Applications Due – Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Submit your application, which includes a video pitch (90 seconds maximum), business plan (5 pages maximum), and Financial Projections Worksheet.
Notification to Pitch – Friday, March 17, 2023
If selected to advance, you will be notified that you will be moving forward to pitch your idea or business by March 17.
Pitch Competition – Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Pitch your business to an audience of judges, potential investors, and community members. Each competitor will have 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes to receive questions from the judges. Slides are encouraged.
Awards Announcement – Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Award winners will be announced at a virtual event.
2023 Competition Awards
RISE Collaborative will distribute over $16,000 in prize funds through the inaugural RISE Business Pitch Competition. Businesses are eligible to compete in either the Startup or Grow category.
- Multiple $1,000 awards are available.
- 1st Place: $5,000
- 2nd Place: $4,000
- 3rd Place: $3,000
Women-Owned Business Category:
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 $1,000. 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 may win this award, whether or not they also win a Startup or Grow award.
Attend the Awards Celebration
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
6pm-7pm on Zoom
Details for the Pitch Competition
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
4pm-8pm in South Boston, Virginia
Individuals or at least one representative of an Organization must have completed the CO.STARTERS Business Bootcamp powered by RISE Collaborative – OR – must demonstrate completion of a similar entrepreneurship training program. All completers of the RISE Collaborative CO.STARTERS Business Bootcamp program, beginning with the Spring 2021 cohort through the Winter 2023 cohort, are eligible to apply for this competition. Examples of similar entrepreneurship training programs include the SBA Ascent Learning Platform, Startup Virginia Entrepreneurship Certificate, River District Association Dream Launch Bootcamp, and Startup/Grow Martinsville-Henry County.
Individuals who are at least the age of eighteen (18) and whose current legal residence is in one of the following Virginia localities: Counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, and Cities of Danville and Martinsville. Individuals under the age of 18 may qualify, but a follow-up conversation with a RISE representative will be required and a parent or guardian must be present for all correspondence, interactions, and events.
Organizations (including corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other legal entities) that exist and have been organized or incorporated at the time of entry in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a presence in one of the following Virginia localities: Counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, and Cities of Danville and Martinsville, and employ no more than 50 people
- Provide breakdown of your employees (full-time, part-time, contract workers, etc.), if applicable
Submission of your video pitch (90 seconds maximum), a business plan (5 pages maximum), and a Financial Projections Worksheet
Availability to participate in-person at the Pitch Competition on March 28, 2023
A desire to partner with RISE Collaborative by communicating regularly about your business progress through March 2024. Pitch Competition winners are required to meet either in person or virtually once a quarter with a RISE Collaborative representative.
Completion of a media release (willingness to share a picture of yourself for use on social media to promote the Southern Virginia Business Plan Pitch Competition and for media at the competition) if selected to present at the pitch competition. Download media release form
Important to Note
There are grant funds available for ideation/product development ($1,000 each) and scale up grant funds available ($5,000 each)
All proposals and supporting materials will be confidential to the proposal review team and judges for the Southern Virginia Business Plan Pitch Competition.
Any issue not addressed in the guidelines will be decided by the pitch competition committee. The pitch competition committees decision is final.
Winners agree to complete an economic development impact survey within a year of competition.