Johnson City Press: Cryptocurrencies, government contracting and more at ETSU workshops

Cryptocurrencies, government contracting and more at ETSU workshops

Brandon Paykamian • Feb 1, 2019 at 5:15 PM

The East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology’s Tennessee Small Business Development Center will be hosting a series of workshops and presentations in February, covering everything from cryptocurrencies to government contracting and social media marketing. 

Director Mark Bays said the series of events will “provide a variety of workshops that we think will assist small business owners.”

The first free workshop in February will cover an “Intro to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies” on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 9-11 a.m.

John Cannon, a local entrepreneur and CEO of local cryptocurrency mining company Symply Data Centers, will discuss the importance and significance of this relatively new technology. 

Cannon, who often hosts other local seminars much like these, said he aims to educate the public about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies he believes will fundamentally change how the market works in the future. 

“This seminar is an introduction to Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, the blockchain – how it works and why it is important,” he said.

“Cryptocurrencies will change our lives more than the Internet has. There is a lot of misinformation published about this technology, and I am trying to help people understand the truth.” 

The next workshop will be hosted by Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez, founder of Beyond Engagement – Social Media Solutions, who will teach small-business owners about the latest tools to engage audiences on social media.

The workshop, which will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m., will cost $25 per person. Pre-registration is required. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the center will host its “Government Contracting” course for seasoned businesses interested in diversifying their strategy, as well as businesses looking to obtain and secure government contracts.

The free introductory course, also open for those with general interest in the topic, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. 

For business owners and entrepreneurs interested in improving their hiring process, the center will be partnering with its Kingsport affiliate to host a free workshop at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce titled “How to Hire the Right People the First Time,” on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 8:30 -10 a.m.

Dan Ragan, managing partner of Edwards Ragan and Associates, will teach attendees “how to avoid hiring mistakes that cost time and money.” 

To register for one of these workshops or for more information, contact Bays at 423-439-8505 or [email protected] 

“We're constantly adding more workshops as we identify more training and topics people are interested in,” Bays said. “We’re always interested in starting new workshops.”

To stay up to date on new workshops, Bays said to visit the center’s Facebook page at or the website at  

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