial ecosystem is connectivity. Entrepreneurs thrive in a community where they’re able to obtain knowledge and assistance from a variety of sources. But it’s the connectivity between these organizations that help build a strong entrepreneurial network. These “dealmaker” organizations serve as mediators in the formation of new firms. Locally, the connectivity between the RBTC, economic and workforce development organizations, higher education institutions, and other business organizations supports this type of activity. More importantly, observing connectivity over time, the Kauffman Report states that one way connectivity manifests itself is through spinoffs. “The entrepreneurial ‘genealogy’ of a given region, as measured by links between entrepreneurs and existing companies, is an important indicator of sustained vibrancy.” In Silicon Valley, generations of spinoffs have helped periods of business renewal. Closer to home, as well as in secondary technology markets like Austin, Boulder, and Seattle, exits of companies provide the fertile ground for new companies and job creation.

In a Progressive Policy Institute memo: “Innovation by Acquisition-New Dynamics of High-Tech Competition,” the dynamic described is similar to what we’ve seen in our region. “An increase in start-up activity potentially leads to an increase in the number of successful startups – companies whose innovative products and services find a large enough market to warrant going public or being acquired. That gives us a feedback loop – a higher rate of acquisition accelerates the rate of startups and innovation, while an increase in the rate of startups and innovation forces large companies to speed up their rate of acquisition.” Historical trends show that innovations derived from acquisitions are positively correlated with employment growth. “Successful acquisitions are both a cause of and a consequence of rapid innovation, and innovation spurs economic growth and job creation.”

It can be said with confidence that technology acquisitions, like those seen in our community, encourage innovation and are usually associated with gains in economic growth and job creation. This cycle of constant innovation, acquisitions, reinvestment, and new company start-ups leads to a sustainable economic growth pattern for our region and one that we need to continue to champion and celebrate.

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TechNite 2016 Emcee: Anthony Quinn Robinson

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council is pleased to announce its TechNite 2016 emcee, marketing professional and comedian Anthony Quinn Robinson. He has managed the Blacksburg Comedy Club for over 12 years, and worked with several amazing performers like Natasha Leggero, Kirk Fox, Moshe Kashe and Aries Spears. In Blacksburg, he’s the Director of Marketing for NewCity Media, Inc. where they just celebrated their 20th anniversary of business. Along with ASME Relay for Life and other university-sponsored charities, Anthony founded the Laughter for Love benefit dedicated to the families of the April 16th tragedy at Virginia Tech. Currently Laughter for Love raises money for local individuals and families that need assistance. Anthony also volunteers with the RBTC and is a champion for expanding minority outreach across our technology community.

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