Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is celebrated annually with events hosted across the United States and around the world. This year, GEW was the week of November 14-20, 2022. Below is a summary of events held to celebrate entrepreneurship throughout the Southern Virginia region.

3rd Annual Meetup for Ecosystem Builders and Community Organizers

On Monday, November 14, 2022, the SOVA Innovation Hub and the Dan River Region Entrepreneur Ecosystem hosted their 3rd Annual Meetup for Ecosystem Builders and Community Organizers. The goal of this event is to provide a networking and learning opportunity for entrepreneurial ecosystem leaders across Southern Virginia and to invite other colleagues across the Commonwealth to get to know us in GO Virginia Region 3.

This year’s meetup included networking and introductions, followed by four quick presentations on ecosystem building projects:

  • Jacob Dolence of Longwood University provided an update on the Ecosystem Building Leadership Project (EBLP) and recommended Kumu as a digital tool for ecosystem mapping.
  • Diana Schwartz, MSARP of the River District Association shared how the Dream Launch Business Bootcamp has expanded from a Main Street program by partnering with the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce to also serve entrepreneurs in other parts of the City and County.
  • Jackie Lackey of Verge shared the origin story for this new organization, created to help drive the biotech ecosystem in Roanoke-Blacksburg and surrounding regions.
  • Lauryn Colatuno Stroud of RIoT provided an update on RIoT’s entry to Virginia and availability of RIoT programs to entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth. 

The meetup concluded with breakout rooms with discussion around ecosystem building themes, including collaboration, metrics, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Join the Next Meetup

RISE Collaborative hosts online and in-person meetups all year long. Our events are designed for entrepreneurs, innovators, business owners, community leaders, and business resource providers throughout Southern and South Central Virginia.

Leveraging Neuroscience for Entrepreneurial Decision Making: Online Workshop with Dr. Catherine Franssen

On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted a free online workshop with Dr. Catherine Franssen, the “Pumpkin Spice Neuroscientist” whose broad scientific training, innovative thinking, humor, and passion for informal education has led to hundreds of opportunities to share the science behind everyday life through blogs, social media, books, magazines, popular news outlets, and top academic journals. In this workshop, Dr. Franssen discussed how entrepreneurship presents unique challenges to the decision making processes of the brain. A successful entrepreneur must be able to embrace challenges, learn from mistakes, view setbacks as opportunities and otherwise reframe difficult situations to maintain hopefulness and enthusiasm. In this conversation, Dr. Franssen led participants to explore the concept of a growth mindset from a neuroscientific perspective, drawing from research to create new strategies to build resilience and to make the most out of the thousands of decisions we make daily. Read Dr. Franssen’s own recap of this workshop on the Franssen Strategies blog at 

SPTC Tech Bunch at Lunch: P&HCC Fab Lab Open House in Uptown Martinsville, Virginia

On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the Southern Piedmont Technology Council (SPTC) hosted a lunchtime networking event at the Dalton IDEA Center which is a division of Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HCC) department of Community & Workforce Development. The IDEA Center is located in Uptown Martinsville.  The IDEA Center houses the Martinsville office of the Longwood Small Business Development Center, and classroom space, the P&HCC Fab Lab makerspace which was the first Fab Lab in Virginia. It is part of the MIT network of Fab Labs. P&HCC also operates a “mini-Fab Lab” at its Stuart Site in Patrick County, Virginia. Learn more about the P&HCC Fab Lab at 

P&HCC Fab Lab lobby

Do you work in the technology industry?

Join the Southern Piedmont Technology Council (SPTC) to find out about future networking events.

Global Impact Through Entrepreneurship: Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) In Fashion and Textile

On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, Averett University hosted an event titled Global Impact Through Entrepreneurship: Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) In Fashion and Textile. Described as “an exclusive presentation with a visionary, innovator, and leader who has changed how we look at the world of fashion and textile” the event was attended by around 60 students, staff, faculty, and community members. The featured speaker was Dr. Iulian Bobe, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Circ. Learn more are the innovation-driven textile startup at

Global Entrepreneurship Week Celebration at the SOVA Innovation Hub with Hometown Hustle

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the SOVA Innovation Hub hosted its annual Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration with Hometown Hustle and the Simply Southern Bistro & Grill.  Visitors stopped by for lunch or dinner from the food truck. Visitors received tours of the SOVA Innovation Hub coworking space and information about upcoming programs like the CO.STARTERS Business Bootcamp. Rudy’s Girl Media was on-site to record Hustle Tips from entrepreneurs. These recordings will be part of the upcoming launch of Hometown Hustle Season 2 sponsored by RISE Collaborative

Do you have advice or resources to share?

 Rudy’s Girl Media is still looking for entrepreneurs and business owners to share advice, lessons learned, resources, and general #HustleTips. Record a selfie video and submit your tips at

The Big Launch Challenge

On Thursday, November 17, 2022, The Launch Place hosted its annual Big Launch Challenge. According to The Launch Place’s Facebook page, “Three Companies Awarded $20k at the Big Launch Challenge. TLP received 92 applications ranging from femtech to AI assisted gene therapy. Our winners are FemHealth Insights, NTP Technologies and Perlita Foods.” Learn more at

Marketing on a Budget Workshop at the P&HCC Dalton IDEA Center

On Friday, November 18, 2022, the Longwood SBDC and Patrick & Henry Community College teamed up to offer a marketing workshop for small businesses. The presenter was Hope Harris-Gayles, whose full-time role is the Associate Director for Communications & Outreach at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. She also works part-time as a regional small business consultant, available for free consulting services through the Longwood Small Business Development Center. This workshop will be offered again in the future through the Longwood SBDC. Learn more and sign up for free, individualized business consulting at

Thank You to Event Hosts and Community Organizers

Please join us in saying “Thank You” to everyone who hosted and participated in events during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2022.  Special thanks goes to Jess Edwards, who brought Global Entrepreneurship Week to our region in 2020and served as our representative to the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) for three years (2020-2022) during her time with the Dan River Region Entrepreneur Ecosystem. 

Save the Date: Global Entrepreneurship Week: November 13-19, 2023

Save the Date for next year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. We look forward to celebrating again with you next November 13-19, 2023. For 2023, the SOVA Innovation Hub will serve as the regional Community Organizer. To join the regional Global Entrepreneurship Week Southern Virginia 2023 planning committee, please contact the SOVA Innovation Hub at