April 19, 2017

My SWVA Opportunity Cup Competitors Take the Challenge

Entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the region gathered at the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator in Abingdon, Virginia on Sept. 15, 2015 to take the challenge of competing in the My Southwest Virginia Opportunity Cup. Nineteen businesses were accepted into the program and attended the first session of a six week training process of refining their business plans in an effort to compete for $35,000 in business investment grants. On Oct. 20, 2015, these businesses will submit a business expansion plan and pitch their business to a panel of judges, who will have the tough decision of selecting the winners. Throughout the process, competitors will learn valuable information for successfully expanding their business and will have the opportunity to connect with other regional businesses, as well as resources.

The Cup recognizes nineteen businesses that will be implementing business expansion. The following are this year’s competing businesses: Adventure Mendota; Born Free Farm, LLC; Cliffhanger Ranch Adventure Outpost; Clinch River Adventures; Crooked Road General Store; Down to Earth Academy; Dreamland Alpacas; J&N Tool Supply; Kidz at Play Therapy; Kohi Café; Liaison America, LLC; North 40 Airsoft; River Monster Guide Service; Sugar Hill Brewing Company; Sweet Works; The Collins House Inn; Warren Cleaning & Restoration; White Birch Juice; and Wolfe’s BBQ.

Modeled after the 2013 My SWVA Opportunity Entrepreneur Challenge, the Cup is 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 is open to businesses in Southwest Virginia who have graduated from qualifying regional business challenges in PDC 1, 2 and 3. The goal of the program is to incentivize existing businesses that support regional strategies and encourage business expansion plans for future growth, as well as encourage networks for entrepreneurs and opportunities to learn from each other’s successes.

My SWVA Opportunity is hosting the first annual competition through a Building Collaborative Communities Grant awarded by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. In addition, the Cup is graciously being sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission, Virginia Community Capital, Southwestern Virginia Technology Council, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Bland County Economic Development Authority.

For more information on the My Southwest Virginia Opportunity Cup, the entrepreneurial efforts underway in the region, or to connect with some of the region’s many resources for business support, contact Robyn Lee at (276) 254-2396 or