Charlottesville, VA – May 24, 2016: This month, the Virginia Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Network released a report profiling its 2015 success stories, including some from its Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP).  ICAP, created and facilitated through a partnership of the Virginia SBDC Network (based at George Mason University) and SHINE Systems & Technologies, helps Virginia entrepreneurs and start-ups seeking to bring their technology innovations to market. Integral to the ICAP program, SHINE, by employing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) matched to the needs of each ICAP client, provides participating entrepreneurs a commercial viability assessment, a commercialization Roadmap, and, in concert with the client’s SBDC counselor, Roadmap-directed business guidance.

Excavation Alert Systems was founded and participated in ICAP in 2012, the first year of the program. Their product is an alert system for excavation crews that notifies workers when they are about to hit an oil, gas, electric, or water line as they dig earth for construction. Prior systems were ineffective as they only set alarms off after the damage was done. Excavation Alert Systems solves this problem by positioning tape with smoke-activating triggers in the ground above utility lines. When the tape is punctured, clouds of brightly colored smoke immediately warn the excavator operator to stop digging, preventing dangerous ruptures or gas explosions and saving utilities millions in repairs and lost product.

Fast forward to 2015: Excavation Alert Systems has received $2.3 million in funding and created 3 new jobs after receiving guidance through the ICAP program. Ryan Dunn, CEO of Excavation Alert Systems, worked closely with Terry Woodworth, Chief Scientist at SHINE and ICAP Senior Business Analyst. Dr. Woodworth had this to say about Dunn, “Ryan came to us as a very smart businessman who understood his technology. We helped him focus on doing his due diligence by talking to utilities companies to learn what they needed in order to be truly interested in his product. His persistent efforts to make his product meet the needs of the eventual users helped him receive successful investment in his venture.”

Today, Dunn is “paying it forward” by serving as a Subject Matter Expert through the ICAP program to another start-up now benefitting from his experience working with utilities and as an entrepreneur. SHINE Systems is thrilled to have played a part in Dunn’s success as an entrepreneur and to continue supporting other innovative startups through our ongoing ICAP partnership with the Virginia SBDC Network.


SHINE Systems & Technologies (SHINE) is an SBA-certified HUBZone small business headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. SHINE Systems is at the forefront of innovation in our core competencies of Decision Analytics including Military, Identity, and Business Intelligence; Technology Integration; and Mission Support Services. We develop value-driven solutions for our clients across federal, state, and local government as well as the commercial sector using our industry knowledge, service and product expertise, and ground-breaking technical capabilities. For three years running, SHINE Systems has been recognized on the Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest growing private businesses as well as #3 on the Washington Technology Fast 50 fastest growing small businesses in the government market. To learn more, please visit


The Virginia SBDC Network is comprised of 29 local SBDC offices across Virginia providing professional business counseling, training, and resources to help grow and strengthen Virginia’s small businesses. Thousands of business owners and managers received confidential one-on-one counseling every year, and twice as many business owners attended a training program offered by a local SBDC. SBDC professionals assist with business planning, marketing, financial analysis, access to capital, business start-up and other specialized services as requested. And companies report significant successes and economic impact as a result of their SBDC relationship.