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Software/technology associations in VIRGINIA?


We just moved our software company from Oregon to Blacksburg, Virginia.

There was a very helpful Software Association of Oregon, of which we were a member.

Anyone aware of any similar organizations in Virginia?

(So far, all I've found is the Technology Council of Northern Virginia).

Entrepreneur
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I doubt there are many government organizations in Blacksburg since it's a fairly rural area. Most of the tech focus in Virginia is in Northern Virginia (Fairfax, Loudoun, Stafford and Arlington Counties). However, you might be able to hook up with the folks at the nearby university (Virginia Tech) regarding local technology infrastructure, workers, hiring trends, etc.

Chris Winters
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I don't know that I can offer you any advice as far as software associtions go, but the University has strong associations with IEEE and the ACM.  They also have student LUG chapters and there is a Microsoft Developer group as well. 

As an Alumn of the school and the former president of the Microsoft Developer group on campus, I can put you in touch with some of those people/groups if that's what you're interested in. 

If you have any questions about the infrastructure of the area, etc. feel free to contact me about that too.

Elephant
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I just gotta ask - why the move? I mean, that's a truly bizarre move, unless "our software company" is a euphemism for "just you"

Philo

Philo
Thursday, December 18, 2003

The main centers of technology in this area are the university (as others have mentioned) and the VT CRC ( http://www.vtcrc.net ) which is not as related to the university as the title "VT Corporate Research Center" would suggest.  That covers about 80% of the tech in this area, leaving mostly home / apartment based small business.  If that's you, there might be some advantage to a small CRC presence for networking, especially if you could otherwise use a front office / server closet, classier address, access to conference rooms, etc.

I'm a VT CS grad, Blacksburg resident since 1996.  I've worked for VT, worked for several companies in the CRC, know a decent amount of local software folk.  More questions?  Fire away.  On board, use the mail link, whatever. :)  Welcome to the neighborhood, looks like it might be a bit chilly this winter.

Mikayla
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Philo --

Although I'm also thinking there's more to that move than meets the eye, it's not a bad choice.  Cost of living is low, commute is nil, there's a university providing continuing education and culture, tech concentration is high, small companies of various sorts are surviving fairly well here, there's a fairly good network among the long-term locals...  There's even a steady influx of college students and recent-grads willing to work for companies that are new, experimental, or *cough* otherwise high-turnover.

My royal We and "our" future software company are not likely to move out of Blacksburg either. :)

Mikayla
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Mikayla, I wasn't impugning Blacksburg - I was questioning moving 3,000 miles from one non-metro setting to another. It's kinda odd...

Philo

Philo
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Wow, there are a lot of people from Blacksburg that read JOS.  I'm an alumni of VT as well.  I am still in the area and it is a great place.  I'm very interested as well as to why you made the move.

Another resource might would be New Century Technology Council.  It is based out of Roanoke and they "serve" the Blacksburg area as well.  I get fairly often emails from them about meetings they are having here in Blacksburg, but I have never attended any.

http://www.nctc-va.org/

Maybe it's time for us to start our own Blacksburg "software association". :-)

Jonathan A.
Thursday, December 18, 2003

The relocation isn't so odd these days.  A lot of companies are still consolidating operations.  I know that E*Trade moved some of their operations from Oregon to Virginia a year or two ago in a restructuring.

Since the OP's handle is "Entrepreneur" I would guess that it's a one-man or small shop.  It that case, moving to Virginia is a smart move, since there are no jobs here.

Anonymous Oregonian
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I'm nearby as well, in Kingsport TN.

It's a nice area, and there are decent uiversities all around.  I always wondered why there weren't more tech companies in the area.

Steve Barbour
Thursday, December 18, 2003

The way the economy's going, there's really no reason NOT to move out of Oregon these days. :-(

Chris Tavares
Thursday, December 18, 2003

REASONS for the move:

1.  yes, Philo, the company is, basically, myself and my wife.  Everyone else is contract or distributors in the US, UK and Australia.

FYI, it's :
http://www.BungalowSoftware.com

2.  Oregon schools are a mess.
3. Oregon government spending is a mess. Someone with no understanding of basic mathematics obligated the state to paying enormous pensions to public employees.  (I don't blame the public employees for this, but it's a mess anyway). We have 3 children under 3 who will be starting school soon. Blacksburg schools are outstanding (probably because of the proxmity to Virginia Tech) by numerous metrics (national merit finalists, % going to college, SAT scores, etc.).

4.  Our family is all on the east coast (La, Ill, WV, GA). We're now within a long day's drive of nearly everyone.

5. Moving from metro area (outside Portland) to a more rural area. Small town with bigger town amenities (thanks to the university).

6. Cost of housing is about 30% to 50% less. Our house in BB would cost easily twice as much in a good school district in Portland.

7. Proximity to university for continuing ed, potential employees, intellectual stimulation.

8. Access to LOTS of outdoor activities (rock climbing, mt. biking, road biking, possibly xc skiing). New River gorge is about 1.5 hours away.

9 Better weather. Getting tired of all that rain all winter long in Portland.  Prefer snow.

Entrepreneur
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Entrepreneur,

I looked at your website. I am impressed by the mission of your company. Very commendable. Given that most SW is developed to count money, build products, or kill people, this is refreshing.

A question: what do you think of the market potential for software for the blind? A friend with a blind wife tells me that the available reading software for the blind absolutely sucks - overpriced, unstable, and poorly featured for the price.

TIA.

Bored Bystander
Friday, December 19, 2003

Entrepreneur,

You may want to update the mailing address on your website now that you've moved.

Anonymous Oregonian
Friday, December 19, 2003

Philo --
Oh, I didn't take it as an insult at all.  I didn't mean to be defensive (though I realize I did sound that way), I just really love it here and it shows.  If I had personal reasons to move cross-country, I'd still ideally want to find a non-metro area focused on the things I care about most.  So I guess I disagree a little with the implication that the OP's logic is strange.  I'll admit to being strange, but I doubt I'd ever have suggested my city of residence as evidence.

re: Technology Council --
Yeah, have heard of them, haven't done anything about it.  Must kinda suck to be them if everyone's like us, eh?

Mikayla
Friday, December 19, 2003

About the Technology Council.

They seem a little bit higher/elite than just a group for contractors/consultants.  It seems a lot of them have VC and looking to market products, etc.  They have a lot of forums and discussions on getting capital.

That could be by the group really doesn't appeal to me (and maybe you as well).

Jonathan A.
Friday, December 19, 2003

Thanks for the Kudos.

We're actually still operating from Oregon till the end of the year.  (Someone else is covering for me). But I do need to update the mailing address soon.

Entrepreneur
Sunday, December 21, 2003

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