The Gauntlet celebrates five years of small business growth in Roanoke Valley

Formable Grabber, of Alleghany Highlands, takes home 2019 top prize

The competition is the commonwealth's largest business and development program.

VINTON, Va. – The Roanoke Valley’s own The Gauntlet celebrated the end of its fifth season Thursday night.

Entrepreneurs once again competed in Virginia's largest business growth competition. They were recognized for their hard work and growth over the last few months at the Vinton War Memorial.

The Advancement Foundation is behind the program and said as the program continues to grow, so do the opportunities for businesses right here at home.

"We were able to incorporate so many different mentors and business leaders into the program and it really creates this platform and this energy for the region for entrepreneurial support and excitement. We want to keep our talent here," Advancement Foundation President Annette Patterson said.

This year’s first-place winner is Formable Grabber, a new take on the mechanic’s grabber, invented in the Alleghany Highlands. More than $300,000 in prizes were awarded.