4 Quick Tips on How to Plan a Conference

Posted by Z. Kelly Queijo at 9:34 AM on August 20, 2013:

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week is in its fourth year and Lindsey Everssole has been at the helm each year guiding the process of organizing the week-long event. Having participated in this multi-city/multi-venue event, I asked Lindsey for tips on how to plan a successful conference. Her advice:

  1. Book your event dates at the venue as soon and as early as possible. It’s not crazy (and in fact, it’s important) to book your events a year out in advance at the designated venue. 
  2. Line up your event components and speakers soon after, since everyone needs time to plan in advance in today’s busy world.  
  3. When you have the skeleton of your event agenda complete, begin promoting it. Relentless advertising and promotion, and most importantly, having a clear message that states the value in attending/participating throughout your marketing materials is imperative to getting people to register and show up. 
  4. Consistent communication and steadfast reminders to your sponsors, speakers, vendors, and attendees is crucial to pulling off a successful event. 

VTKW Global Student Challenge Teams 2012

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge can be viewed via Livestream on Thursday, August 22, 2013.  Get the details on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

The Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week (#vtkwglobal) began on August 18 and will run through August 24, 2013. 

Z. Kelly Queijo, founder of Smart College Visit, Inc. is considering hosting a conference. If you have tips you'd like to share, post them in the Comments section. Your input is appreciated! Follow Kelly and her hashtags on Twitter @collegevisit and on Facebook

Smart College Visit and VT KnowledgeWorks are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0. 

Go Global in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:54 AM on August 5, 2013:

From VT KnowledgeWorks

Observe 14 university teams from around the world compete in the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge as they pitch their business ideas for a $25,000 grand prize and trophy. This event is open to the public at no charge (lunch is not included) but registration is required by August 9.

Global Student Challenge - Register by August 9

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Washington Lecture Hall, The Hotel Roanoke 
Roanoke, Virginia, USA
Directions 

Global Student Challenge Teams 2012

Mix and mingle with elite students teams, faculty, and leaders from universities around the world at the Tastes & Sounds of the Valleys Reception in conjunction with VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week as we celebrate our growing place in the global community with unique food and music from our region.

Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys Reception - Register by August 9

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Shenandoah Ballroom, The Hotel Roanoke
Roanoke, Virginia, USA
Directions

  • Registration: $75/person, inclusive of all food and drinks; or $135/person, which includes reception admission, plus admission to the Global Student Challenge and a light breakfast and lunch (August 22) at The Hotel Roanoke.
  • Learn more about the global audience attending!
  • Live performances at the reception by acoustic quartet Windfall and the Blue Ridge Mountain Cloggers.

For more information about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership, and the VTKW Global Partnership Week 2013, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Global Partnership Manager, VT KnowledgeWorks, at leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week offers university students and faculty from all over the world a chance to collaborate, form partnerships, build their global networks, and congregate in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia. During this week-long celebration, elite student teams compete in a Global Student Business Concept Challenge as they pitch their business ideas for a $25,000 prize.

The Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week will be held August 18 - 24, 2013. 

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter and Facebook.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week: The Numbers

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:13 AM on May 28, 2013:

By Anne Giles Clelland

Online application developers struggle to attract users; event organizers struggle to attract attendees and sponsors.  It's nice to see successful numbers.

The Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week will be held August 18 - 24, 2013. 

During the third annual VTKW Global Partnership Week:

  • 55 students from around the globe participated
  • 23 local host families provided lodging for the students
  • 250+ citizens of the region individually supported the effort
  • 30 organizations or companies contributed to the event
  • 19 event sponsors made it possible

Greg Velazquez
Greg Velazquez, Plumber with G.J. Hopkins, Inc., a VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week Sponsor

The numbers are expected to grow this year.  

Here's where to register for the celebratory events to be held during the VTKW Global Partnership Week in the Blacksburg, Virginia and Roanoke, Virginia areas.

VT KnowledgeWorks would welcome hearing from residents who would like to serve as global host families for the 55+ students who will participate in this year's Global Student Challenge.

For more information about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership, and the VTKW Global Partnership Week 2013, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Global Partnership Manager, VT KnowledgeWorks, at leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

The annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week brings university students, faculty, and staff from all over the world together to congregate, collaborate, form partnerships, and build their global networks.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Jim Flowers Receives Innovator Award for Leadership of Global Partnership

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 4:08 PM on October 24, 2012:

Jim Flowers, executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks, received the Virginia TradePort Innovator of the Year Award for 2012 at the 64th Annual Virginia Conference on World Trade.   The Virginia TradePort recognizes a company or individual that has made a significant impact on international trade and business development in the Virginia TradePort area.  Jim Flowers was recognized for founding and leading the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership.

Jim Flowers - Virginia TradePort Innovator of the Year
Pictured left to right: Jim Loux, Cornelia Steinert, Jim Flowers, David Denny

The third annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, held in August, 2012, featured 13 student teams from China, Australia, France, Mexico, England, Italy, Chile, Belgium, Colombia, Canada, Austria, Malaysia and the United States to compete for a $25,000 grand prize and the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy.  The Global Partnership Week brought together a total of 55 participants from around the globe and approximately 250 citizens of the region who supported the effort, including 19 event sponsors, 13 businesses that served as host companies, 23 host families that provided lodging for the students, and over 30 other organizations or companies that contributed to the event in multiple ways.

The Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week will be held August 18 - 24, 2013.

For more information about VTKW Global Partnership Week 2013, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Global Partnership Manager, VT KnowledgeWorks, at leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

Read the press release from the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.  Handshake Media is a proud member of VT KnowledgeWorks.

VT KnowledgeWorks Members to Serve as Startup Weekend Mentors

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:30 AM on August 8, 2012:

Leaders of VT KnowledgeWorks member companies Handshake Media, Incorporated and Interactive Achievement, INC will serve as mentors at Startup Weekend Blacksburg, scheduled for September 14-16, 2012, at the offices of Rackspace in Blackburg, Virginia, USA.

Here are screenshots of their bios from the Startup Weekend Blacksburg site:

Anne Giles Clelland, President & CEO, Handshake Media

Anne Giles Clelland - Startup Weekend Blacksburg

Jonathan Hagmaier, Chairman & CEO, Interactive Achievement

Jonathan Hagmaier - Startup Weekend Blacksburg

Richard Hammer, Vice President of Technology, Interactive Achievement

Richard Hammer - Startup Weekend Blacksburg

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Nominate Your Local Virginia Entrepreneur for GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 9:48 AM on August 3, 2012:

The Center for Innovation Technology, CIT has launched the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards, a statewide program designed to identify, celebrate and honor Virginia's innovative entrepreneurs creating high-growth companies in the areas of life sciences, technology and energy.

Mike Drzal, partner with law firm LeClairRyan, Jim Flowers, executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks, and Derick Maggard, executive director of the Roanoke - Blacksburg Technology Council have been selected from the Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia areas to serve as GAP 50 Ambassadors.  The complete list of Ambassadors is here.

Nominate Virginia entrepreneurs for the CIT GAP 50 Entrepreneur AwardsGAP 50 Ambassadors invite you to nominate Virginia life sciences, technology and energy entrepreneurs for the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards!

To qualify for the peer voting round, each entrepreneur must be nominated by 3 people.

The information required to nominate each entrepreneur is straightforward:  Name, Title, Company/Organization, Email, Phone.

Final GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards recipients will be determined through a peer voting process via electronic ballot sent to nominees. The winning GAP 50 Entrepreneurs will be honored at an awards banquet on Thursday, October 18, 2012 in McLean, Virginia.

Nominate Virginia entrepreneurs here through September 20, 2012.

More about the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards

Entrepreneurs with 3 or more nominations are being listed on CIT's Facebook page and in Twitter updates.

Sponsored by LeClairRyan specialized in high-tech corporate law.LeClairRyan, an entrepreneurial law firm with offices from Virginia to New York to California, providing business counsel and client representation in matters of corporate law and high-stakes litigation. The Blacksburg, Virginia-based office of LeClairRyan offers venture capital, angel investor funding, and intellectual property law services for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology-based companies.  It also offers Outside General Counsel services covering the full gamut of clients' corporate, employment and business litigation needs. For more information, please contact Jim Cowan or Mike Drzal at 540-961-2600.

LeClairRyan and VT KnowledgeWorks are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Dreaming of Owning a Vineyard? Try Vinoga

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 10:07 AM on July 12, 2012:

Vinoga, a France-based start-up company in residence at VT KnowledgeWorks, is a social online game in development where players are can virtually realize their dreams of being winegrowers. Once players have produced their wines through augmented reality-based Vinoga, they will be able to buy their own vintages.

Vinoga shared this video explaining augmented reality on its Facebook page and we can see Oswald Bernard and Fanny Garret of Vinoga at minute 3:00 in this YouTube video filmed during the Grand Prix et son Prix de l'Initiative 2012 awards presentations.

We're looking forward to hearing more from this exciting new start-up!

Welcome, Vinoga, to Blacksburg, Virginia, home of VT KnowledgeWorks and Handshake 2.0!

From Vinoga via Inside VT KnowledgeWorks:

Vinoga: Turn your clicks into wine!
Vinoga is a social online game where you play to be a winegrower. Once you have virtually produced your wine, you can buy it to taste it!

Vinoga is in development. The English version of the site will be up soon.  We would be honored if you like our Facebook page (here's the French version, too) to participate in our decisions about the game.

Vinoga, a social online game where players are winegrowers
Team Vinoga pictured left to right: Sydney PELLEGRIN, Oswald BERNARD, CEO, Fanny GARRET, Vice President, Damien GREAUX, Etienne SPILLEMAEKER, CTO and Sylvain MICHELET.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Teams Announced for VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 9:44 AM on July 11, 2012:

How exhilarating to view the list of student teams from all over the world who will meet in the locale of Handshake 2.0's headquarters in Blackburg, Virginia, USA for the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week!

Martin Houdbine, Anne Clelland, and Charles-Eric Gorron The vision for the Global Partnership Week - now in its third year - continues to inspire: 

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week will bring university students, faculty, and staff from all over the world together to congregate, collaborate, form partnerships, and build their global networks. The Global Partnership is a multi-layered, ongoing cooperative association of regions building permanent social, academic, and business relationships.

The Teams

Teams from these universities will compete in the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge. The universities are listed in alphabetical order:

Ghent University - Ghent, Belgium

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Santiago, Chile

Tech University of Malaysia - Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Tecnológico de Monterrey - Monterrey, Mexico

Télécom SudParis - Paris, France

Tongji University - Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Universidad del Norte - Barranquilla, Colombia

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Canada

University of Kent - Canterbury, Kent, England

University of Technology Sydney - Sydney, Australia

University of Trento - Trento, Italy

Vienna University of Technology - Vienna, Austria

Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Who will be the lucky host families to meet these global students?!  Being a global host family was a highlight of my personal and professional life.  Fellow global host families Jeri Childers Jack McMahon and Sue and John Muffo have similar stories to tell.  If you would like to join the global host family team, please contact Lindsey Eversole at leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

We're delighted to contribute to local, global and mobile connections - the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Directory mobile application, offering members of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership community a way to find and connect with each other, was developed by Handshake Media.

We'll be attending the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week's opening event, Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys, 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM, Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia.  We hope you'll join us!  We look forward to shaking hands - locally and globally - with you!

Pictured in the photo: Martin Houdbine, Anne Clelland, and Charles-Eric Gorron, VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, 2010

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Feel. Think. Choose. Makes Finals in VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:42 AM on April 6, 2012:

We were delighted to learn that Handshake Media, Incorporated's white label software platform Feel. Think. Choose.(TM) was one of five finalists selected for the 2012 VT KnowledgeWorks Open Business Concept Competition. 

- Added 4/10/12: VTKW E-Challenge will be livestreamed!  Details!

Feel. Think. Choose.(TM)I will be presenting and pitching Feel. Think. Choose. at 2:45 PM on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge at The Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. 

I'll have up to 15 minutes to make the presentation, then judges will have 10-12 minutes to ask questions.  The presentation requires one of the fundamental tools for seeking outside investment, the slide deck, a distillation of the proposed value of the business model and business opportunity for a product or service.

I receive on-going help from my family and friends, my business network, my business advisors, Presidents' CouncilVT KnowledgeWorks and my team members Alex Edelman, Kelsey Sarles, and Wil Collins. I thank them all for their assistance.

For directly helping me discover, understand and articulate, in slide deck form, the potential of Feel. Think. Choose. as a business model,  I offer grateful thanks to these  people in the order in which I contacted them, who have been so generous with their expertise and support. 

The VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge is a full-day event with two business concept competitions, speakers, meals, and a final networking reception.  If you care to join me, here's how to register.  I'll be there all day, especially at 2:45 PM!  I'd welcome your company.

LeClairRyan and VT KnowledgeWorks are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Luck Is for the Lottery: You Need 3Ps to Win a Business Competition

Posted by Z. Kelly Queijo at 7:48 AM on April 3, 2012:

Three folks got lucky when the winning MegaMillions lottery ticket number turned out be theirs. Skill, knowledge, preparation, and presentation had nothing to with winning. Winning the lottery was purely a matter of luck. 

That won't be the case on April 11, 2012, when the finalists in the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge compete to take home a trophy and thousands of dollars in start-up services for the best business concept. They'll need to do something a bit more decisive than rely on luck. 

The entrepreneurs need to commit to winning. 

Z. Kelly Queijo, founder of SmartCollegeVisit, won first place in the 2010 VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit Open Business Concept Competition When I entered the VT KnowledgeWorks Open Business Concept Competition in 2010 and made the final cut, I realized that if my business idea had enough merit to get that far, then it was good enough to win the competition. So, I decided to develop what I thought would be a winning strategy built on these 3 Ps: Preparation, Presentation, and Passion. 

Preparation

I followed Guy Kawasaki's presentation guidelines in his book, The Art of the Start. I kept my presentation to 10 slides that primarily focused on the size and scope of my target market, the need I planned to meet/problem to solve, financials for the business, and my expertise. I kept the amount of text on the screen to a minimum with a font large enough for everyone in the room to read comfortably no matter where they were seated. I researched my facts and knew them by heart.

Presentation

I already knew that reading text from the slide show is a standard "no-no" unless you are repeating something to make a point. I took the data from my slides and turned it into an engaging narrative about  the solution I was pitching. I made eye contact with members of the audience. I sought empathy, understanding and connections. 

Passion

Passion - loving what I do - came out in the way I spoke, the tone of my voice, as well as what I said about Smart College Visit and, also, in the way I responded to questions. I smiled - a lot. After all, it felt wonderful to have the opportunity to tell a couple of hundred people about my company. I embraced the moment and tried to make the experience as exciting for them as it was for me. 

Was I surprised when I won? Yes and no. There were many good ideas presented by others who were also passionate about what they wanted to create. But market and concept are also critical components and Smart College Visit definitely had both. Still, the odds of winning a business competition are much better than the odds of winning the lottery, especially when you're prepared, present well, and are passionate about your business, service, or product.

Z. Kelly Queijo, founder of Smart College Visit, Inc., won the Open Business Concept Competition at the 2010 VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit.

Smart College Visit, Inc. is a Blacksburg, Virginia-based higher-ed marketing company focused on mobile app and mobile web development with a special interest in creating travel and location-based tools and services. SmartCollegeVisit.com, a college search and college visit planning portal, has been listed in the Top 100 education advice blogs and as one of the top 5 college visit sites. You are invited to follow her on Twitter @collegevisit and to read more about Smart College Visit on Handshake 2.0.

VT KnowledgeWorks and Smart College Visit, Inc. are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.