By Tim Ryan

Innovate Hampton Roads is thrilled to spotlight the upcoming sixth installment of STARTUP Franklin Southampton, an initiative by Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. This hallmark business plan competition is designed to spark entrepreneurship and innovation within the City of Franklin and Southampton County limits. It’s an exceptional opportunity for aspiring business owners to turn their visionary ideas into reality, bolstered by significant financial support and expert guidance.

STARTUP Franklin Southampton stands out for its comprehensive approach to nurturing business acumen. Participants must undergo a rigorous process that includes submitting an online application, attending seven structured business courses led by seasoned instructors, crafting a detailed business plan, and presenting their business proposition to a panel of esteemed community leaders. This process ensures the provision of critical startup capital—$20,000 for the grand prize winner and $15,000 for the runner-up—and equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for sustained business success.

The program’s emphasis on education, planning, and presentation underscores a commitment to not just funding, but also fostering the growth of businesses that can contribute significantly to the local economy. The STARTUP initiative aligns perfectly with Innovate Hampton Roads’ mission to build a vibrant, innovative ecosystem where entrepreneurship flourishes, supported by resources, training, and community connections.

The application process is now open for those interested in seizing this opportunity. The journey from conceptualization to realization is a challenging yet rewarding path, and STARTUP Franklin Southampton offers a structured, supportive route to navigate this terrain. The guidelines and deadlines are meticulously outlined, ensuring clarity and preparedness for all participants.

As Innovate Hampton Roads, we wholeheartedly encourage entrepreneurs within our community to apply. This is more than a competition; it’s a launchpad for the region’s next wave of business leaders ready to make a meaningful impact. Let’s innovate, create, and elevate together—apply for STARTUP and be the change you wish to see in Hampton Roads.

Please visit the Franklin Southampton Economic Development website for detailed guidelines and application instructions.