TechNite 2016 was recently featured in the Roanoke Times with an article by Yann Ranaivo highlighting the talk by TechNite guest speaker, Jonathan Hagmaier. Read the excerpt below:
“Fear should be one of the last things deterring Southwest Virginia entrepreneurs.
That’s the point Jonathan Hagmaier made Friday night to a crowd of roughly 500 business leaders, CEOs and people involved in research and innovation across the Roanoke and New River valleys. Hagmaier, founder of former Roanoke education technology company Interactive Achievement, was the keynote speaker for TechNite, an annual gala that recognizes the region’s technology business community.
The event, at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, was put on by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, a regional organization that promotes high-tech business in the area. Hagmaier began his talk with a recollection of his company’s nomination for TechNite’s Rising Star award six years ago…
Hagmaier called for the region to stick together and help itself grow. He said Interactive Achievement likely wouldn’t have made it without that sort of support.
In early February, Interactive Achievement was acquired by California-based education technology firm PowerSchool Group LLC, which was once part of Apple. While PowerSchool did eliminate some positions, the company promised the addition of 15 to 20 high-tech and education jobs to the Roanoke area.
Hagmaier said the region also shows much promise. While he acknowledged some departures, he said there are companies expanding locally.
He pointed to work going on between Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic and the startup scene.
“We have to think as a region. We have to act as a region,” he said. “The region is ready to explode and it’s looking for leaders to do it.”