summit gave entrepreneurs safe place to solve problems learn new skills
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Summit gave entrepreneurs safe place to solve problems, learn new skills

sccf entrepreneurship summit staunton
Photo by Mike Tripp Media/Submitted

The Shenandoah Community Capital Fund hosted the first ever Shenandoah Valley Entrepreneurship Summit at the Staunton Innovation Hub on Sept. 12-13.

Entrepreneurs across the Valley, from Winchester to Lexington, convened for two days of keynote speaker presentations, panel discussion, workshop sessions and networking.

The summit cultivated an inspiring, safe place for entrepreneurs to ask questions, solve problems and learn new skills. Most importantly, it connected attendees with entrepreneurial support organizations that can help them refine their business.

SCCF brainstormed the idea for the summit almost one year ago, after listening to what startup founders, small business owners and creative entrepreneurs in the Shenandoah Valley needed.

“We wanted to create an experience where entrepreneurs and people interested in starting a business could gather together in a supportive and educational space,” said SCCF entrepreneurial ecosystem builder Katie Overfield-Zook. “We have an incredible ecosystem of all different kinds of entrepreneurs, as well as support organizations eager to help them succeed. We are grateful that we are able to bring them all together in one space.”

Attendees chose from a variety of sessions to attend. Whether it was taxes or exit strategy, a deep dive on social media, or a panel on product development, there really was something for everyone – no matter their experience, age, or stage of their business.

“This event has been so impactful for me. I got so much done, networking with other people and with there being resources for our business. I’m super excited to see where this goes,” said Irina Dovganetskiy, owner and founder of With Simplicity, in Harrisonburg, about her summit experience.

Local business experts, entrepreneurs, and community partners got involved with the summit to lead these informative sessions.

To learn more about the Shenandoah Valley Entrepreneurship Summit experience, read SCCF’s article, The Valley’s First Entrepreneurship Summit. 

Next year’s summit is already in the works, with an anticipated October 2023 date.

For more information on the 2023 summit, SCCF encourages people to subscribe to its newsletter.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.