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New Program Accelerates Start-Ups In The Valley

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The Staunton Creative Community Fund is starting a hybrid program to help Shenandoah Valley businesses create jobs and compete at a national level.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

The idea behind Startup Shenandoah Valley is simple – to help regional entrepreneurs speed up their business ideas.

ALEX ANDREW: The important thing is that we want to take businesses that are here in the Valley to the next level.

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Credit Alex Andrew
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Alex Andrew is one of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Builders hired for the program. His job is to work with businesses in the Valley’s southern region between Harrisonburg and Lexington.

ANDREW: We’re willing to meet them wherever they are in the kind of business growth cycle and move them forward using national level resource providers, mentors, and the kind of looping our businesses in to the broader network of entrepreneurial ecosystems that exist in Virginia and across the country.

They are mainly looking to help businesses focused on light manufacturing, food production, agriculture, technology, and professional services.  There is no equity requirement thanks to a GO Virginia grant that was awarded to the Community Fund earlier this year.

ANDREW: Based on the grant we received from the state of Virginia, we have two years of running the program, so we’ll have multiple cohorts over that time. We just want to make sure that we start strong and then grow from there.

They are looking for eight to 12 businesses for the first cohort, and the deadline to apply is Friday, November 13. You can learn more here.

Calvin Pynn is a radio reporter, writer, and photographer based in Harrisonburg, Virginia.