More than 100 locals put their big idea to the test in Gauntlet Business Program

The Gauntlet Business Program has helped more than 600 businesses

VINTON, Va. – Dozens of local entrepreneurs are taking their big idea and putting it to the test. Entrepreneurs completed their first night of classes through the Gauntlet Business Program and Competition, the largest of it’s kind in Virginia. More than 100 people representing around 90 local businesses showed up for the first night of the Gauntlet on Tuesday, ready to launch or expand their business.

Now in it’s 8th year, the Gauntlet Business Program has helped more than 650 local businesses get started and staff are excited to help this new class.

Thanks to new grant funding available in uptown Martinsville, Kelly Turner, director of regional revitalization and resources with the Advancement Foundation, said they received a record number of participants from Martinsville this year.

Last year’s winner, Beaver Dam Farm Sunflowers in Botetourt County, has also sparked a high applicant pool from the area.

Annette Patterson, president of the Advancement Foundation, said to make more entrepreneurs’ dreams come true the Advancement Foundation has kept their classes virtual.

“Now we can connect entrepreneurs from across the region with like businesses. We can connect mentors from across the region,” Patterson said. “So a mentor from Roanoke can talk to someone in Rockbridge and vice versa. So it’s amazing.”

Tuesday night was the first night of classes, but you can still sign up. Classes are every Tuesday online.

Applications are now open online for this year’s competition. For more information, interested entrepreneurs, mentors, sponsors, and community leaders can visit here.

10 News is a proud media sponsor of the Gauntlet.

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