April 23 Opportunity Summit to Spotlight SWVA Entreprenteurship

An Opportunity Summit will highlight new strategies and resources for Southwest Virginia entrepreneurs and emerging businesses. Entrepreneurs and small business owners will have the opportunity to connect with community leaders and explore possible new ventures in the counties of Tazewell, Russell, Buchanan, Dickenson, Wise, Lee and Scott and the city of Norton.

Entrepreneurs developing business plans and seeking financial resources, community support and education and training should plan to attend the summit. Key announcements at the Summit will include details on the Entrepreneur Challenge, a competition for start-up and expanding businesses with more than $30,000 in cash awards for businesses developing strategic business plans.  In addition, Virginia Community Capital will provide an update on the progress of the region’s new Angel Investment Fund.

Entrepreneurs and investors will learn of local initiatives in the area that will provide grounds for future business growth, including efforts of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, Spearhead Trails, the Clinch River Valley Initiative and the Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Growth and Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia.

Summit topics will include: tourism business opportunities, technology business opportunities, Main Street initiatives and business basics including writing a business plan, etc. Instruction will be provided by Virginia Department of Business Assistance, People, Inc., Virginia Small Business Development Centers, Virginia Tourism Corporation  and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

The April 23 event will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Technology Development Center in Lebanon.

A vendor expo will provide future entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet and speak with local county and town representatives who will provide business information and incentives for new entrepreneurs.  Resource agencies will provide expo information and assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The collaborative initiative, driven by local, state and regional partners will focus on tools for new entrepreneurs, strategies for making the region’s communities attractive for private investment and new technologies for the region’s businesses.

The summit is open to community leaders, residents, existing businesses and those considering starting a business in the region.  It is free with advance registration and will include breakfast and lunch provided by the sponsoring partners. Registration is online at vastartup.org.  For more information, call Brandi Hall at (276) 889-8188.