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Nominations are open for the Innovation Stars Awards Banquet!


Nominate an individual or organization online here!

The Innovative Stars Awards Banquet is a celebration of Southern Piedmont’s technology community. The Southern Piedmont Technology Council honors the contributions of individuals and organizations that promote the importance of technology throughout our service region (Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax, and Mecklenburg counties and Danville and Martinsville cities).
Nominations Guidelines:
  • Nominations will be accepted March 10, 2019.
  • Must be a resident or business/organization located in the Southern Piedmont region: Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Henry, Pittsylvania, Halifax, and Mecklenburg counties and the cities of Martinsville and Danville.
  • Membership in the SPTC not required for nominee or nominator.
  • Feel free to work closely with nominees to allow them the opportunity to contribute to the nomination.
    Self-nominations are welcome and names of those that made a nomination are not published. 
  • Read the narratives for our 2018 award winners (SPTC 2018 Innovation Star Winner narratives).
  • The judges reserve the right to move nominations from one category to another.
Award winners are recognized in seven categories: 
Chairman’s Award:
The Chairman’s Award is our most prestigious award and is nominated by the SPTC Board. It is awarded to an individual or organization that has shown visionary leadership to promote technology in the Southern Piedmont region. 
Innovation in Technology - Small business (50 employees or less)
The Innovation in Technology Small Business Award is awarded to a company with 50 employees or less that demonstrates excellence in technological innovation.
Innovation in Technology - Large business (Above 50 employees)
The Innovation in Technology Large Business Award is awarded to a company with more than 50 employees that demonstrates excellence in technological innovation.
Innovation in Education or Community Outreach
The Innovation in Education or Community Outreach award is awarded to an individual or organization that develops innovative uses of technology to promote and enhance educational opportunities or community outreach.
Innovation in Community
The Innovation in Community Award is awarded to a non-profit, government organization, individual or team that displays innovative use of technology to deliver services, advance their mission, or impact the community.
Rising Star
The Rising Star Award is awarded to a young entrepreneur, individual with a new idea or initiative, or a new business that has made a significant impact on the region.
Student Innovator
The Student Innovation Awards is awarded to a high school or full-time college student that has shown leadership in technology. High school student must attend a school in SPTC service region. College students must be from the SPTC service region or attend a college in the SPTC service region.  A limit of 2 awards are presented.



Governor Northam Announces Microsoft Corporation’s Sixth Expansion in Mecklenburg County

Microsoft investment and expansion will create more than 100 new jobs
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Microsoft Corporation, one of the largest and most influential companies in the world, will inject significant capital investment to expand its enterprise data center in Mecklenburg County. The project is Microsoft’s sixth expansion at the facility since 2010 and will allow the company to further enhance its ability to serve customers in the U.S. and across the globe. Virginia successfully competed against multiple states for this significant investment, which will create more than 100 new jobs.
“When Microsoft established its new enterprise data center in 2010, it represented the largest economic investment in southern Virginia history, and we have been thrilled to see the company continue expanding in the Commonwealth ever since,” said Governor Northam. “Microsoft’s sustained investment in Virginia has created hundreds of new jobs for our citizens and advanced our position as a leader in information technology. We thank Microsoft for its tremendous contribution to the economies of Mecklenburg County and to the Commonwealth as a whole.” 
Microsoft is a publicly held corporation, established in 1975, and headquartered in Redmond, Washington, with revenues surpassing $100 billion and more than 134,000 employees worldwide. Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft has created nearly 1,800 jobs in Virginia, with approximately 300 jobs at Microsoft locations in Mecklenburg County.

Harlow Group to invest $8 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing plant

Governor Ralph Northam announced that Harlow Group Ltd., a leading provider of precision engineered, fabricated, machined and 3D printed additive components, will invest $8 million to locate its first U.S. precision sheet metal fabrication plant, to be called Harlow Fastech, in the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County. The United Kingdom-based company will also establish a U.S. Training Center of Excellence, a new facility with a focus on additive manufacturing, which will be located in the Danville-Pittsylvania County Regional Industrial Facility Authority-owned Cyber Park.

Students tour Newport News Shipbuilding Digital Mobile Experience

Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) Digital Mobile Experience trailer visited New College Institute (NCI) and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) the week of October 22. 
Students were able to experience 3D modeling, laser scans, augmented reality and learn how NNS is using technology to transform to a more modern, digital manufacturing environment.

The Launch Place Pre-Seed Fund 2 Makes Its First Investment

The Launch Place has been on a mission since 2013 to help early stage startups with strong teams and impactful business models get a product to market. The Launch Place recently announced that biotech startup CytoRecovery will be the first to receive a $75,000 investment from The Launch Place Pre-Seed Fund 2, which was established in July of this year. To date, The Launch Place has invested in and is supporting 15 portfolio companies. CytoRecovery is a Virginia-based biotech startup that develops new products that improve the ability to rapidly separate and recover rare cell populations from biological samples, including tumor biopsies, for use in cancer research and pharmaceutical development.

Free wireless internet up and running in Boydton

Community-wide Wi-Fi service is now available in Boydton. On Wednesday, Microsoft and Lake Country Satellite set the launch of a free community Wi-Fi service in town. The project was developed in response to a community need, according to Robert Sloan, Microsoft's director of data center community development. Speaking at Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative's Empower Broadband launch party in September, Sloan said Microsoft is committed to improving the communities where it has operations, and hence the tech giant pursued the Wi-Fi project in response to demands identified by local residents. Sloan noted that access to Wi-Fi was a significant need in the region.
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Coming Events

Wed Apr 10 @ 5:00PM - 08:30PM
2019 SPTC Innovative Stars Awards Banquet

Previous Events

Thu Jan 17 @ 5:30PM - 06:30PM
Tech on Tap
Thu Feb 21 @ 5:30PM - 06:30PM
Tech on Tap
Thu Mar 21 @ 5:30PM - 06:30PM
March Tech on Tap with Ideafest

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