Registration open for Gauntlet business competition

Ready to be your own boss?


VINTON, Va – Ready to be your own boss and finally put that big idea you’ve been having to work?

If you are looking to start or expand your business, now is the opportunity to join in on the state’s largest business competition.

Sign-up's started this week for the Gauntlet, a 10-week business competition that was started by The Advancement Foundation in Vinton.

Now in it's fifth year, the Gauntlet has helped more than a hundred local businesses get off the ground.

Annette Patterson, the founder and president of The Advancement Foundation said the program is all about pairing community and business leaders to mentor those looking to start their own businesses, helping them make their dream become a reality. 

"Everybody is bringing a little bit of something, everybody wins. If our economy is stronger, if our Main Streets are stronger, if we have higher growth companies working and growing in our community, we are all going to benefit from that,” Patterson said.

Over the 10-week course, each person will learn how to create a business plan which can be entered into a competition to win money and in-kind services.This year’s Two-Track Curriculum will incorporate necessary training tools for both Main Street and High-Growth businesses.  Anyone is welcome to participate in the training sessions and classes; however, businesses wanting to compete for cash and prizes must start or expand their business in the Alleghany Highlands, Botetourt County, Roanoke City, and/or Roanoke County. 

A key goal is to create cluster-focused business incubators that align strategically with economic development plans. Cluster-focused incubators help to create critical mass of interconnected businesses, thereby helping local clusters thrive. ICIC Studies demonstrate these clusters grow three times faster. TAF’s clusters provide budding entrepreneurs and emerging firms with mentoring and access to extensive networks and resources.

The Gauntlet is a comprehensive business development program. Entrepreneurs will participate in weekly business training sessions, meet and network with successful entrepreneurs, fellow Gauntlet participants, and mentors, and develop business strategies that provide a roadmap to success. 

Weekly classes begin on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Class locations include:

  • Dabney S. Lancaster Community College: 1000 Dabney Drive, Clifton Forge, VA 24422 (Warren Hall, Room 424)
  • Humble HIVE: 601 11th Street NW, Roanoke, VA 24017
  • Vinton War Memorial: 814 E Washington Avenue, Vinton, VA 24179

Registration and class fees are $145.

To register, click here.


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