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SPTC offering Home and Business Automation Technology and Security Workshops

Have you always wanted a ‘connected’ home or business for energy efficiency, audio/video, or security? Join the SPTC for these informational sessions that will help you find answers to these questions. Come on Thursday night for an introduction to the subject matter and to network with SPTC. Then on Friday, join SPTC for an in-depth workshop. Plus here about the City of Danville’s Home$ave Rebate Program.
Speakers: Sanjay Patel, TiO (Turn It On) and Steven Carrigan, Danville Community College
Thursday, September 28 - 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Ballard Brewing (600 Craghead St, Danville, VA 24541)
Free admission
Friday, September 29 - 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training (RCATT) - 121 Slayton Avenue, Danville, VA 24540
Free for SPTC members | $10.00 for non-members
Thursday, October 5 - 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
2 Witches Winery & Brewing Company (209 Trade St, Danville, VA 24541)
Free admission
Friday, October 6 - 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training (RCATT) - 121 Slayton Avenue, Danville, VA 24540
Free for SPTC members | $10.00 for non-members
About the Speakers
Sanjay Patel has 20 years of experience as a product development executive and consulting service industries. TiO has been recognized by Sound & Vision, a leading Audio Visual publication. and a 2017 Consumer Technology Association Mark of Excellence winner at CES. To quote Sound & Vision “Unlike a lot of systems that specialize in one aspect of home automation (such as lighting and security), TiO is a “jack of all automations” system that’s capable of governing your home (lights, motors, cameras, etc.) as well as your home entertainment gear, including whole-house audio distribution.
Steven Carrigan, Associate Professor of IT and Program Director of the Cyber Center at Danville Community College
About Steve: Steven Carrigan, Senior IT Assistant Professor at Danville Community College, is the Director of the Cyber Center. Mr. Carrigan’s educational background includes Associate in Applied Science Degrees in Microcomputer and in Networking disciplines through Danville Community College; Bachelor's Degree in IT from Old Dominion University; and Master’s Degree in IT from Old Dominion University. Mr. Carrigan also has a Network Security Certificate from Radford University offered through the NSA. Some Industry Certifications held include Microsoft MCP-I and MCSE, Cisco CCNA, Cisco CCAI, and CompTIA Network+.

Workshop held in Danville teaches basics of mobile development

When his son was in grade school, Franklin County High School teacher Bill Schmachtenberg loved to seek out old educational computers games so the two could learn and have fun at the same time.
Titles from the 1990s like Math Blaster and Reader Rabbit provided them with hours of fun.
Now, many video games have moved on to smartphones and tablets. Still seeing a need for educational games, Schmachtenberg founded Educational Virtual Worlds, and began creating mobile games with an educational focus.
“Everything is in the app store,” Schmachtenberg said. “There’s lot’s of educational software out there, but I wanted to do 3D educational software.”
Schmachtenberg and fellow instructor Vasili Giannoutsos helped several dozen participants develop their own mobile apps at the “Develop a Game/App in One Day” workshop Tuesday and Wednesday at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
“We’re teaching participants how to make games and apps for mobile devices,” Schmachtenberg said. “I’ve streamlined the process and I’ve tried to make it as simple as I can.”

Noblis partnership paves way for education engagement

For the past school year, hundreds of Danville middle school students have been learning about career pathways and opportunities with the help of a community partner: the nonprofit research center Noblis, which has invested thousands of dollars and hours into the school system.
“They’ve made an investment with our students,” said Danville Superintendent Stanley Jones.
Officials from Noblis, which moved to the Danville River District in 2011, met with Jones in 2015. Jones and Noblis CEO Amr ElSawy eventually decided a middle school academic and career plan program would be the most successful first step in the partnership, said Jon Horin, senior manager and program coordinator at the Danville site.
“It was really fun working with Danville Public Schools to make this happen,” Horin said.
Finally, the Passport Program was ready to debut in the 2016-17 school year. Serving 450 middle school students at Bonner and Westwood middle schools, the program helps students create a career pathway to post-secondary education.

Events planned for Business Appreciation Week in Dan River Region

The Danville Office of Economic Development, Pittsylvania County Economic Development and the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce will hold a series of events next week as part of “Business Appreciation Week.”
The events will include a mix of workshops, networking opportunities and social activities designed to support and celebrate local businesses and manufacturers for choosing to locate, invest and grow in the region.
» Access to Capital and Business Loans: Monday, June 5, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., 527 Bridge St., Suite 200, Danville. Having capital to start or grow a business is essential, but access to capital, managing business finances, and navigating the sources of capital can be challenging. Ted Laws, commercial lender at American National Bank, shares information about financing options available to startups. Sponsored by The Launch Place. Breakfast provided. No cost, but please register with Regina Haynes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 434-799-5491.
» Free Workshop: GrowthWheel — Make Decisions. Take Action: Monday, June 5, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the RCATT building, 121 Slayton Ave., Room 115, Danville. Learn how to design an action plan to grow your business while still keeping up with your daily business routines. Sponsored by the Longwood Small Business Development Center. No cost, but please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
» 4th Annual River District Association Scavenger Hunt: Tuesday, June 6, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Danville River District, starting at JTI Fountain. Pick up a ’game sheet’ at the JTI Fountain, visit the merchants listed for a chance to win $500 in River District dollars! Drawing will take place at 7:30 p.m. Must be present to win!! Enjoy a live D.J., free ice cream and free drinks. Sponsored by Middle Border Forward, PATHS, Solex Architecture, Daniel, Medley, & Kirby, P.C. Attorneys at Law, YMCA, Meredith Gravely School of Dance, River District Lofts, Vintages by the Dan, Danville Regional Medical Center, HD Web Design, Elliott Electric, Piedmont Printing & Graphics, Alliance, Danville Public Schools, All-Virginia Title & Escrow Inc., and BB&T Scott & Stringfellow.
» Networking and Appreciation Breakfast: Wednesday, June 7, 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. (floating) at the Noblis Center for Applied High Performance Computing, 527 Bridge St., Suite 310, Danville. Learn more about RASMAS, the Noblis healthcare recall service, and see the Cray XMT2 Supercomputer. Sponsored by the Southern Piedmont Technology Council (SPTC). No cost. REGISTER
» Tap into Danville: (invitation only) Thursday, June 8, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Ballad Brewing, 600 Craghead St., Danville. Local Industries can connect and network with other managers in the River District’s newest brewery.

Institute debuts new Inspiration Lab

Danville’s Institute for Advanced Learning and Research unveiled a new mobile lab Thursday morning, which Don Merricks, chairman of the Institute’s board of trustees, hopes will be a “game changer for the whole region.”
The mobile lab serves eight localities in the Dan River Region encompassing more than 4,000 square miles.
The Inspiration Lab will replace the old mobile lab, which will be used by Patrick Henry Community College, according to Julie Brown, director of advanced learning at the Institute. The mobile lab has travelled more than 60,000 miles over the last seven years, according to Merricks, and served more than 52,000 people.
“IALR provides a great number of opportunities right here at this site, but when it comes to the needs of our school systems, we go to them,” Merricks, a former Virginia delegate, said.
Institute Foundation President Kris Willard thanked sponsors from the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, Mid-Atlantic Broadband and the Verizon Foundation.
“The Inspiration Lab alleviates the need for school systems to invest thousands of dollars in providing on-site high tech labs,” Willard said. “While the amount of technology and 3D printers are impressive, the wheels are the most important part, because the Inspiration Lab can be anywhere at any time.”
“We wanted the lab to have the same effect as this building does,” Brown said. “We wanted it to have that wow moment.”
It can serve as a mobile computer lab and a natural sciences lab.
“That flexibility was really important to us, and I think you’ll see that reflected in its design,” she said.
The lab was three years in the making, and was completed with $140 leftover in the budget, Brown said jokingly.
An exterior monitor shows what is happening inside the lab and has a tablet attached to it so that visitors can plug in a flash drive and have a design 3D printed and pick it up later.
“We think this might be the first example of ‘Netflix 3D printing’ in the country outside of a research facility,” Brown said. “Think of the access it would give our rural communities. It’s tremendous.”
The lab focuses on additive manufacturing, which is a fancy term for 3D printing. Designing, coding and printing can all be done in the mobile lab.
“We want to bring a one-on-one 3D printing experience to every middle schooler in the region,” Brown said. “That’s our goal.”
Currently in the lab, there is a fuse-deposition modeling printer and a flash forge unit, so users can use the type that is best suited for their design.
Interested users can find out where the lab is on Twitter by following @IALR_Lab. The lab will be travelling all over the region.
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Coming Events

Previous Events

Wed Jun 07 @ 7:30AM - 09:00AM
Networking & Appreciation Breakfast
Tue Jul 11 @ 9:00AM - 03:30PM
Develop a Game/App in 1 Day July 11
Wed Jul 12 @ 9:00AM - 03:30PM
Develop a Game/App in 1 Day July 12

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