Modeled after the 2013 My Southwest Virginia Opportunity Entrepreneur Challenge, the Opportunity Cup was a level II entrepreneur challenge for existing businesses looking to expand with additional job creation in Southwest Virginia. Given the number of new local competitions since 2013, the Cup accepted businesses in Southwest Virginia who graduated from qualifying regional business challenges in Planning District Commissions 1, 2 and 3.
The competition began on Sept. 15 when nineteen small business owners and entrepreneurs met at the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator to take the challenge of competing in a six week training process of refining their business plans in an effort to win a total of $35,000 in business investment grants. On Oct. 20, 2015 at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, fifteen of those businesses completed the program by submitting a business expansion plan and pitching their business to a panel of judges. Throughout the process competitors learned valuable information for successfully expanding their business including topics on marketing and research, financial and legal, human resources and leadership strategies. In addition, participants benefited from connecting with regional businesses, mentors and resources.