Startup Martinsville


Startup Martinsville, Virginia, was made possible due to a grant award of $60,000 by the Governor's Second Annual Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) initiative to help the City of Martinsville with its efforts to have a more robust entrepreneur environment in the Uptown Martinsville area.

On behalf of the city, Chamber's Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) applied to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (VHCD) for CBL consideration, knowing this initiative would be a perfect vehicle to excite and educate the community about entrepreneurship opportunities available in the city's uptown area. C-PEG is the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce's charitable affiliate.

The City of Martinsville was one of seven localities to participate in this year's CBL. The other participating localities are the towns of Pulaski, Vinton, Marion and Strasburg and the cities of Petersburg and Lynchburg.

Program Overview

Startup Martinsville, Virginia, is an intensive eight week entrepreneurial boot-camp program, culminating into a business plan competition, where participants vie for a total of $45,000 in grant funds and additional prizes and loan opportunities to help start or expand their businesses in the uptown area.

Grant funds will be between $5,000 and $20,000 among the top three to six winners, depending on what each business plan requires. The program will be administered by C-PEG and its coordinating team, which includes representatives from VDHCD, City of Martinsville, Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville Area Community Foundation, Longwood University's Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association and area community banks.


When C-PEG was given a responsibility to help the City of Martinsville with small business development, C-PEG officials looked for an opportunity like the CBL to help the city generate enthusiasm around efforts to develop an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the uptown area that identifies, launches and supports area entrepreneurs and small businesses at all levels of development.

View an article on Martinsville Bulletin relating to this information.

Application Process

All eligible participants must complete the Application by February 12, 2016.

A selection committee, made up of C-PEG and its coordinating team, will review all applications and select participants based on the following:

Understanding of program requirements, which includes, but not limited to, launching or expanding business in the Uptown Martinsville, attending all eight boot-camp classes on Thursday evenings starting February 25, 2016, and ending April 14, 2016, and if awarded prize monies, must be ready to open the business by September 30, 2016.

Desired business categories, such as, but not limited to:

  • Innovation - With the fiber optic network in place with up to a 40 gigabits per second network capacity, the city has positioned itself for growth around innovation
  • Convenient-oriented businesses, which can be filled by existing vacant storefronts - the renovated Henry Hotel, with its high-end apartment units, and other residential lofts have created a need for convenient living, such as grocery or convenience stores, restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops in walking distance from their residents
  • Cluster businesses that support the New College Institute, the proposed new medical school, and the PHCC Dalton IDEA Center, such as suppliers, consultants, and distributors
  • Product, service, or business description (business idea should be clear, concise, and easy to understand and should clearly be differentiated from others in the market)
  • Business fits within local and regional strategies and initiatives
  • Reason for participation

In additional to the prior listed requirements, all participants must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or legally allowed to work in the United States.

C-PEG's coordinating team has the sole discretion to disqualify and/or remove any participant for any reason that it deems appropriate before and/or during the program.

Eight-Week Boot-Camp Classes

Participants selected for the program are required to complete the eight-week boot camp classes, conducted by Patrick Henry Community College at its Dalton IDEA Center in Uptown Martinsville. Classes will be held every Thursday from 6 pm to 9 pm from February 25, 2016, to April 14, 2016.

The program competition, referred to as "Pitch Night," will be on April 28, 2016. Time and place will be confirmed on first day of class on February 25.

Details about the classes: The SUCCESS MindSET Entrepreneurial Bootcamp introduces, demonstrates and applies innovation startup training principles from the inception of an idea through the development of a viable business strategy. The program is equally effective for individuals who are first considering starting a business to those with developed business plans or even early-stage enterprises. The three-day immersion component of the program requires that participants gain a robust working knowledge of the principles, demonstrate their mastery of those principles through scenarios and applied learning activities, and then integrate into their entrepreneurial endeavors, regardless of their development stage prior to the boot-camp. All necessary training materials for the boot-camp and the pre-competition work will be provided. Based on extensive research, real-world experience and the latest and most successful innovation-based entrepreneurship thinking, the SUCCESS MindSET Entrepreneurial Training program uniquely focuses on why successful entrepreneurs are, in fact, successful, including effectual thinking, lean start-up strategies, and customer/target markets development. Unlike traditional training that begins with a business plan, the SUCCESS MindSET approach begins with the want-to-be entrepreneur and the potential customer.


Confidentiality is not guaranteed. Do not include confidential material with submissions. Nondisclosure Agreements between competitors and C-PEG and its coordinating team will not be allowed. Competitors may exclude any proprietary information or materials that they view are at risk of disclosure.

C-PEG, its coordinating team, judges and the audience are not responsible for any confidentiality issues that occur during the course of the competition or classes and will not be involved in any way with disputes arising thereafter.


C-PEG and its coordinating team may take photographs and/or videos during any part of the Startup Martinsville, Virginia, program. This includes classroom activities and during the competition. By applying to and/or participating in this program, you authorize the publication and distribution of submitted materials such as business descriptions and logos. This will be solely for promotional purposes.