81 Reasons to Connect

81 Reasons to Connect was presented by Jay Foster, President of SoftSolutions, Inc., to a meeting of the membership of the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC) on November 19, 2009, in Blacksburg, Virginia. "81" refers to Interstate 81 which connects locales in what is defined as the NewVa Corridor Technoloy Council Region

One of the purposes of the presentation was to explore the possibilities for continuing to develop a technology industry by creating a regional brand and identity.

This latest presentation was an expanded version of one I viewed in May 2009 and wrote about in a discussion of regional economic development.

From the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC) site:

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  That certainly applies to the NCTC Region. Technology companies in the NewVa region face many of the same challenges whether they are located in Blacksburg, Roanoke, or somewhere in between. Finding the right technical talent is one of them. Transportation to and from the region is another. To address both of these issues and others that impact our future collective success, we need to be thinking of the two as part of a whole rather than separate regions. Past efforts that we enjoy today have addressed the needs of both to reduce the "distance" between the two, but there's more opportunity in front of us. Come learn more about what's being done today and add your thoughts to the movement.

Discussion Points and Take-Aways:

  • What does Richard Florida's 'Rise of the Creative Class' say about the importance of creating a regional brand and identity that attracts creative professionals?
  • Learn how past efforts to unite the Roanoke and New River Valleys helped strengthen our current NCTC Region.
  • Discuss and identify the benefits of accelerating a unified Metropolitan Area, from better air fares, to better retail to better job opportunities.


VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley of Virginia and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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