Register Here

Start Smart @ The JMU Ice House, Room 106
Dec 11 @ 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.

What’s Next? Webinar Watch Party @ JMU Ice House, room 104
Dec 11 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Featuring 5 different speakers and topics delivered in brief TED-style talks. 
Followed by a facilitated discussion on their cutting-edge ideas as well as your questions and innovative ideas.

This year, our speakers will address trends impacting our community:

  • Technology for Good: Paul Devitt, Ph.D.
  • Community Development Finance: Jodie Harris
  • Health and Housing: George Kleb
  • Community Revitalization: Dave McCormack
  • Clean Energy: Nicole Steele

Check out the 2019 speakers' bios and topics here.

Who should come?

  • Current and potential business owners
  • Managers/Directors/Board Members of non-profits serving our community
  • Community Leaders
  • Community Stakeholders
  • YOU!


Register for this FREE Webinar here.

You are welcome to bring lunch with you; coffee, iced tea, and water will be provided + some delicious snacks.

The Learning Exchange is brought to you by Virginia Community Capital and hosted by your SBDC and JMU's Office of Professional & Continuing Education.

Parking: See options for parking at the JMU Ice House and note that free permits are now required for the JMU Lot across the street.

Webinar – Digital Marketing for 2020
Dec 12 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Are you ready to make an impact with your marketing this upcoming year?
Do you want to know what is going to be hot in 2020?

Come for a preview of the hottest marketing trends of 2020, as Digital Business Strategist Ray Sidney-Smith walks you through the trends and the latest predictions for what will be happening in Small Business marketing in 2020 from leading experts!
Start off your new year business planning right with some of the best strategies and tools for marketing your Small Business.

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

Register Here

Business Smarts – Leadership: Motivation and Inspiration @ JMU Ice House
Dec 13 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

What is the difference between motivation and inspiration in leadership?

Which would you prefer? How can learning the difference between motivation and inspiration help you be a better leader?

In this session, we will learn the differences and how to have a more powerful impact on others.

Presenter Lynnette Embree began life coaching in 1997 and acquired certification from Success Unlimited Network in 2002 as a Life Coach. She also has several assessment certifications such as DISC, Motivators, EIQ-2, and Performance Gap Indicator. In July 2018, she returned to a life coaching school for additional certification and to become a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

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: See the NEW options for Parking at the JMU Ice House.  Note that permits are now required for the JMU Lot, but we list other options as well.

ICAP Lean Startup Course @ JMU Ice House
Mar 2 – Mar 23 all-day

ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course

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 programs and counseling services offered by ICAP instructors and local SBDC counselors. 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.


Important Dates

February 17, 2020 – Applications are due by midnight; see the link below.

February 19, 2020 – Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.

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

March 2, 2020 – 9:00am - 5:00pm – Initial Team Presentations

March 16, 2020 – Each team participates in a pre-scheduled telephone review of the team’s Customer Discovery Progress over the first weeks

March 23, 2020 – 9:00am - 2:00pm – Final Team Presentations

During this 3-week program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to the class meetings and webinar, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and course assignments. At the conclusion of the program, you will remain connected with your ICAP trainers and SBDC Business Advisors to continue your progress on the Five Steps to Startup Success over the following 12 months.

The introductory program is designed to generate a 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. 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.

Your ICAP Instructor

Bob Smith is currently the 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.

Bob has 30+ years’ experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of, 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


For more information email:

To visit the ICAP FAQ page:

For ICAP Resources:


Apply Here


This Cohort is hosted by the  Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center and the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.