• A Startup Kind of Town

    From the Daily Progress Business Hall of Fame, Tracey Greene is featured in an article describing the past, present, and future of startups in Charlottesville.

    Among the many great parts of this article: "In 2017, securities filings showed area companies pulled in more than $39 million in venture funding in the first half of the year, according to Daily Progress news partner Charlottesville Tomorrow. And in the first quarter of this year, Virginia had the 12th-most venture capital activity in the nation, according to NVCA."

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  • Congratulations to the 2018 CBIC Award Winners

    CBIC would like to extend a very special thank you to everyone who attended the 20th Annual CBIC Awards. We want to thank Matthew Shields, for his inspirational keynote, and Jake Zarnegar for his entertaining facilitation. And not to be outdone, a very special 
    CONGRATULATIONS
    TO THE 2018 CBIC AWARD WINNERS

    CBIC Business of the Year:
    MIKRO SYSTEMS

    CBIC Educator of the Year:
    CHRIS STANEK

    CBIC Entrepreneur of the Year:
    CHARLIE ROGERS

    CBIC Innovator of the Year:
    OESH SHOES

    CBIC Startup of the Year:
    METIS MACHINE

    CBIC Student Entrepreneur of the Year: 
    ASHWINRAJ KARTHIKEYAN

    CBIC Top Job Creator:
    APEX CLEAN ENERGY

    CBIC Volunteer of the Year:
    HEIDI TOMBS

    CBIC Tech Tour Student Scholarships:
    SOPHIE CONDRON
    CHLOE HELLERMAN


    CBIC Social Good of the Year:
    TECH DYNAMISM


    Learn more about The CBIC Awards Gala

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  • U.Va. Tapped To Lead $27.5 Million Effort to Reinvent Computing

    The University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science has been selected to establish a $27.5 million national center to remove a bottleneck built into computer systems 70 years ago that is increasingly hindering technological advances today.

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  • A New Year's Message

    Charlottesville's Tech and Entrepreneurial Scene Over The Past 20 Years...

    CBIC just celebrated its 20th year. Let's take a look at what's been happening in the Charlottesville entrepreneurial scene since then. To start, numerous startup companies have launched, many have successfully raised critical seed and follow-on funding, some have been acquired, and most are on their way to great success. 

    In 2016, the National Venture Capital Association ranked Charlottesville #1 in Venture Capital Funding Growth. It reported that between 2010 and 2015, venture funding in Charlottesville jumped from $250,000 to $27.7 million invested in local companies.

    In newer news, critical early-stage funding also increased for local startups. The Charlottesville Angel Network, established in 2015, now has a portfolio of 28 companies with 60% being local. Through CAN alone, 8 new deals closed representing $1.4MM in 2017, and, CAN has invested nearly $4.3MM total. 

    Established companies have also flourished providing jobs, recruiting talent to our region, and spreading economic diversity. But it's not just about the companies already here. Our region has grown in its attractiveness too. It boasts better startup and high-tech business infrastructure, including high-speed Internet options previously not available, more affordable wet lab space, and accessible collaborative and co-working spaces. 

    Our University and non-profits offer stellar entrepreneurial and other training and professional development, which facilitates better access to angel investment capital, tech talent, trained interns, and mentors. 

    Read about how Charlottesville is emerging as a mini-tech powerhouse here, and check out why entrepreneurs continue to choose Charlottesville as their home here

    Further, the community has rallied around consistent, recurring meet-ups and networking opportunities such as CBIC Tech on Taps, our co-hosted Charlottesville Entrepreneurs and Espresso events, Cville Women in Tech gatherings, and so much more. Want to learn about our region's myriad resources? Click here.

    Our community has pulled together to improve our collective ecosystem. Our best and brightest consistently speak out regarding crucial issues, including our faults. We use various CBIC Tech Night Takeover events sponsored by S&P Global and collaborative Tom Tom Festival happenings as platforms for voicing our concerns, disseminating crucial information to elected officials, and sharing ideas.

    It's working. How? You. That's how. And people like you:  

    • CBIC members breathe life into the innovations that fuel tomorrow.
    • Sponsors contribute to events that make this town one of the best in the country. 
    • Collaborators, partners, and volunteers perform crucial tasks and carry the water. 
    • Leaders sculpt our landscape and cultivate our next generation of innovators.

    For this, we applaud and thank you.

    As we ring in this new year, CBIC is alight with the excitement of things to come. Take a look around at your colleagues, mentors, and friends, and recognize how important our actions are in shaping the world around us. Realize that it is our sense of community, rather than any one particular focus, that makes us who we are. Let's stand together and celebrate the inclusivity, diversity, and strength that make Charlottesville so great.

    Thank you, all, for your contributions and may this be our best year yet!

    Tracey

    Tracey Greene, CBIC Executive Director

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  • AgroSpheres announces close of oversubscribed $750,000 seed round

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – AgroSpheres announces the successful close of an oversubscribed seed round of $750,000 from local and international angel investors. AgroSpheres is a biotechnology company developing novel nanotechnologies aiming to set a new standard for bio-based delivery of active ingredients. The funding will be used to broaden utility of the platform, build a strong intellectual property portfolio, and outfit the company’s facilities.
     
    AgroSpheres has made significant breakthroughs in the effective and precise delivery of high-value biomolecules and chemicals to a wide range of intended targets. Using next-generation bioengineering and industrial fermentation allow AgroSpheres to out scale competitors at a lower cost.
     
    The platform’s focal point is a nanoscale bioparticle created from environmentally friendly microbes that can be functionalized by immobilizing and/or encapsulating active ingredients. Although the applicability of the platform is extremely versatile, the company is focused on developing their technology to innovate the fields of agriculture and industrial enzymes.
     
     “We are excited to be developing our technology for precision agriculture applications - we want to help farmers maximize their yields while minimizing their exposure to dangerous chemicals and the off-target exposure of agrochemicals to the environment,” said Payam Pourtaheri, Co-Founder.
     
    Ameer Shakeel, Co-Founder, said, “It is opportune timing for us to be making a cost-effective delivery vehicle for enzymes. We see growing value in using industrial enzymes as environmentally friendly, efficient alternatives to synthetic chemicals in various manufacturing industries.”
     
    Prior to this round of funding, the company was funded by $174,000 from grants and awards from competitions, most notably Thought for Food, The Collegiate Inventor’s Competition, VentureWell, and the Virginia Wine Board.  The company continues to receive strong support from the Charlottesville community and the University of Virginia, including the iLab incubator program.
     
    “The founders of AgroSpheres have created a groundbreaking nano-delivery technology by working across disciplines and leveraging multiple departments at the University of Virginia. The AgroSpheres Interdisciplinary Model has set a new standard for translational research and development,” said Dr. Mark Kester, Co-Founder.

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  • Kim Wilkens RE: Technology's Bro Culture

    Kim Wilkens (aka TechKim) is passionate about transforming technology users into technology creators, collaborators & activists and proud to do this work with many collaborators and partners including Mozilla Network50, CS Educator @ St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Tech-Girls founder, Charlottesville Women in Tech outreach and CBIC Tech Tour chair. 

    Check out her podcast on technology's bro culture here!

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  • 1 A Startup Kind of Town
  • 2 Congratulations to the 2018 CBIC Award Winners
  • 3 U.Va. Tapped To Lead $27.5 Million Effort to Reinvent Computing
  • 4 A New Year's Message
  • 5 AgroSpheres announces close of oversubscribed $750,000 seed round
  • 6 Kim Wilkens RE: Technology's Bro Culture
  • Tech on Tap Banner August 2018

    Tech on Tap
    Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Venue: Random Row

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  • Tech on Tap Banner September 2018

    Tech on Tap
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Venue: Residence Inn by Marriott

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  • Tech on Tap Banner October 2018

    Tech on Tap
    Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Venue: TBD

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  • Tech on Tap Banner November 2018

    Tech on Tap
    Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Venue: TBD

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News

Recurring Events

  • CBIC Awards

    CBIC Awards

    The Charlottesville area is recognized for its exceptional high-tech community and entrepreneurial spirit. CBIC is proud to spotlight leadership in these areas annually through the highly anticipated CBIC Awards.
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  • Tech Tour

    Tech Tour

    CBIC's annual Tech Tour is all about igniting local students' interest in technology-related careers and showing the variety of opportunities available in our community to pursue their passions.
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  • TechOnTap

    TechOnTap

    This monthly event provides an opportunity for tech-minded people to network in a happy hour setting.
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This is the first post in CBIC’s series, "Bootstrap Marketing for Startups", featuring Birch Studio’s David Robinson

So... you have a new business. Statistically speaking, you also have a lack of funds to spend on marketing. But fear not—good ideas come in many shapes and sizes. Here’s a quick guide to set you on your way to looking like a real company in 2015. The essentials are a name, logo, website and business card. I'll cover each in a series of posts.

Company Name

There are a few elemental forms that a name may take: eponymous, descriptive and artificial. You may see combinations of these forms as well.

Eponymous is the quickest for me to explain and for you to execute. Put your actual name on some letterhead and call it a day. Examples: Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Hoffman-La Roche.

The next simplest is to take your name or location and add a word to it. Examples: Blossman Pharmaceuticals, Boston Scientific.

The descriptive form is very common and typically neither unique nor inspired. Examples: Central Battery, Mid-Atlantic Fasteners, Healthy Living Directory. Depending on your market and geography, you may have trademark issues down the road.

Artificial names are the ones you pull out of the air. These may offer some hint of the business—Family Dollar, Burger King—or no real insight at all—Starbucks, Skype, Target, nTelos.

If you go with an artificial name, you will serve your brand well by having a back story that tells how your name came into being. In all cases, the name should be unique, easy to pronounce and easy to visualize. Finding it available as a domain name is even better.

Finally, often the biggest challenge in deciding on a name is your realization that the name is real, valid and will be accepted by others as the name, even if it sounds strange at first. Obviously, you want to pick a name you like. Check with some friends, family and people in your target market to make sure it doesn't bring up any negatives. Check with the state corporation commission and then check to see if the web domain is available.

After such due diligence, you'll need to take the last leap of faith and believe that it will be accepted by others. You should know this: others typically accept a name sooner than the owner of the name.

David Robinson is the Creative Director of Birch Studio, a design, branding and software development firm in Charlottesville.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Robinson
Author: David RobinsonWebsite: http://www.birchstudio.com
Birch Studio, Creative Director and CEO


Annual Partners

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Cville Tech Calendar

From Cville Tomorrow

Wildrock pop-up promotes creative play

Aug 08, 2018

A forecast for thunderstorms on July 23 forced Wildrock to move its weekly Nature Pop-Up Play Program at Greenstone On 5th indoors.   Carolyn Schuyler, Wildrock’s executive director, said the local nonprofit is committed to promoting health and wellness...

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Coding for students of color

Jul 30, 2018

A Charlottesville city councilor and a local entrepreneur are leading an educational organization with a long-term goal of increasing diversity in the area’s technology talent pipeline.   Councilor Wes Bellamy and P.J. Harris recently co-founded We Code, Too...

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Charlottesville energy tech companies join forces

Jul 29, 2018

Sigora Solar residential customers will receive Lumin smart technology   Two Charlottesville companies are partnering to grow their business and raise the city’s profile as a hub for the renewable energy industry.   Sigora Solar’s residential customers will receive a...

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Boosting employee wellness with local produce

Jul 29, 2018

Albemarle County among clients of Fresh Farmacy, but participation is low   Albemarle County’s human resources department has made locally grown fruits and vegetables part of its workplace health program.   The county’s BeWell initiative is in the second year...

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Supervisors approve process to finalize economic development plan

Jul 11, 2018

Albemarle County’s Economic Development Strategic Plan is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2018 following a monthslong delay. The county’s Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission and Economic Development Authority jointly endorsed a framework for...

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A fare fight?: Local taxis navigate regulation, customer preference in competition with apps

Jul 10, 2018

Tensions persist in the 1½ years since ride-hailing app Lyft joined Uber in Charlottesville, further altering the area’s transportation market. In the first quarter of 2018, 50,000 people took at least one Uber ride locally, waiting...

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