Governor Announces Virginia Entrepreneurial Challenge

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that he is partnering with Virginia Commonwealth University and Junior Achievement of Central Virginia to host the Virginia Entrepreneurial Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16 at the VCU School of Business.

The challenge will be a weekend-long entrepreneurship boot camp for high school juniors and seniors. The weekend will culminate in a pitch competition in which Governor McAuliffe will attend and announce the winning team. The mission of the challenge is to expose high school students to entrepreneurship education and to provide students with the opportunity to develop and pitch their own ideas to a panel of judges, comprised of top Virginia business leaders and educators. Over the two days of the challenge, teams of five students will propose cutting-edge business ideas that address today’s challenges in the new Virginia economy.

“I started my first company when I was 14 years old, so I know firsthand and believe in the power of supporting the creativity and innovation of young people,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Students participating in the Challenge will learn the skills needed for success in the new Virginia economy: resilience, ingenuity and a willingness to take risks. I encourage students across Virginia to come join us in Richmond, and I look forward to hearing some outstanding proposals.”

The challenge is a product of partnerships formed through the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which Governor McAuliffe formed in August 2015 to foster and support innovation and entrepreneurship for Virginia’s young people. It is open to high school juniors and seniors from across the Commonwealth. Students can sign up individually, as a member of a team or be nominated by their school. To register for the Challenge, please visit the program’s webpage on the VCU Department of Business’ website here.

See more at:


Towns that build entrepreneurs

Economic restructuring in five Oklahoma towns built from existing assets to support entrepreneurial climates.

Economic restructuring in five Oklahoma towns built from existing assets to support entrepreneurial climates.

A recent Daily Yonder article was forwarded to the VMS Blog from the City of Martinsville, which is pulling together community investment in their central business district through the Uptown Partners project. 

 “The Town that Builds Entrepreneurs” uses data from Oklahoma communities to demonstrate the power of the Main Street economic restructuring approach: an incremental effort to build on existing assets while diversifying the business mix. The communities focused on quality of life, including the natural beauty that surrounds them, and they built from the industries that had shaped the towns. They even partnered across jurisdictional boundaries.

In Martinsville-Henry County, the community is pulling together to put a similar strategy to work using the unique assets of the area, such as its furniture-making history, cultural and arts assets, the New College Institute– an uptown educational resource, and the area’s potential for uptown housing.  

Martinsville’s Main Street program, Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association (MURA), is one of the uptown partners working to foster a climate specifically conducive to entrepreneurs. Track the community’s progress at: