On Wednesday, June 26th, from 2-5:30 p.m., RISE Collaborative will host the RISE Business Pitch Competition (BPC) at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center Innovation Center in South Boston, VA. This event provides a platform for Southern Virginia entrepreneurs to present their business ideas and plans to a panel of judges and a live audience, with a chance to win $10,000 in funding to start or grow their businesses.

Event Details

June 26, 2024

2:00PM – 5:30PM

Southern Virginia Higher Education Center – Innovation Center
605 Seymour Drive
South Boston, VA

Event Schedule

Check-In Begins

Program & Pitches

Networking and Entrepreneur & Resource Showcase


Meet the Competitors

The RISE Business Pitch Competition features a diverse group of entrepreneurs who will pitch their innovative business ideas. Here’s a glimpse of the competitors:


CAREfully Anchored

CAREfully Anchored
Provides comprehensive administrative support, data entry, proofreading/editing, branding assistance, customized merchandise, travel advisory services, and caregiver resources through C.A.R.E Academy.


The Cottage Barn

The Cottage Barn
An ice cream and gift shop offering a delightful combination of lunch, classes, and refinished furniture.

Danville Massage Therapy

Danville Massage Therapy Associates
Focuses on providing massage therapy to individuals suffering from chronic pain and inflammation through appointment-based services.

The Gift Design Company

The Gift Design Company
Specializes in personalized products and branded merchandise for both businesses and individuals.

The Ground Floor

The Ground Floor
A specialty coffee shop known for high-quality beverages and food, served in a welcoming atmosphere that feels like home.

Award Categories and Prizes

The competition will feature awards in three categories.

A total of $10,000 in prize money will be distributed among the winners, providing vital funding to support the growth and success of Southern Virginia entrepreneurs.

Startup Category

Scale Up Category

The Startup category includes pitches from entrepreneurs with startup ideas and early-stage businesses that are very early in their process of becoming established and launching. 

The Scale Up category includes existing businesses that have demonstrated a concept that would scale up their business. Each of the businesses that pitch in this category are already established with customer relationships, suppliers, and marketing strategies. 

SOVA Female Founders Fund

Established in 2023 with an initial gift from Ilsa Loeser of Letterpress Communications, the SOVA Female Founders Fund for Women-Owned Businesses is intended to provide additional support and encouragement to female entrepreneurs demonstrating perseverance in pursuing their vision.  The minimum award amount is $250. To qualify, businesses must be at least 51% owned by a woman, as self-reported. Priority will be given to qualified entrepreneurs who demonstrate grit defined as the “perseverance and passion for long-term goals” and the ability to overcome obstacles. Businesses competing in the Startup or Scale Up categories may win this award, whether or not they also win a Startup or Scale Up award.

Audience Participation
While the application to pitch has closed, there is still time to register to attend the event as a member of the audience. Your presence and support can make a significant difference for these entrepreneurs. Interested individuals can register here.

Sponsors and Partners

The success of RISE Collaborative’s pitch competition is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors and partners from across Southern Virginia:

Startup and Scale-Up Sponsors:

Community Investment Collaborative
Benchmark Community Bank

SOVA Female Founders Fund for Women-Owned Businesses Sponsors:

Sue Carter
Law Office of Lisa C Francisco
Seventh Wall Protecting Productivity
Mainly Clay

RISE Business Competition Hosts:

SOVA Innovation Hub
GO Virginia Region 3
Longwood SBDC

Audience Participation

While the application to pitch has closed, there is still an opportunity for audience members to register to attend the event. Interested individuals can register here.

RISE Business Pitch Competition








RISE Business Pitch Competition Awards Event

The presentation of the 2024 RISE Business Pitch Competition awards will be announced. We will also recognize the achievements of the Winter 2024 RISE Business Bootcamp cohort and express gratitude to our esteemed sponsors. Register here.

About RISE Collaborative

RISE Collaborative is a regional initiative aimed at fostering a network of entrepreneurs and business service providers across Southern Virginia (GO Virginia Region 3). Co-managed by the Longwood Office of Community & Economic Development and SOVA Innovation Hub, RISE Collaborative offers guidance to entrepreneurs and business owners through various programs, including a virtual business bootcamp, student entrepreneurship programs, and the regional Business Pitch Competition.

For more information visit sovarise.com