Calendar

Register Here

Mar
15
Fri
ICAP Lean Startup Course @ JMU Ice House
Mar 15 – Apr 5 all-day

Based on the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP (Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program) helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.

ICAP includes FREE introductory training and counseling offered by ICAP instructors and local SBDC business advisors. ICAP helps startups identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. It is an ideal program for early-stage companies trying to prepare for eventual venture investment.

  • Learn what it takes to land early-stage funding today.
  • Use customer input to build products.
  • Build "ground up" business models that investors demand.
  • Recruit a winning team.
  • Form partnerships to accelerate growth and make the most of early investment dollars.

Important Dates:

February 25, 2019Applications are due by midnight; apply by clicking here.

March 1, 2019Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.

Early March TBD – 6:00pm - 8:00pm – Introductory Conference Call

March 15, 2019 – 9:00am - 5:00pm – Initial Team Presentations in Harrisonburg

March 22, 2019 – Pre-scheduled telephone review of your team’s Customer Discovery Progress over the first week

April 5, 2019 – 9:00am - 2:00pm – Final Team Presentations in Harrisonburg

During this program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to the two class meetings, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and course assignments.

This program is designed to generate maximum impact over a relatively short duration and should be considered a required first step for anyone interested in commercializing a technology or product, whether through a startup or licensing arrangement.

What Happens after the Short Course?

The Short Course is just the beginning. After completion, teams create a Roadmap to help navigate the first year or two of their startup’s life. This Roadmap includes a timeline for teams to follow, along with key milestones they need to achieve to be successful. Teams will also create an ongoing interview schedule, because Customer
Discovery Never Stops! Teams are required to attend monthly check-ins with their local SBDC counselor to provide progress updates and receive ongoing guidance. At the conclusion of the program, you will remain connected with your ICAP trainers and SBDC Business Advisors to continue your progress.

Some graduates of this cohort may be eligible to apply to NSF’s full National Seven-week I-Corps Program which includes non-dilutive grants for customer discovery and prototype development. Additionally, this program can help teams develop better submissions for SBIR and CRCF grants from Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technologies.

For ICAP FAQs, visit https://www.virginiasbdc.org/icap-faq/

Your ICAP Instructor

Bob Smith is Director of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP), a program funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by George Mason University and the Virginia Small Business Development Center Network (VSBDC). Here he helps researchers, inventors, and technology startups develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He’s also an instructor with the NSF’s DC I-Corp Node, and co-director of the Fed Tech program, which uses Lean Startup methods to assist inventors from government labs to explore the commercial viability of their inventions.

Bob has 30+ years’ experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of CollegeFactual.com, a leading college rankings website. He’s held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing, and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor, and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing, geospatial analytics, data science, and local media go from launch through to favorable exits.

Bob received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.

Apply Here

To read more about ICAP, visit https://www.virginiasbdc.org/programs/icap/

For more information, email  icap@VirginiaSBDC.org

 

This Cohort is hosted by the  Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council and JMU X-Labs,

 

Mar
27
Wed
Start Smart @ Augusta Government Center
Mar 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Apr
3
Wed
Start Smart @ The JMU Ice House, Room 106
Apr 3 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Click here for Directions and Parking information for the JMU Ice House.

Apr
4
Thu
Snapchat Marketing Strategies for Small Business – Free Webinar @ Online
Apr 4 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Snap Inc. is a scrappy, Santa Monica, California-based social image messaging platform and camera technology company started in 2011. And with 100 million users, they dominate the social space for the 30 million teenagers that use the platform...topping Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

That also means there are 70 million other users that are not teens that are using Instagram, and they cover a varied group of media-savvy people.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to create a Snapchat marketing strategy for your business, look no further. This Web-based presentation will cover everything you need to get started on Snapchat.

What we will discuss in this Webinar:

  • How to set up Snapchat (and Snapchat Camera) for your business.
  • What are Snapchat Spectacles and does your business need them?
  • What are the effective posting strategies for Snapchat?
  • What tools and services are available to help you get the most out of your Snapchat content marketing implementation?

Who should attend?

  • Small business owners, entrepreneurs, micropreneurs, and solopreneurs
  • Office/sales/customer service managers, marketing directors, executives and professionals
  • Administrative/executive assistants and sales/account representatives
  • Nonprofit executive directors and board members

It's always best to have all other applications closed on your computer, laptop or mobile device from which you're watching the Webinar. You should have a broadband (cable, FiOS or DSL) connection to the Internet. Log on several minutes early to make sure you are up and running properly for the Webinar.

This Webinar is presented on behalf of the Virginia SBDC Network.

Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith, Web & Mobile Strategist, author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Web Small Business Marketing Strategy Explained. Ray is also President of W3 Consulting and Managing Director of W3C Web Services, an affordable Web/WordPress hosting, domain name registration, SSL certificate, and email hosting service focused on helping small businesses market and manage on the Web.

Watch previous Webinars.

Apr
12
Fri
Business Smarts – How to Find Your Best Customers @ JMU Ice House
Apr 12 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

So there you are in a successful business. Things seem to being going mostly your way. Sales are up. Profits are up. Your best customers keep sending you business.

Then it happens. Through no fault of your own a key customer disappears and the future changes.

In this workshop we will focus on prospecting: the process of insuring the business will grow by adding new good customers.

Why attend? At the end of this Business Smarts workshop you will know how to find, win, and keep the very best customers for your business. Don Crawford will walk you through the keys to defining your best customer, identifying and qualifying prospects, and creating customers for life. Bring with you your A list of your customers and your current strategic plan to win more customers. Together we will look at your list to challenge you to think of other companies to add. We will work through your strategic sales and marketing plan to perfect the selling process.

Presenter Don Crawford is a partner in Marketing Idea Shop, a consulting company helping small businesses challenge themselves to close more sales, earn more revenue, and drive their competitors crazy. He has over 45 years selling and sales management experience in a wide variety of industries. Don earned an MBA in marketing from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a BS degree in electrical engineering from the Virginia Military Institute. As an adjunct faculty member of the College of Business at James Madison University, Don taught courses in business-to-business marketing. Together with his wife, Lois Carter Crawford, he authored Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling, a book on professional selling to offer selling tips and techniques to the next generation.

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.   Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.

Apr
18
Thu
Start Smart @ Buena Vista-TBD
Apr 18 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Google Ads 101 for Small Business – Free Webinar @ Online
Apr 18 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is the Internet advertising platform that funds the largest search engine in the world. As a small business, you can advertise using brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, video content, and mobile applications installed within the Google Ad network. You can have a local or global reach, and target your customers with powerful audience filtering in unique ad display locations.

If you’d like to learn more about how to get started using Google Ads to promote your business on Google's Web searches, join us for this Web-based presentation.

What we will discuss in this Webinar:

  • Where are Google Ads displayed?
  • How to setup your Google Ads advertiser account properly.
  • How to create your first Google Ads campaign.

Who should attend?

  • Small business owners, entrepreneurs, micropreneurs, and solopreneurs
  • Office/sales/customer service managers, marketing directors, executives and professionals
  • Administrative/executive assistants and sales/account representatives
  • Nonprofit executive directors and board members

It's always best to have all other applications closed on your computer, laptop or mobile device from which you're watching the Webinar. You should have a broadband (cable, FiOS or DSL) connection to the Internet. Log on several minutes early to make sure you are up and running properly for the Webinar.

This Webinar is presented on behalf of the Virginia SBDC Network.

Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith, Web & Mobile Strategist, author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Web Small Business Marketing Strategy Explained. Ray is also President of W3 Consulting and Managing Director of W3C Web Services, an affordable Web/WordPress hosting, domain name registration, SSL certificate, and email hosting service focused on helping small businesses market and manage on the Web.

Watch previous Webinars.

May
1
Wed
Start Smart @ The JMU Ice House, Room 106
May 1 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Click here for Directions and Parking information for the JMU Ice House.

May
2
Thu
Big Fish in a Small Pond Marketing – Free Webinar @ Online
May 2 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Would you like to learn how to market your small business on the "Other" social networks?

In previous Webinars, we covered all the major social networking platforms on the Web and discussed how to get your business out in front of your target audience using effective content marketing strategies.

But did you know there are many, many other social networks? They don’t get much media publicity but represent a large part of the social networking platform market.

In this Web-based presentation, we will cover the “other” social networks you can consider in your content and social media marketing efforts.

What we will discuss in this Webinar:

  • What smaller social networks exist?
  • How to find the right small social networks for your business on the Web today.
  • What are the best strategies for making the most out of joining small social networks?

Following the presentation, Ray will be available live to answer questions you have about marketing and managing your business on the Web, Mobile, Social Media, and beyond!

Who should attend?

  • Small business owners, entrepreneurs, micropreneurs, and solopreneurs
  • Office/sales/customer service managers, marketing directors, executives and professionals
  • Administrative/executive assistants and sales/account representatives
  • Nonprofit executive directors and board members

It's always best to have all other applications closed on your computer, laptop or mobile device from which you're watching the Webinar. You should have a broadband (cable, FiOS or DSL) connection to the Internet. Log on several minutes early to make sure you are up and running properly for the Webinar.

This Webinar is presented on behalf of the Virginia SBDC Network.

Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith, Web & Mobile Strategist, author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Web Small Business Marketing Strategy Explained. Ray is also President of W3 Consulting and Managing Director of W3C Web Services, an affordable Web/WordPress hosting, domain name registration, SSL certificate, and email hosting service focused on helping small businesses market and manage on the Web.

Watch previous Webinars.

May
10
Fri
Business Smarts – DIY Video Hacks: You Don’t (Always) Need Me @ JMU Ice House
May 10 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

This interactive talk will provide practical advice on how to create your own video with the device in your pocket. Well, let's be honest, it is probably in your hand.

Please bring a smartphone or tablet along with a good 'dad joke' to this session.

Presenter Andy Vanhook is the Imaginative Producer and Co-Founder of Appeal Production

Andy wants to live in a world filled with innovative communicators, airline tickets with free upgrades, and belly laughs which make him cry.

As a video producer for nearly 20 years, he's worked in all aspects of producing video for clients in the Shenandoah Valley, across the Commonwealth of Virginia, around the country as well as Central America. He has helped numerous companies and organizations tell their unique story to their audience. Along the way, he's won a few awards which proved to his mom he had a legitimate career.  When he's not helping craft a client's story to inspire business growth, you'll find him whipping up a delicious, made-from-scratch pizza, chest-deep in the river, or making up songs about his dogs.

 

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.  Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.

May
16
Thu
Start Smart @ Page County-TBD
May 16 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Jun
4
Tue
Start Smart @ The JMU Ice House, Room 106
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Click here for Directions and Parking information for the JMU Ice House.

Jun
26
Wed
Start Smart @ Augusta Government Center
Jun 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Jul
9
Tue
Start Smart @ The JMU Ice House, Room 106
Jul 9 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Are you thinking about starting a new business?
Do you have lots of questions about how - or whether - to move forward?
Are you considering moving your hobby into a more structured business form?
Have you already started your small business and now realize you may have missed a few things?

Your SV SBDC has answers, information, and resources to help.

In our Start Smart Workshops, we discuss the path to good decisions and a successful start. You'll learn to take a thorough 360° approach to your business and all its components - from product development to target markets to financial projections. We'll also cover the regulations and registrations you need to know.

Follow-up appointments are then available with SBDC business advisors to focus on your individual business needs.

Start Smart workshops are held in various locations and at various times; if this session doesn't suit, check the Web Calendar for more options.

Click here to register for any Start Smart or other SBDC workshop.

Click here for Directions and Parking information for the JMU Ice House.

Jul
12
Fri
Business Smarts – Be Strong: Focusing on Talent to Improve Well-Being and Engagement @ JMU Ice House
Jul 12 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Our world is a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment that creates a rapidly changing workplace which demands employees be agile learners. Skill sets and knowledge necessary for success continue to evolve.

To meet these demands, self-awareness is more important than ever. Employees must understand the talents they bring to the workforce and how best to build them into strengths they can leverage. Research in positive psychology demonstrates a significant link between the application of strengths and a person’s sense of well-being and engagement at work.

Participants in this session will explore the connection between strengths, well-being, and engagement. To be successful, we must Be Strong.

Learning Outcomes - At the end of this sessions, attendees will:

  1. Be able to explain the need to create agile learners to navigate a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.
  2. Understand the relationship between strengths, well-being, and engagement.
  3. Understand possible assessments you can use in the workplace to identify employee strengths.
  4. Leave the session with additional practices you can employ to improve your own well-being and engagement.

Presenter Jason Boron has designed and conducted leadership coaching focused on helping teams and individuals leverage their talents since 2007. He has presented a variety of programs and workshops in both the higher education and non-profit sectors, including leadership development, effective communication, conflict resolution, collaboration, performance enhancement, and coaching. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, he is committed to providing experiential learning opportunities to individuals and teams aimed at improving performance. Before founding Leading Strong, LLC, Jason served in higher education for over 15 years.

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.  Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.