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Virtual Startup Shenandoah Valley showcase celebrates local, regional entrepreneurs

Staunton Creative Community FundOver the past eight weeks, several Shenandoah Valley-based companies have spent more than 100 hours working with coaches, mentors, and Staunton Creative Community Fund staff to refine and strengthen their businesses.

Now, they’re ready to show off the progress they’ve made with the community.

SCCF will hold a virtual event showcasing the participants of the first cohort of Startup Shenandoah Valley (S2V). This program is the region’s first online incubator/accelerator program for scalable businesses. The event will take place on Thursday at 4:30 p.m., and will be streamed via Zoom and SCCF’s Facebook page, as well as broadcast from the Staunton Innovation Hub and Winchester’s InnoVault.

The virtual event is free and open to the public.

Registration available here.

S2V participants will be interviewed about their experiences in the program, connections made, and future programming elements. Companies selected for the program are completing an eight-week “sprint” that began in January, with one-on-one virtual coaching, tailored mentoring, and support on all aspects of running a successful scalable business – such as raising capital, recruiting and retaining top talent, marketing, and legal issues, among others.

The group will now move into an implementation phase to put what they have learned into practice and become part of an invaluable alumni network of the Valley’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. This portion of the program will be punctuated by workshops, group learning experiences, and guest speakers.

“S2V has been an incredible opportunity for my business,” said Mark Toorock, founder of America Parkour and member of S2V’s inaugural cohort. “The guidance and focus they have provided have helped me gain clarity and move forward with purpose.”

“S2V is a significant opportunity for both our entrepreneurs and the community as a whole,” SCCF Executive Director Debbie Irwin said. “With support from partners across the region and our ecosystem builders, we have designed an innovative program that will help businesses in the Valley compete at a national level. Best of all, because of the GO Virginia grant SCCF received in 2020, we are able to offer this program free of charge and without equity requirements.”

The program is supported by SCCF’s ecosystem builders, Alex Andrew and Ryan Hall.

“We urge committed entrepreneurs at any stage of the business cycle to apply,” said Hall.

“S2V will meet businesses where they are and provide solutions for the challenges they are facing,” said Andrew. “This is a hands-on program that will take businesses in our region to the next level.”

Entrepreneurs and companies interested in the next round of S2V should begin the application process here. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the April 9 deadline.

The second cohort will begin their coursework on May 31.

augusta free press
augusta free press