Competition heats up as local entrepreneurs work to submit their big idea

Gauntlet participants complete 10-week course

VINTON, Va. – A local competition that could help shape our local economy is heating up.

After 10-weeks of mentoring and online classes, dozens of local entrepreneurs have finished the final week of the Gauntlet. This year, those classes were virtual and were offered to more entrepreneurs in the region than ever before, especially in the Bedford area. At the start of the program, more than 100 people signed up.

Although classes may be finished, entrepreneurs are hard at work to finish their business plans that will be entered for judging. It’s a process that takes months of research and planning.

“They’re having us write in-depth business plans that really took it to the next level that I need to be at, and I’m sure that other business owners need to be at for growth,” said Tamara Dennis, owner of Priss. E. Nerd.

Business ideas being pitched this year range from a variety of industries like retail, agriculture and restaurants, and are being submitted by a variety of participants - one that’s only 7-years-old, the youngest in Gauntlet history. Many businesses, like Woven Artisan Gallery, also feature community give-back themes and focus on corporate responsibility.

Not only will those business plans serve as a roadmap for their businesses, it will determine who the judges pick to win the top cash awards and in-kind prizes. Every entrepreneur who signed up will receive some assistance for their business. The top 10 selected will receive the highest valued prizes.

Even if you didn’t participate in the Gauntlet this year, the Advancement Foundation has created an online space for you to connect. Click here to learn more.

10 News is a proud sponsor of the Gauntlet.

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