My Southwest Virginia Entrepreneur Challenge - Invest in yourself, your business dream, and Southwest Virginia
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My Southwest Virginia Entrepreneur Challenge - Invest in yourself, your business dream, and Southwest Virginia

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The Entrepreneur Challenge is a competitive process that will award more than $30,000 in business investment grants for new entrepreneurial ventures and existing businesses looking to expand with ...

The Entrepreneur Challenge is a competitive process that will award more than $30,000 in business investment grants for new entrepreneurial ventures and existing businesses looking to expand with additional job creation in far Southwest Virginia.

This seven month business training, networking, and mentorship opportunity will result in pitch nights in communities throughout far Southwest Virginia in which you may find the perfect location for your business—and a community that wants you to succeed. Additional information can be found at http://www.myswvaopportunity.org/?q=entrepreneur_challenge

Once applications are received, a cohort of approximately 20-25 Challengers will be selected to participate in the training program.

Applications must be submitted or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 17, 2013.


The Benefits of participation
Challengers will have the opportunity to compete for the top award of $10,000 as well as earn $500 for just completing the program. Additionally, each participant will develop a deeper understand of planning for a successful business, be partnered with a mentor and have networking opportunities with other regional entrepreneurs.


Awards
The following will be awarded from Virginia Community Capital to top performers of the program once they establish an eligible business for qualified business expenses.
• $10,000 (one award).
• $5,000 (two awards).
• $1,500 (three awards).
• $500 (for participants completing the program).

Eligible Business Categories
• Arts and Culture
• Outdoor Recreation
• Value Added Agriculture/Agritourism
• Restaurants and Hospitality
• Technology/Advanced Manufacturing
• Support services for the above

Other Incentives
Eligible Challengers who do not receive the top awards, and based on program qualifications, may also be able to participate in the Virginia Individual Development Account (VIDA) program, which offers a 2 to 1 match for any funding, up to $4,000 they save towards starting their own business.

Other Program Requirements
While this is a free program and the payoff can be big, but there are some conditions:
1. Selection in the cohort is a competitive process. Applications are due June 17, 2013. To be eligible, you must have a business or business idea that you want to pursue in one of the six categories. (See Eligible Business Categories.)

2. To win one of the competitive awards, you will have to locate your business within the region of eligible communities (See The Region.)

3. If you are selected as part of this inaugural cohort, you will have to commit to participating in all training and networking sessions between July and December 2013. In order to receive the $500 award, participants should not miss more than 2 sessions (1 classroom and 1 networking event). Should a vacancy be created, another participant may be selected to fill that position.

4. Units of governments are not eligible to participate.

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My Southwest Virginia Entrepreneur Challenge - Invest in yourself, your business dream, and Southwest Virginia My Southwest Virginia Entrepreneur Challenge - Invest in yourself, your business dream, and Southwest Virginia Document Transcript

  •   Entrepreneur Challenge Challenger Fact SheetInvest in yourself, your business dream, and Southwest VirginiaDeveloping entrepreneurs and the strategic positions of Southwest Virginia communities.Applications available April 23, 2013The Opportunity at HandThe Entrepreneur Challenge is a competitiveprocess that will award more than $30,000 inbusiness investment grants for newentrepreneurial ventures and existing businesseslooking to expand with additional job creation infar Southwest Virginia.This seven month business training, networking,and mentorship opportunity will result in pitchnights in communities throughout far SouthwestVirginia in which you may find the perfectlocation for your business—and a communitythat wants you to succeed.Once applications are received, a cohort ofapproximately 20-25 Challengers will be selectedto participate in the training program.Applications must be submitted or postmarkedno later than 11:59 p.m. on June 17, 2013.The Benefits of participationChallengers will have the opportunity tocompete for the top award of $10,000 as wellas earn $500 for just completing the program.Additionally, each participant will develop adeeper understand of planning for asuccessful business, be partnered with amentor and have networking opportunitieswith other regional entrepreneurs.AwardsThe following will be awarded from VirginiaCommunity Capital to top performers of theprogram once they establish an eligiblebusiness for qualified business expenses.• $10,000 (one award).• $5,000 (two awards).• $1,500 (three awards).• $500 (for participants completing theprogram).Eligible Business Categories• Arts and Culture• Outdoor Recreation• Value Added Agriculture/Agritourism• Restaurants and Hospitality• Technology/Advanced Manufacturing• Support services for the aboveEvening ScheduleDate Topic CoveredApril 23, 2013 Applications availableJune 17, 2013 Applications dueJuly 8, 2013 Cohort announcedJuly 23, 2013 Intro to Business BasicsJuly 30, 2013 Credit CounselingAugust 6, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 1Success PlanningAugust 10, 2013 NETWORKINGAugust 13, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 2MarketingPlanning/Social MediaAugust 20, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 3Cash Flow PlanningAugust 27, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 4Operations PlanningSeptember 7, 2013 NETWORKINGSeptember 10, 2013 CustomerService/TourismSeptember 17, 2013 Financing yourbusiness/Writing yourbusiness planSeptember 24, 2013 Classroom pitch practiceOctober 5, 2013 NETWORKINGOctober 8, 2013 Mentor “speed dating”October 22, 2013 Pitch nightOctober 29, 2013 Pitch nightNovember 12, 2013 Pitch nightEarly December 2013 Awards Ceremony at theHotel NortonOther IncentivesEligible Challengers who do not receive thetop awards, and based on programqualifications, may also be able to participatein the Virginia Individual Development
  • Entrepreneur Challenge – Challenger Fact Sheet, p. 2 Account (VIDA) program, which offers a 2 to1 match for any funding, up to $4,000 theysave towards starting their own business.Other Program RequirementsWhile this is a free program and the payoffcan be big, but there are some conditions:1. Selection in the cohort is a competitiveprocess. Applications are due June 17,2013. To be eligible, you must have abusiness or business idea that you want topursue in one of the six categories. (SeeEligible Business Categories.)2. To win one of the competitive awards,you will have to locate your businesswithin the region of eligible communities(See The Region.)3. If you are selected as part of thisinaugural cohort, you will have to committo participating in all training andnetworking sessions between July andDecember 2013. In order to receive the$500 award, participants should not missmore than 2 sessions (1 classroom and 1networking event). Should a vacancy becreated, another participant may beselected to fill that position.4. Units of governments are not eligible toparticipate.How to Find out More• Visit www.mySWVAopportunity.org• For additional information contact BrandiHall: 276-889-8188, bhall@uvawise.eduThe RegionWhile we intend for the Entrepreneur Challenge modelto be employed in other parts of the full 19-countySouthwest Virginia region, we are beginning with apilot area.Counties: Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee,Russell, Scott and Tazewell, and Wise.Cities: NortonTowns: Appalachia, Big Stone Gap,Bluefield, Cedar Bluff, Cleveland, Clinchco,Clinchport, Clintwood, Coeburn, Duffield,Dungannon, Gate City, Grundy, Haysi,Honaker, Jonesville, Lebanon, Nickelsville,Pennington Gap, Pocahontas, Pound,Richlands, St. Charles, St. Paul, Tazewell,Weber City and Wise.Funders and SponsorsVA Dept. of Housing and CommunityDevelopment (DHCD) through the BuildingEntrepreneurial Economies programRegional StrategiesA number of regional initiatives are a launching pointfor creating businesses around Southwest Virginia’sregional cultural and outdoor assets. Look for waysyour business can use these opportunities. Here aresome links for exploring them further.• www.myswva.org• www.heatwoodvirginia.org• www.roundthemountain.org• www.thecrookedroad.org• www.clinchriverva.com• www.spearheadtrails.comCoordinating PartnersVirginia Dept. of Housing and CommunityDevelopment (DHCD)Virginia Tourism CorporationUVa-WiseVirginia Main StreetPeople, Inc.Virginia Small Business DevelopmentCenters (SBDC)Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage FoundationClinch River Valley InitiativeVirginia Community CapitalVirginia Department of Business AssistanceSouthwest Virginia Technology CouncilVirginia Coalfield Economic DevelopmentAuthorityCumberland Plateau Planning District CommissionLENOWISCO Planning District Commission
  • Entrepreneur Challenge 2013APPLICATIONReturn applications to: Brandi Hall, One College Avenue, Wise, Virginia 24293, bhall@uvawise.edu, phone: 276-889-8188; fax: 276-328-0233. Applications will be accepted through June 17, 2013 by 11:59 p.m. or postmarked bythat date. Applications can be submitted via email, postal mail or fax. For questions regarding the program orapplication, please contact Ms. Hall.Name of Applicant: __________________________________________________________Name of business, if applicable: ________________________________________________Address: ___________________________________________________________________City/Town:___________________ State:___________ Zip code:_____________________Home phone:____________________________ Cell phone:_________________________Email:_____________________________________________________________________Website: ___________________________________________________________________Which eligible category most closely describes your business? (Mark all that apply)Arts and Culture – emphasis on products or offerings that value handmade, authentic and distinctive of theSouthwest Virginia cultureOutdoor Recreation – emaphasis on products or offerings that promote, showcase, or make use of naturalassets and outdoor opportunitiesValue Added Agriculture/Agritourism – emphasis on products or offerings that use raw indigenousmaterials, and through production, create a product offering that has asubstantially higher value, including agritourism offeringsRestaurant and Hospitality – emphasis on services that provide meals, lodging, or other guest services thatenhance the visitor and/or tourist experienceTechnology/ Advanced Manufacturing – emphasis on industries that use advanced technology toimprove their products or servicesOther and Support Services/None of the above – emphasis on activities that support any of the abovecategoriesPlease answer the following questions about your business. Limit all responses to 2-3 paragraphs, however, provideenough detail so that your answers can be evaluated thoroughly.1. Describe your business or business concept. Provide enough description to explain tosomeone unfamiliar with your business would know what you are offer and how itbenefits customers. Include how this business or business concept is unique from currentofferings in the region. View slide
  • 2. How does your business or business concept fit into the above eligible categories? Howdoes it fit into the local and regional strategies and initiatives of Southwest Virginia?3. How would participation in this program help you launch, expand, or develop yourbusiness?4. Attach a current copy of your résumé.By checking this box, I understand that I may/may not be selected to participate in the Entrepreneur Challengewhich offers training, networking opportunities and potential monetary awards. If selected to participate in theprogram, I will attend scheduled trainings and events and participate as an engaged member of the group. If mybusiness or business idea is selected as an award winner, once I establish an eligible business within the eligibleregion, I will use the funds for qualified business expenses.Schedule of EventsDate Topic CoveredApril 23, 2013 Applications availableJune 17, 2013 Applications dueJuly 8, 2013 Cohort announcedJuly 23, 2013 Intro to Business BasicsJuly 30, 2013 Credit CounselingAugust 6, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 1: Success PlanningAugust 10, 2013 NETWORKINGAugust 13, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 2: Marketing Planning/Social MediaAugust 20, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 3: Cash Flow PlanningAugust 27, 2013 CORE FOUR – Part 4: Operations PlanningSeptember 7, 2013 NETWORKINGSeptember 10, 2013 Customer Service/TourismSeptember 17, 2013 Financing your business/Writing your business planSeptember 24, 2013 Classroom pitch practiceOctober 5, 2013 NETWORKINGOctober 8, 2013 Mentor “speed dating”October 22, 2013 Pitch nightOctober 29, 2013 Pitch nightNovember 12, 2013 Pitch nightEarly December 2013 Awards Ceremony at the Hotel NortonThe Region (for this pilot program) includes:Counties: Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott and Tazewell, and Wise.Cities: NortonTowns: Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Bluefield, Cedar Bluff, Cleveland, Clinchco, Clinchport, Clintwood, Coeburn,Duffield, Dungannon, Gate City, Grundy, Haysi, Honaker, Jonesville, Lebanon, Nickelsville, Pennington Gap,Pocahontas, Pound, Richlands, St. Charles, St. Paul, Tazewell, Weber City and Wise. View slide