Thank you to the 109 aspiring entrepreneurs who applied!
Homegrown for Hopewell:
Community Business Pitch Competition
& Free Business Bootcamp
Don’t miss this opportunity to jump-start your business! Entrepreneurs seeking to open brick and mortar businesses in the Hopewell Downtown Historic District (Virginia) may apply to our ‘Homegrown for Hopewell’ program.
A Business Pitch Competition hosted by the Hopewell Downtown Partnership and made possible through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Business Launch (CBL) grant program.
Complete a Business Bootcamp and then choose to compete for gap-financing in front of a panel of judges. $30,000 to award!
Local and regional entrepreneurs, business owners, and creatives
January – September 2022 (see timeline below). “Pitch Night” will be Wednesday, May 11th.
The overarching goals of this program are to:
a) support local entrepreneurs b) create and/or expand 3 new businesses that will create at least 5 jobs and fill at least 3 vacant commercial spaces in the Hopewell Downtown Historic District c) increase commercial activity and density in the area
Applications must be received by Friday, February 11th at 11:59pm EST.
Get to Know Hopewell
January – February
- Applications Open January 3rd
- Info Sessions (January 11th and February 1st)
- Application Deadline: February 11th at 11:59pm EST
February – March
- Participants complete FREE Business Bootcamp at VSU’s Minority Small Business Launch Center
- Virtual and In-Person Sessions from Wednesday, February 23rd – Wednesday, March 30th.
- You must attend all (live or recorded) Core Programming sessions by April 4th to be eligible to compete in the Pitch Competition.
- Bootcamp participants choose whether or not to compete in the Pitch Competition
- Participants work with mentors to prepare for “Pitch Night”
- Pitch Night participants compete in front of a panel of judges for cash prizes (to cover the gap financing) and other incentives
June – September
- Winners must open businesses by Sept. 30, 2022
- Celebrate participants’ launches with Ribbon Cuttings and Grand Openings
Requirements & Criteria
You must attend and complete all ‘Business Bootcamp’ Core Programming Courses and earn your “Certificate Of Completion” to be eligible to compete in “Pitch Night.
Pitch Night is not mandatory. You can participate in the ‘Business Bootcamp’ (educational piece) and choose not to compete in the pitch competition.
If you are pitching a food and beverage business, you must also attend the food and beverage workshop (optional for all other bootcamp participants).
If awarded funding at Pitch Night, you must locate your business in the Downtown Hopewell Historic District in Hopewell, Virginia.
You do not have to be a current resident of the area but precedent for the Bootcamp will be given to local/regional participants if max capacity is reached.
Non-profit entities may take the Bootcamp but are not eligible to pitch for funding.
Examples of Businesses Who Should Apply
Breweries or Tasting Rooms
Entertainment Centers/Social businesses (For example, bowling alley, skating rink, or shuffleboard)
Restaurants, Bistros, Cafes (niche not already filled)
Boutique clothing store
Outdoor Recreation Store or Outfitter
Ice Cream Shop
Specialty Market/Multi-Vendor Market
Boutique salon or spa
Virginia or regionally-themed Gift Shop