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Cyber Security Forum: 5 Security Controls – December 4

Take part in our final Cyber Security Forum of 2018! During this forum, we will be hosting a discussion about security controls that can enhance your company’s security.

Is your company struggling to keep up with the latest security threats? Does your company spend more on the coffee budget than the security budget? Come to our next meeting where we discuss 5 free things you can do to enhance your company’s security posture. In this session, local security leaders will analyze and break down standard recommendations and talk about ways to implement these security controls in any size organization or budget.

Topics of discussion

  1. Blocking all free domains at your web filter, huge wins against drive-by malware and phishing
  2. Setting password required length to 15 characters, helps defend against password cracking
  3. Account segregation, moving away from multiple domain admins
  4. Inventory Hardware and Software and be able to align to vulnerabilities.
  5. Secure configurations and system patching

Panelists

Jimmy Carter | IT Director, Discovery Education, Formerly at Rackspace and Microsoft

Jimmy Carter is the IT Director for Discovery Education, a Software-as-a-Service company headquartered in Charlotte.  In this role, Jimmy is responsible for all aspects of IT, inclusive of security, but also the everyday ins-and-outs of service monitoring, computer management, software updates, purchasing and more.   In almost 20 years in the industry, Jimmy has served Norfolk Southern, Virginia Tech, Babcock and Wilcox, Areva (now Orano), Microsoft and until October of this year, led an Infrastructure and Security team at Rackspace.   Jimmy attended Virginia Tech and resides in the beautiful Ellett Valley near Blacksburg.

 

Robert Garbee | Information Security Engineer, Carilion Clinic Technology Services Group

Robert Garbee is an Information Security professional working for a large medical services provider that is headquartered in the Roanoke Valley.  In this role, Robert is responsible for performing threat analysis and network assessments for enterprise network systems located in various locations across Virginia.   He has more than 20 years of experience in information technology and during that time has held positions in information security, information technology and industrial security.   His certifications have included Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and most recently Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).  Robert is also a graduate of Liberty University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management Information Security.

 

Nathaniel Sykes | Executive Vice President for IT and Operations at R&K Solutions

Nate Sykes is the Executive Vice President for IT and Operations at R&K Solutions, and one of the founding members of RISE. Nate has worked in all areas of system and network administration. He has been involved in different aspects of security for the last 6 years, mostly involving prevention and detection. He holds GSEC, GMON, and GSLC certifications.

 

Moderated by Tweeks Director, Technology Futures and Community Advocacy Division of Information Technology, Virginia Tech

 

Event Details

When: Tuesday, December 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Where: Gill Memorial Building – 2nd Floor Classroom |
709 S Jefferson Street Roanoke, VA 24016

Cost: Members $15.00 |  Future Members $25.00 | Students $5.00

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Life Science Forum – March 28

Join us for the 11th annual Life Science Forum of Southwest Virginia on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at VTCRI in Roanoke.

Come present your poster, meet other innovators from the region, or simply network and learn what area researchers are up to. There will be appetizers and refreshments along with a poster session featuring representatives of academic, industry, and nonprofit technology organizations.

Poster topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Bio/Life sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Materials sciences
  • Nanotechnology

Interested in presenting a poster? Space is limited, register early.

Join us at 4:30 pm for a Speed Networking Workshop “Small Talk to Big Conversations”

Networking is an essential skill to have in the professional world. The challenge for many is how to initiate the conversation. During this brief session we will:

  • Share common conversation starters
  • Discuss what the elevator pitch is and how to introduce yourself
  • Identify quick tips to use for future networking events
Prepare to perfect your technique and practice before the start of the event, by registering for this quick and interactive 45 minute session.

WHERE: 
VTCRI – 2 Riverside Drive, Roanoke, VA 

WHEN: 
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

FORUM SCHEDULE: 
4:30 – 5:15 PM – Speed Networking Workshop
5:30 – 8:30 PM – Life Science Forum
This event is free but registration is required.

Click on the image below to download a PDF of the flyer

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Tech & Toast: Talent Development Panel – January 25

Join us for our 2018 Annual Membership Meeting and a conversation with our area resources for Talent Development, Acquisition.

Our panelists include:

Mary Ann Gilmer, Vice President of Workforce Development, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys

Marty Holiday, Executive Director, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board 

Jake Gilmer, Director of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Works

Facilitated by – Erin Burcham, Director of Talent Solutions, Roanoke Regional Partnership

Our panelists will share information on various programs for training your workforce, paid internships and locating new talent. We look forward to seeing you at Tech & Toast!

Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018

Time: 7:15- 9:00am

Location: Hotel Roanoke – Crystal Ballroom | 110 Shenandoah Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24016

Fee: $25.00 Member before 1/20/2018 | $35.00 between 1/21 – 1/24

$50.00 Future Member before 1/20/2018 | $60.00 between 1/21 – 1/24

$10.00 Student

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Hockey Night With the Rail Yard Dawgs- January 12

The RBTC invites you to join us for a fun filled evening of family fun with the Rail Yard Dawgs! Come out and support a local team, and enjoy networking with fellow RBTC members and their families at the good ‘ol hockey game. We hope that you will join us!

Decades Night

Date: Friday, January 12

Time: 7:05pm

Price: $13 per person (*Parking is $5 cash per vehicle | Registration closes January 9th)

Location: 710 Williamson Rd NE, Roanoke, VA 24016

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Ask the Cohort: Volatia

Volatia is a full-service language service company, providing on-site, over the telephone, and remote video interpretation and translation services in more than 280 languages. Volatia is led by Baraka Kasongo, recently recognized with the Regional Entrepreneur award at RBTC’s TechNite.


What motivated and inspired you to start your company? 

Baraka Kasongo: When my family moved to the United States, we experienced first-hand the language and cultural disparities that exist everywhere in health care, government, education, etc. Language and cultural disparities also exist in smaller situations like, parent-teacher conferences where the parents do not understand the messages being relayed, or when a student does not fully understand what is expected of them in the classroom. I remember taking classes where I did not understand anything but was later expected to take a test on the information. A few years after I learned how to communicate in English I noticed other people experiencing the same challenges and I decided that something needed to be done about it. I never actually planned to start a company and take on the challenge myself. Instead, I saw myself more as a coordinator of resources trying to put together a team that I could pass on to someone else. The challenge is that nobody wanted that kind of responsibility. What started as a volunteer effort, to try to put together local interpreters and translators that could help with the various language disparities, turned into a business model that is really thriving and growing at one of the fastest rates in the country.

What does success look like to you?

Baraka Kasongo: I succeed everyday, because success is not some futuristic goal I have. Success for me is doing the absolute best that I can each and everyday and taking care of people I work with. Success also includes, making sure that I do not neglect the things that are most important to me, which are my spirituality and family. As long as I have meaningful work and contribute to the happiness of the people I work with, I consider myself to have succeeded.

Tell me a little about your team.

Baraka Kasongo: I get excited when I talk about my team because I genuinely love them. They are all great people and each helps Volatia to run and operate smoothly. We have a large team since each of the 280 languages is technically its own division. We have thousands of interpreters across the country and that is how we are able to place people anywhere that they are needed.

What is the biggest challenge your company has had to face so far? How did you overcome it?

Baraka Kasongo: The biggest challenge is hiring the right people and putting them in the right position. As a small business owner, I am used to wearing many hats, which can be dangerous when I expect others to have the desire and ability to do the same. I have found that when an employee is not in a position where they can achieve their maximum performance it really affects every aspect of an organization. The old adage that every link in a chain needs to be strong and tight is very true in the small business world. I try to understand what people actually want out of work. As for overcoming this challenge, I have performance benchmarks so both the individual being hired and the individuals on the team have the opportunity to assess themselves and openly share with me if they think they’re in the right place. By doing so, I hope to create a culture that encourages people to be okay with failure and to be opening to requesting department transfer without fear of being terminated or let go.

Has your company done something exciting recently?

Baraka Kasongo: Absolutely, we do something exciting almost every day. Some of the innovations and new technologies that we have pioneered are truly second to none. We are excited to see where our company is going in the future. 

What advice would you give to those interested in starting a business?

Baraka Kasongo: I would start by asking them to truly define what success, happiness, and fulfillment looks like to them. I would also advise them to spend time with people that have similar definitions in order to ensure it is what they want to do. Running and leading a small business is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it comes with sacrifices. I think one of the reasons businesses fail is because people do not take the time to understand what they are getting themselves into, and they fail to calculate the cost of running a business from familial, spiritual, and personal perspectives. I would ask them to reanalyze what they are truly pursuing and if they are still happy with it, and then I would encourage them to put their full heart into it and it watch it succeed despite the challenges.

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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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Roanoke Takes First Place On List of Top Cities For Recent Graduates, GoodCall

Consumer data firm GoodCall has compiled a list of the top cities for recent graduates, based on a varied array of data metrics. Roanoke, Virginia took first place on the list as the top city for recent graduates entering the workforce. From GoodCall:

“New grads might find it harder to land that first job if they aren’t willing to consider moving to a new place. But moving blindly, without considering how well the new city will fit with one’s lifestyle and preferences, could lead to months or years of unhappiness.

GoodCall analysts crunched data from 589 cities and towns across the country to determine the best places for new graduates. Most of the cities at the top – more than half of the top 30 – were mid-sized, with less than 100,000 people. While the best places were generally scattered across the country, there were few Northeastern cities at the top.

Factors considered include affordability, relative salary, entry-level jobs available, and local amenities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines housing costs as affordable when they account for less than 30% of family income, and all but one of the cities in the top 10 are better than that.

New grads likely will fare better in locations where their new degree is valued, so analysts considered each city’s overall median salary and compared that with the median salary for those with a bachelor’s degree. And, of course, going where companies are hiring is a smart move.

But a lot of new grads make the mistake of taking a well-paying job in a place that turns out to be a tiny town with no nightlife, arts scene, or dining options. So the GoodCall list also takes into account the number of amenities per capita.

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA

At the top of the GoodCall list was Roanoke, Va. The town of nearly 100,000 people in the beautiful Roanoke Valley ranked fairly highly for its amenities and the number of available entry-level jobs. There were 16.6 jobs posted on Indeed.com per 1,000 people in the area. People with bachelor’s degrees tend to fare well in Roanoke, making about $42,900, or 48% more than the area’s median salary. And the area’s arts and culture scene is strong, with more than 350 amenities. Roanoke has several performing arts and events centers, which draw an array of local, regional and national performers, as well as breweries and wineries, shopping, and dining.”

See the full list at the GoodCall website >>>

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RAMP Business Accelerator Launches Crowdfunding Drive to Support Region’s Startups

The RAMP business accelerator has launched a crowdfunding drive to support its goal of growing high-potential startups in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. The campaign, launched Oct. 28 through the Tilt platform, aims to raise $25,000 to help outfit team rooms occupied by the startups accepted in the RAMP program.

This is the first fundraising drive by RAMP, which will be located in the renovated Gill Memorial Building at 709 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Roanoke. Renovations are currently under way, with the building expected to open in early 2017. The first class of RAMP startup companies is expected to start in mid-2017.

RAMP, which stands for Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program, is led by a volunteer advisory board whose members are drawn from the founding partners:

  • The City of Roanoke, which won a $600,000 state grant approved by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to renovate the Gill building as an accelerator;
  • Virginia Western Community College, which will provide business education classes and faculty support;
  • The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, which will hire RAMP’s executive director and develop the accelerator’s mentorship and networking initiatives.

RAMP’s programming will be based on best practices garnered from existing successful business accelerators. It will initially focus on accelerating three to five technology- or life science-focused companies in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and healthcare each per year. Entrepreneurs accepted into RAMP will work closely with multiple mentors during an intensive three- to four-month “boot camp for founders” designed to focus on building, testing, improving, validating product-market fit, and launching their product for the market.

To donate to the RAMP Tilt campaign, go to: RAMPTilt.com

To learn more about RAMP, go to: RAMPrb.tech

Download the press release.

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Cox Business Taps Local Entrepreneurs for ‘Get Started Roanoke’ Pitch Competition

Cox Business is seeking local entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners interested in pitching their business plan or idea for a chance to walk away with more than $14,000 in cash and technology prizes at Get Started Roanoke.

As part of the ongoing Get Started business series, local entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges consisting of successful entrepreneurs and distinguished experts. Judges will include Maria Aspan of Inc. magazine and local influencers Ed Walker, Tamea Franco, and Jonathan Hagmaier. All contestants and event attendees will receive valuable advice from the judges at the conclusion of each pitch.

Get Started offers entrepreneurs the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with potential investors while entering them into the alumni network of former Get Started competitors and winners. Pitches take place in front of a live audience, providing entrepreneurs additional exposure for their business idea. The Roanoke event will be held at The Taubman Museum of Art on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm. Admission is free, but registration is required to attend.

Local entrepreneurs interested in competing can enter at http://www.coxblue.com/getstartedstarcity/ where they must provide a 250-word description of the idea or business plan to be pitched. Applications will close at 11:59pm on September 19, 2016.  Entrants will be notified by close of business on September 21, 2016 if they have been selected as a finalist. The five finalists will receive two coaching sessions in advance of the competition to prepare.

Those interested in attending should register at http://www.coxblue.com/getstartedstarcity/ to secure their free admission to Get Started Roanoke.

Since 2013, Cox Business has hosted 24 Get Started pitch competitions across the country and awarded more than $250,000 in cash and prizes to local entrepreneurs.

Cox Business
is bringing Get Started to Roanoke (#GetStartedStarCity) , in partnership with Inc. Magazine.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm
WHERE: The Taubman Museum of Art, 110 Salem Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24011
ADMISSION: This event is FREE and open to the public but you must register to attend.

Reception and Networking
Complimentary cocktails & hors d’oeuvres at one of the best networking events you’ll attend this year! (served before and after the competition)

Registration is now open – Limited Seating – Reserve Your Seat Now

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