**Registration has closed. Please check back for winner announcements and future boot camps.**
Smyth County Entrepreneur Challenge: In order to highlight the opportunities for business startups in Smyth County, Va, the Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County is hosting the Smyth County Small Business Boot Camp. The Smyth County Chamber has partnered with the local towns and county IDA to offer a competitive process for emerging entrepreneurs and communities working to increase their business bases.
With up to $70,000 in business investment grants, business skills and leadership training and mentorship opportunities, the Entrepreneur Challenge is designed to help entrepreneurs establish businesses with the utmost potential for success. The cash awards will be made to new entrepreneurial ventures located in Smyth County and those looking to expand. This eight week business training, networking, and mentorship opportunity will result in pitch nights at which emerging entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges.
Focusing on community economic development strategies, eligible Business Categories include: Outdoor Recreation, Arts and Culture, Value Added Agriculture/Agritourism, Restaurants and Hospitality, Technology/Advanced Manufacturing, or Support services for the above and more. The business must be located in Smyth County.
Grant funds are broken down as follows: $5,000 in funds for Saltville, $5,000 to be used at any Smyth County location, and $60,000 to be used in Chilhowie.
Only those who successfully complete the program, including participation in the scheduled trainings and activities, will be eligible for cash awards. Business plans and pitches are scored by a panel of judges. Those scores are the deciding factor in grant approval.
Once applications are received, a cohort of up to 20 Challengers will be selected to participate in the training program.
Applications must be submitted or postmarked no later than January 11, 2018. Classes begin January 11th, 2018 at 5:30pm at the Chilhowie Town Hall Community Room.
“We are very excited to offer this opportunity to the county,” said Chamber Executive Director Sarah Gillespie, “We have so much potential for growth and such wonderful towns that I hope this will help them to thrive and grow.”