What is our goal in the long run?
Launch Something Pulaski builds a robust local entrepreneurial ecosystem and supports local entrepreneurs from all economic backgrounds as they enrich their family's, neighborhoods, and community's economic well-being. It is part of a broad economic revitalization project aimed at supporting new business formation and expansion in Pulaski County and the Town of Pulaski's downtown businesses district. Multiple national studies show that on a per dollar basis local eateries return twice as much revenue to our local economy. Independent retailers return more than three times as much money compared to national chains. All across Southwest Virginia communities like Pulaski are using similar strategies to renew their down towns and cultivate rural entrepreneurship.
Our digital platform and business competition is designed for local people who want to launch a venture, who are in need of support, who want to connect with experienced mentors, or who need access timely information and trusted advice. It's also a site that connects donors, foundation, and volunteers with vehicles to help improve our community's economic vitality and inclusiveness. This is place dedicated to saving our down towns, nurturing our people, and increasing economic opportunity for our neighbors. Above all else, this is a place your you! Join our movement!
"Launch Something Pulaski will award more than $70,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to 3 or more businesses opening in downtown Pulaski by September 30, 2016."
How the Launch Something Pulaski Competition works?
Through a highly competitive and rigorous process, Launch Something Pulaski will award more than $70,000 in cash and in-kind prize packages to 3 or more of the most promising new businesses. Beginning February 1st interested entrepreneurs can apply to compete at launchsomethingpulaski.com. Both startups and existing businesses expanding significantly by launching a new product or service or opening an additional location are eligible. Applicants will be screened and accepted based on the merit of their idea, potential to meet a documented market need, relevant experience, potential to secure all necessary capital, and readiness to open no later than September 30, 2016.
Fifteen to twenty applicants will be selected. Selected applicants will be announced at a Kickoff Luncheon planned for Thursday, March 3rd. They must complete an 8-week entrepreneurship course during which time they’ll craft a polished business plan. The mandatory class will be held Wednesday nights from March 9th – April 27th. All completed business plans will be reviewed and scored by a panel of independent judges. In early to mid-May a public expo and Pitch Night will be held. Each entrepreneur who completes the course and a plan will be invited to Pitch Night. They will develop a public demo booth and present a 5-minute pitch before a panel of judges. Winners will be selected based on the combined scores of their plans, demo, and pitches. They will be announced at a late May to early June awards dinner. Other in-kind prizes and micro loan financing totaling $75,000 will be made available to qualified winners and those receiving honorable mention.
Quick Stats Of Our Progress
Launch Something Pulaski has set a goal to raise an additional $30,000 in cash and in-kind support through sponsorship, volunteer, and giving opportunities. The project is made possible with principal funding through a competitive grant award of $60,000 from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Business Launch (CBL) program. The Community Foundation of the New River Valley has provided further programmatic grant support to Beans and Rice, Inc. as the lead agency. In-kind prizes have been pledged in the form of lease concessions by local commercial property owners (Allen Properties, Gem City Management, LLC, and Holly Lane, LLC), media outlets such as The Pulaski County Patriot and Southwest Times, financial services from Wells Fargo, utility and business fee reductions from the Town of Pulaski, and membership benefits from Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Pulaski Alliance.
- cash prizes raised
- in-kind prizes
- additional support needed
- volunteers needed
Spread the word! The more people who find out about the project, the more support it will get. So post a link to the project site on your Facebook page or include it in your email-signature. Or print out the project page and pin it to a noticeboard anywhere in Pulaski and the New River Valley. You can always donate anonymously.