2009 Year in Review

2009 has been an interesting year with a struggling economy and uneasiness about what the near future holds. Most of our members are doing just fine and a good number are having a better-than-average year. I think many of you are confident in yourself and your company and feel that when things get better, you will be in a position to flourish. 
We feel the same way here at the NCTC. In many respects, we have had a very good year. Our membership is higher than it’s ever been. We had record attendance at TechNite and at our Tech & Toast meetings. We’ve also made back office and process improvements that make us more efficient, but that our customers (you) will never see. Momentum seems to be building despite the slowdown in the economy. But even though the indicators are headed in the right direction, the suspect economy has made it more difficult to secure new sponsorships and, as you may now, sponsorships provide nearly 75% of the NCTC’s annual budget. 
I am hopeful that 2010 will hold better prospects for all of us. If you are facing a particular challenge, have some good news to share, or we can be of service in any way, please let me know. Beth and I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the NCTC membership this year. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous 2010.  
Cory Donovan
Executive Director
NewVa Corridor Technology Council

  1. For the first time ever, the NCTC surpassed 200 members and at the end of 2009, our membership count was 207, an all-time high. View the NCTC Member Directory.

  2. Upgrades to the NCTC Website: 

    • Searchable member profiles: The new NCTC Member Directory hosts a profile for each member company and the profiles are searchable, allowing members and non-members alike to find NCTC companies for collaboration opportunities, employment, etc. If you forgot your login or aren’t sure how to update your profile, please contact us.

    • Member2Member Marketplace: Whether you’re looking to save money or generate new sales by making an offer to other members, participating in the NCTC’s Member2Member Marketplace is a win-win opportunity.

  3. The Innovation Index: Working with the Center for Innovative Technology, the NCTC is leading the effort to develop the first community-based Commonwealth Innovation Index. The Index is designed to foster the formation, retention, and expansion of technology-based economic development opportunities. This process will educate regional and Commonwealth leaders about the NCTC community and enable them to steer a successful course toward global leadership in advanced technology company formation and attraction. 

  4. Raising the profile of the “budding technology community” in the NewVa region is a high priority for the NCTC.

    • NCTC Member BadgeThe NCTC Member Badge: Help us raise the profile of the NCTC community by adding the NCTC member badge to your website. 


    • Recruiting Talent from Detroit to Europe: More than 16,000 unique visitors from every state in the country viewed jobs on the NCTC job board in 2009. Thousands more viewed NCTC member job listings on popular websites (like Craiglist and LinkedIn) that were fed by the NCTC job board. NCTC members have reported hiring critical talent from as far away as Detroit and Europe. Posting your jobs listings to the NCTC job board will help you recruit talent from places you aren’t even looking, but it also helps promote our region as a place where technology companies are growing! Request your NCTC Job Board login.

    • LinkedIn NCTC LinkedIn Group: LinkedIn is a great networking resource and joining the NCTC LinkedIn group adds a NCTC icon to your LinkedIn profile. 

    • Facebook NCTC Facebook Page: The NCTC is an ambassador for the region and as such, people contact us to learn more about the region’s technology community. The NCTC Facebook page reaches out beyond the NCTC membership.

    • Media and PR: The NCTC engages with local media and beyond to change perception about the NewVa region as “just coal mines and railroads”. In 2009, the NCTC contributed to frequent media coverage about the NewVa tech community, writing op-eds, being quoted, and providing referrals and background information. Check out this piece on Tech Crunch’s Geek Weekend

    • Senator Mark Warner announced the NCTC TechNite Nominees at a reception in Roanoke in April.

    • A presence on campus: 35% of Virginia Tech students say they’d like to stay in the area after they graduate. That’s why the NCTC attends job fairs and other events on campus to let students know about the NCTC community, whether it’s immediately after graduation or 10 years down the road when they might want to return. 

    • Ambassador for the Region: When visitors from the worldwide technology community visit our region, the NCTC serves as an ambassador, helping to make connections with the NCTC membership. This year, Rob Scoble, Vint Cerf, and Jerry Neal were notable technologists that visited the region.

    • Governor-Elect McDonnell’s Technology Transition Team: The NCTC was asked to participate and was assigned to the broadband committee, which focused on recommendations in three areas: affordable access across Virginia, wireless broadband technologies, and leveraging of federal stimulus dollars.

  5. More than 40 Networking & Educational Events in 2009, including:

    • Technology & Toasts: To help members get the most out of their membership, the NCTC Executive Director presented at our December Tech & Toast. You can download that presentation and others from the 2009 Tech & Toast archive. Other T&T topics from 2009 include: international trade, open source business intelligence systems, marketing strategy, the Virginia Tech Arts Initiative, and regional cooperation. Attendance at Tech & Toasts in 2009 averaged more than 90 people, up from about 50 just two years ago.

    • TechNite: A record crowd of 424 attended this year’s event which was MC’d by Peter Jobse of CIT. Wireless MedCARE took home the first-ever People’s Choice Award and the two Educator Award winners were awarded $1,000 each towards the advancement of their STEM-based educational programs. View 2009 TechNite award nominees, finalists, and winners.

    • Fall Gala: Jerry Neal, co-founder of RF Micro Devices delivered a keynote address about the ups, downs, and persistence it takes to be a tech entrepreneur. See pictures from the red carpet.

    • Demo Day & Tech Expo: This half-day event is a “show and tell” that allowed members to learn more about other technology companies in our region and helped initiate conversations about new partnerships and collaboration.

    • Educational Events:

    • NCTC Peer Group Events help tech sector employees connect with their peers. Events were held for CEOs, Life Sciences Researchers, IT Professionals, Software Developers, and Interactive Designers. If you’d like to know about upcoming events for any of these peer groups, please join the NCTC mailing list or update your preferences.
    • NEW Marketing & Sales Forum: In response to the expressed need and interest of membership, a new peer group was started to share business development knowledge among NCTC members. The newly-created Marketing & Sales group welcomes industry professionals, but is also intended CEO’s or others who find themselves responsible for business development activities. 
  6. NCTC Committees Formed: The NCTC Board of Directors has created several committees to add value to and address issues faced by the membership. New committees include:

    • Access to Capital Committee
    • Government Relations Committee
    • Events Committee
    • Education & Workforce Committee
    • Membership Committee
  7. The NewVa region claimed its 4th R&D 100 Award in the past 3 Years! Salem-based Synchrony was a 2009 recipient of this prestigious award for its Fusion Magnetic Bearing. 

  8. The NCTC again issued grants to create FIRST Lego League teams in the NewVa region, promoting STEM education in tomorrow’s workforce.

If you’re in the giving spirit (or if you just have some equipment you no longer need), check out the NCTC Wish List for a list of things the NCTC could put to good use.
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