Branding on a Budget

You know what your startup does but how do you now tell that story to the world? And how do you do it on a budget?

The answer: PRIORITIZE

As a startup, you will need to get to the public quickly, and likely, cheaply. By prioritizing your needs to get out the door, you can save money up front. Logo? Yes. Branded mugs? Maybe not totally necessary out of the gate. Necessity is king, so do what you can on your own and then start appropriating your budget to the priorities as needed. Most branding firms will work with you a step at a time, as you are able. Over time, you can build the brand of your dreams without having blown it all in the first 5 minutes of your business when you need funding the most.

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Collaborating to Compete

Throughout my career I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to promote all things Virginia. The many times I have visited Charlottesville – there’s always a feeling about the community, you’ve really got it going on. Through increased collaboration, the environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in Charlottesville will only intensify the ability to compete.

In the recent book “The Metropolitan Revolution,” and the conversation many enjoyed with Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute during his visit to Richmond last year, it is said there are three things to help ignite a metropolitan revolution: create a network where everyone moves in the same lanes together; celebrate and champion the distinctive feature for the region; and figure out the game changer.

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Cville Tech, Innovation, Startup & Entrepreneur Resources

As the executive director of CBIC, I'm often asked, "Where do the local tech and entrepreneurial people meet up, how can I stay informed about local happenings, and what startup resources are nearby?"

On behalf of CBIC, I curate a weekly opt-in e-newsletter, which provides answers and insights into these very questions. In addition, CBIC maintain the below inventory of active groups, meet-ups, funding sources, online forums, jobs boards, makerspaces, accelerators, and more that collectively stitch together and inform our tech, entrepreneurial and innovation-based start-up ecosystem: 


beCamp annual unconference @ http://becamp.org/

beCraft (Cville Professional Software Developers) Meetup @ http://becville.com/

CBIC Tech Night Takeover (TNT) @ http://cvilleinnovation.org/tnt 

Central Virginia Makers Meetup @ http://www.meetup.com/tinkersmiths/

Charlottesville Entrepreneurs and Espresso (CE2) @ https://ce2.squarespace.com/ 

The Charlottesville Mobile App Designers & Developers Meetup @ http://www.meetup.com/cho-mobile/ 

Cville Data Science Meetup @ http://www.cvilledatascience.org/

CBIC's TechOnTap @ http://cvilleinnovation.org/techontap | Newsplex Story Featuring CBIC's TechOnTap  

Cville Women in Tech @ https://www.smore.com/pqexp-women-in-tech

DevOps @ http://www.meetup.com/DevOpsCV/

First Wednesdays @ http://www.meetup.com/First-Wednesdays-Charlottesville-Technologists/

Girl Develop IT @ https://www.girldevelopit.com/chapters/central-virginia 

NEON Guild @ http://www.neonguild.org/ 

PyCHO Meetup @ http://pycho.us

Tinkersmiths (an edgy makerspace) @ http://www.meetup.com/tinkersmiths/ 


Startup Funding & Legal Sources

Charlottesville Angel Network (CAN) @ http://www.cvilleangelnetwork.net/ 

Center for Innovative Technologies (CIT) Gap Funds @ http://www.cit.org/service-lines/cit-gap-funds/ 

CIT Funding Programs News @ http://www.cit.org/resource-center/federal-funding-newsletter/ 

CIT Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) @ http://www.cit.org/initiatives/crcf/ 

Community Investment Collaborative Microloans: http://www.cicville.org/microloans/cic-loans 

Legal Document Generator by Cooley: https://www.cooleygo.com/documents/ (Advisor Agreements, Consulting Agreements, Employee Offer Letter, NDAs, etc.) 


Incubators, Accelerators and Entrepreneurial Startup Spaces

Related Ecosystem News Story: CVille Tomorrow: Local Startups Need More Common Space Connections

Charlottesville Technology Incubator (CTI) @ http://cvilletechincubator.org/ 

Charlottesville Open Bio Labs @ http://openbiolabs.org/ 

Cville Machine @ http://cvillemachine.com | Recently featured in Cville Tomorrow

Studio IX (co-working space) @ http://www.studioix.co/ 

i.Lab at UVA @ http://www.ilabatuva.org/ 

UVA Research Parks @ http://www.uvafoundation.com/research-parks/research-parks-available-space/ 

UVA Cobb Hall Labs contact Steven S. Wasserman @ ssw3an@virginia.edu or 434-243-7088

UVA HackCville @ http://www.hackcville.com/ 

UVA The Lighthouse and Works in Progress @ http://wip.space/ | Recently featured in Cville Tomorrow


Entrepreneurial Training | Workshops | Bootcamps

Community Investment Collaborative http://www.cicville.org/ 

Girl Develop It Central VA @ http://www.meetup.com/Girl-Develop-It-CentralVA/#

Rails School @ http://www.railsschool.org/

Piedmont Virginia Community College http://www.pvcc.edu/programs/category 


News Sources, Online Forums, Slack Channels, Google Groups, Etc

Cville Tech News, Events, and Happenings curated and published by CBIC @ http://tinyurl.com/ownjcv9

Cville Innovation Google Group @ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/cville-innovation   

beCamp @ https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/103105522986848734172

beCraft @ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/beCraft (members only)

CharlottesvilleTech on Reddit @ https://www.reddit.com/r/CharlottesvilleTech/ 

CWIT @ https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/cv-wit (members only)

Girl Develop IT Central VA Slack Channel: gdicentralva.slack.com

Third Wednesday Digital Meetup @ http://cvilletech.qiqochat.com/  

NEON Guild @ http://www.neonguild.org/  (members only)

tech-diversity @ https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/tech-diversity (members only)

CBIC LinkedIn Group @ https://www.linkedin.com/groups/CBIC-Charlottesville-Business-Innovation-Council-37229/about


Events Calendars 

Cville Tech Events Calendar @ http://www.cvilleinnovation.org/cville-tech-events

Tech Girls Events Calendar @ http://www.tech-girls.org/events.html 

U.Va. Innovation's Calendar of Regional Events @ http://innovation.virginia.edu/events  


Jobs & Internships

CBIC’s #CvilleTechJobs @ http://tinyurl.com/ofboj8h

U.Va. Research Park Tenant's Jobs and Internships @ http://www.uvaresearchpark.com/jobs/ 

LinkedIn Tech Jobs in Charlottesville @ https://www.linkedin.com/job/tech-jobs-charlottesville-va/ 


Company and Startup Lists in Charlottesville

Cvillization Innovation Map: http://www.cvillization.com 

Charlottesville Startups Via Crunchbase 

Charlottesville Startups Via Gust 

Charlottesville Startups Via AngelList 

CIT Portfolio Companies: http://www.cit.org/service-lines/portfolio/ 

i.Lab at U.Va. Current Companies 

i.Lab at U.Va. Alumni Companies 

U.Va. Spin Out Startups or Related Ventures 

CBIC Members 

Charlottesville Biotech Companies via CvilleBioHub 

Why Charlottesville? #CvilleTech Acquisitions, Exits, Wins, Accolades 

Charlottesville Named Best American City to Work in Tech by Smart Asset (2015 & 2016) 

Charlottesville Named No. 4 in US as Best City for Entrepreneurs by Livability and Entrepreneur Magazine (July 2016)

Virginia Business Magazine: A new story line? (June 2016)

Tech Scene Updates from Tracey Greene on WINA (June 2016) 

Cville Ranks #1 in Venture Capital Funding Growth (2016)

#CvilleTechToast: A growing list of tech startup successes (ongoing)  

Why Charlottesville is a Great home For Tech Businesses (2015)

SNL Financial Acquired by McGraw Hill for $2.2 Billion (2015)  

FireEye's Acquisition of nPulse Technologies Valued at $70 Million (2014) 

Angels among us: How Charlottesville is becoming a hot spot for start-ups (2013) 

Silverchair Learning Systems Acquired by Vista Equity Partners (2012)  

Green Light Energy Acquired by PB for $98 Million (2006)


Do you know of other local resources, groups, meetups, training, calendars jobs boards, we should add to this list? Comment below!

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Taking the Plunge

There I was suspended with my body standing perpendicular against the wall of a 50-foot rappel tower.  Above a Marine drill instructor was barking at me.  I could see his veins popping out of his forehead.  “Lean back, look over your right shoulder, and double-time backwards!  Do it, now!”  

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The Question is in the Answer

Question: How many Art Directors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Answer: Does it have to be a lightbulb?

It’s a joke of course, but it's worth asking the question for the simple fact that you might come up with a different answer had you never asked. One of my favorite things I learned in architecture school is that once you ask the right question, you're well on your way to finding the answer.

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