In-kind donations needed from local businesses to help new entrepreneurs

Prizes will be given to Gauntlet participants to help them start or expand their business

In-kind donations needed from local businesses to help new entrepreneurs

ROANOKE, Va. – Judging is underway for the Gauntlet, Virginia’s largest business competition and program.

Annette Patterson, president of the Advancement Foundation, said around 100 entrepreneurs representing 68 local businesses from across southwest Virginia submitted their business plans to be judged. The top 25 finalists will be announced Friday, and those finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their plan in front of the panel of judges.

Now, the Advancement Foundation is asking other businesses to help entrepreneurs in their journey by donating money or in-kind services to the winners.

“A lot of companies have an opportunity to donate something in-kind that every business needs, whether it’s a marketing company that will donate logo development or a brochure or a website. Someone who is in accounting could offer 6 months of accounting services for free,” Patterson said.

Patterson said making a donation can be beneficial for other businesses too. When a donation is made, the Advancement Foundation will print a certificate on behalf of the company, and their award will be read aloud during the awards ceremony, providing exposure for that company.

“Anything that a business might need could be donated in-kind”, Patterson said. “Who knows, they may have a permanent client by doing something like that.”

Those donations can be a tax write-off. Interested businesses or entrepreneurs can donate by visiting their website or emailing Missy Paxton at

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