Event Details

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Southern Virginia Higher Education Center – Innovation Center

605 Seymour Drive, South Boston, VA 24592

2:00-5:30 PM

Please park in the large parking lot on the south side of the building. The front entrance is accessed through this parking lot. When entering through the front door, take a left at the front desk and use the elevator or stairs to get down to the bottom floor. The event will be held in the tiered classroom on the bottom floor of the SVHEC Innovation Center. 

Schedule of Events

Please feel free to stay the entire time, or come for a portion of the event.

Time Event
2:00 PM Doors Open
2:00 – 3:00 PM Check-in & Networking, Headshots & Group Photos, Light Refreshments
3:00 – 4:30 PM Program and Pitches
4:30 – 5:30 PM Networking and Entrepreneur & Resource Showcase
5:30 PM Adjourn

Order of Pitches

1 – The Ground Floor

2 – The Cottage Barn

3 – The Gift Design Company

4 – Danville Massage Therapy Associates

5 – CAREfully Anchored (CARE Academy)

*Subject to change.

Attend the Pitch Competition

Wednesday, June 26, 2024


SVHEC Innovation Center
605 Seymour Drive, South Boston, VA 24592

Attend the Awards Event

Thursday, June 27, 2024

6pm-7pm on Zoom

The RISE Business Pitch Competition is a regional business pitch competition that gives Southern Virginia entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch for a chance to win funding to start or grow their businesses.

What to Expect

  • We strive to provide a fun, friendly, fast-paced pitch competition experience. Competitors should arrive and check-in at the event no later than 1 hour before their scheduled pitch time.
  • Slides will be preloaded. There will be a clicker available to competitors so they can advance their own slides. 
  • Competitors will have 5 minutes to pitch and another 5 minutes for Q&A with the judges.
  • Once the time is up, the speaker may finish his or her sentence.
  • The program and pitches begin at 3:00pm. After the pitches, there will be networking and an entrepreneur & resource showcase until 5:30pm.
  • Judges will confer in a private session after the pitch event.
  • Winners of the RISE Business Pitch Competition will be announced during a virtual awards event on June 27 at 6:00pm. Register to attend the awards event here.

2024 Competition Awards

The RISE Business Pitch Competition will award over $10,000 in funding to entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to startup a new venture or scale-up their existing business.

Startup Category - for New Businesses 

  • Multiple awards, ranging from $500 to $1,000 per award

Scale-Up Category - for Existing Businesses 

  • 1st Place: $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place: $1,000

In addition to the financial awards described above, entrepreneurs who participate in this exciting program will gain knowledge capital and social capital to support their entrepreneurial journeys.

Event hosts and sponsors: This event is hosted by RISE Collaborative program partners including SOVA Innovation Hub, Longwood Small Business Development Center, Southern Virginia Higher Education Cetner, GO Virginia Region 3, and event sponsors. To become a RISE Collaborative sponsor, please complete the online sponsor form and a prefilled form will be sent to you via Adobe Sign for your signature.

Donate to the Female Founders Fund

Want to support a passionate female founder in growing her business? You can do that by donating to the RISE Female Founders Fund for Women-Owned Businesses.

To donate, please complete the online sponsor form, and a prefilled form will be sent via Adobe Sign for your signature. Donations for the Female Founders Fund will be accepted until 12:00pm on Thursday, June 27, 2024.

Meet the 2024 Business Pitch Competition Judges

Dr. Julie Brown

Dr. Julie Brown

2 Witches Winery & Brewing Co.

Morgan Clark

Morgan Clark

Epstein Clark Consulting

Steve Creedle

Steve Creedle

Benchmark Community Bank

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Community Investment Collaborative (CIC)

Ruby Reid-Cunningham

Ruby Reid-Cunningham

Valhalla Organics

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Benchmark Community Bank
Community Investment Collaborative

Audience Feedback

We would love for you to provide feedback for each of the teams presenting here today. Use the form below to provide feedback to all teams. The form will be submitted once for each team (if you would like to provide feedback for all teams, you will submit this form multiple times).  To ensure that the correct team is receiving your feedback, please make sure that you have chosen the correct team name in the dropdown box.