2011 Year in Review

In 2011, the RBTC changed its name, welcomed a new President, launched an important strategic initiative, and hosted notables such as Ian Sobieski, Graham Daniels, Bob Okabe, and Aneesh Chopra. Attendance at our events continues to grow, creating some logistical challenges, but also creating more valuable networking opportunities. 

Most importantly, the RBTC community is getting recognized on a national and international level as an emerging technology hub - and THAT, is what it's all about for the RBTC. 

We appreciate your continued involvement and support throughout 2011 and look forward to continued success in 2012 and the years to come. 


Cory Donovan
Executive Director

Here's a recap of 2011 from the RBTC's perspective!

Membership and Sponsorship

The RBTC added 27 new members and 3 new annual sponsors this year, which is a good indicator, but the best way to determine the value of the RBTC is to listen to what our members have to say. Got something to add? We'd love to hear your feedback!    

Social Media 

The RBTC is active on the major social media networks. So, we invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or join the RBTC group on LinkedIn and we encourage you to share success stories, job postings, and other postings about the RBTC community with your network of contacts to help raise the profile of the RBTC community beyond our geographical boundaries. It takes a village to raise a start-up community, so your active participation will make a difference!

The Roanoke - Blacksburg Innovation Blueprint

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Innovation Blueprint aims to help create a stronger and more effective innovation ecosystem in our region. The project began with a handful of working groups looking at key challenges and opportunities we face with a particular focus on four key topics: energizing entrepreneurship, developing talent, nurturing emerging clusters, and building an innovative culture. This initiative will continue into the new year and we look forward to providing you with an update in early 2012.    

RBTC Job Board Gets An Upgrade

RBTC members can post unlimited jobs to our website and easily push those job listings to many popular job boards - and it's all FREE. In 2011, we added VTalumni.com to that list and launched a resume database to capture the resumes that were coming in from all over the country. Right now, there are over 100 positions listed on the RBTC job board promoting the opportunity available in our region. Are yours?

First Class Events

The RBTC held more than 35 events this year on behalf of our membership.  
  • TechNite and The Fall Gala
    For the 2nd year in a row, we hosted more than 400 people at both of our large annual events. Ted Melnik set a humorous tone as our MC at TechNite and helped introduce the RBTC name change. Graham Weston, Chairman of Rackspace, keynoted the Fall Membership Gala.
  • Tech & Toast 
    Attendance at our monthly event now averages more than 120 people - probably because it's a great mix of enlightening speakers and valuable networking with like-minded people. If you missed any, you'll find video and slides from our 2011 programs in the Tech & Toast Archive.
  • Lessons in Leadership Workshop
    60+ people attended this August workshop aimed at helping our members deal with the alignment, leadership, and communication challenges they face in growing their firms. What challenges are you facing going into 2012?
  • Access to Capital
    • Pitch & Polish: For those seeking investors, the RBTC hosts monthly Pitch & Polish clinics to help them refine their....well, pitch. In 2011, more than 30 entrepreneurs have sought and received valuable input from the RBTC's Access to Capital Committee.
    • Access to Capital Workshops: In March, Bob Okabe presented Trends in Raising Capital, which provided an update on the current environment for raising capital; term sheet mechanics; and company valuation. Bob is the founder of Prairie Angels and serves on the Board of Directors of the Angel Capital Education Foundation. In September, the RBTC hosted "Small Bucks, Big Bang", a workshop focused on bootstrapping and raising small amounts of capital, featuring Ian Sobieski, director of Band of Angels, and an alum of Virginia Tech.
  • Aneesh Chopra Visits the RBTC 
    In August, US Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra visited Blacksburg as part of a White House outreach effort to engage entrepreneurs and innovators and praised the region's progress as an emerging technology hub.
  • RBTC Peer Forums Connect You with Like-Minded People 
    The RBTC hosts peer forums to help connect people with others who "speak the same language". RBTC Peer Forums include: IT Professionals, Software Developers, Life Sciences, Marketing & Sales, and CEO Forums. Learn more about RBTC peer forums


Headlines from the RBTC Community 

RBTC members were busy in 2011, receiving recognition and helping to put the Roanoke - Blacksburg region on the map! Here are a few highlights!   


STEM Initiatives 

The RBTC collected $1,500 in donations, which will be used to fund the creation of more FIRST Lego teams in our area. The application process will open in Spring of 2012, so spread the word. The RBTC also made grants to pay for two local teams' entry into the state competition.

Upcoming Events
Access to Capital: Pitch and Polish Clinic
Apr 16 4/16/2013 - 4/16/2013 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
April Tech and Toast
Apr 18 4/18/2013 - 4/18/2013 7:15 am - 9:00 am
Startup Weekend Roanoke
May 3 5/3/2013 - 5/5/2013 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
RBTC TechNite Awards Banquet
May 16 5/16/2013 - 5/16/2013 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Access to Capital: Pitch and Polish Clinic
May 21 5/21/2013 - 5/21/2013 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Job Board
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