If the Pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the survival of our families and businesses relies on the quality of both our connection and interconnection. The importance of our interconnection was laid bare this past year when it became threatened; like a river that changes course due to changes in the makeup of the rock surrounding it, when our local business ecosystem found itself cut off from its normally vibrant and interpersonal backdrop, it found another path, another way to be survive through a reorganization involving Zoom; live music directly from artists as well as from the Front Porch and IX Art Park; online networking events and annual banquets; and a patchwork of take out, delivery, and pop-up, outdoor dining rooms from most of our favorite restaurants and bars. All the elements of the ecosystem adapted in concert as best they could.

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Streetlights have a profound impact on the vitality of a city. Good street lighting increases economic activity, reduces crime, and prevents auto accidents, and the streetlight network is one of the most large-scale and expensive components of a city’s public infrastructure.

That raises an important question: how should the city make decisions about how to replace and expand the streetlight network? And what criteria should be used to make these decisions? The lights use a significant amount of energy, so lights can be replaced with energy-efficient bulbs to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. The network can be expanded to bring more light to underserved neighborhoods. Light population can be taken into account. And decisions can be made to reduce the cost to city in the short and longterm.


All the data that the city needs to weigh these factors and make good decisions exist, but are currently stored in different places and with different formats. Because the data haven’t been brought together in one unified analytic platform, the city usually allows the energy company to make replacements to the streetlights on their own schedule. With the help of a team of volunteer tech and data specialists, however, that will change soon.

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Joining the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC) as a member is a great way to connect with your community and gain access to unique members-only benefits. The group is composed of organizations of all sizes, as well as individuals and students. Our member base consists of leading tech companies, both small and large, in the greater Charlottesville area, non-profit organizations focused on technology and entrepreneurship, and a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and contract organizations that support their success, who are always on the lookout for creative solutions to today’s challenges. 

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Virtual Gala Celebrates Tech in Education, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

(Charlottesville, VA) … For the first time in its 22-year history, the CBIC Awards gala was held not in a ballroom or theater, but in the new gathering realm that is the Internet. This Thursday evening, September 10, Central Virginia's leading innovators clinked glasses from respective remote viewing locations -- from as far away as Martha’s Vineyard and San Diego -- to honor recipients of the 2020 CBIC Awards. 

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From the Desk of Tracey Greene

June is  Racial Equity Month, and how fitting that is. Our business community needs to unite for justice. This is a call to collectively take a stand for civilized norms that go well beyond the basic respect for dignity. We must end centuries of violence against our fellow black Americans and all minorities.

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From the Desk of Hope Rana McCutcheon, Ce2 Program Director

Mark your calendars for the next edition of Charlottesville Entrepreneurs & Espresso (Ce2), a free and open event where entrepreneurs, startup founders, and advisors, (and those aspiring to be any of those things) meet to learn from one another. 

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From the Desk of Tracey Greene, CBIC Executive Director

While it’s safe to assert that nearly every business has been or will be impacted by this pandemic, we know that a large portion of our innovation-based and technology oriented businesses had a head start. Let me explain!

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From the Desk of Tracey Greene

On April 9, 2020, CBIC collaborated with the Central Virginia Small Businesses Development Center (CVSBDC) to produce a recorded webinar, Decoding the CARES Act, which is now available 24/7 online here.

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By Tracey Greene, CAN Founding Executive Director, CBIC Executive Director

As fear and uncertainty abound due to the complexity and unprecedented nature of this pandemic, it occurs to me that limited visibility into what others are doing, (or, what we, ourselves, should be doing) adds to our individual and collective anxiety.
To confront this fear, below is an annotated collection of ideas, resources, inspiration, and sage advice to support you during this challenging time.

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Tips in the Time of Coronavirus

While it is true that technology does make human contact a luxury one can choose to seek out or not - intelligent, talented people do also enjoy getting together to socialize, collaborate, share ideas, and form professional relationships. We know this not only to be a vital component of attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce, but to building a healthy, reliable community.

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While the annual budgeting process often is met with dread, effective leaders know that strategic budgeting is an exciting process to implement vision and opportunity.

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