Who’s down(town) for round two?

Published 12:51 pm Saturday, November 4, 2017

by Lauren Villarreal

Coming off an extremely successful first go-around, The Downtown Franklin Association, in partnership with Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. is excited to announce the second installment of STARTUP Downtown Franklin. The business plan competition serves to promote financial assistance and business training within the Downtown Franklin district. Other program sponsors include BB&T, Bronco Federal Credit Union, Farmers Bank and Wells Fargo Advisors of Downtown Franklin.

The contest is open to everyone that can answer these two questions: Do you have an idea for a business in the Downtown Franklin district? Are you willing to put in the dedication and passion necessary to make your dream a reality? Once those two questions are answered with a resounding YES, contestants then submit an online application, attend six business courses provided by various business instructors, submit a completed business plan and pitch the business to a panel of community leaders.

Did we mention the cash prizes?

One grand prize winner will be selected with a monetary award of $20,000. One runner-up winner will be selected with a monetary award of $10,000.

The first STARTUP contest ran successfully, with three new businesses added to the area.

Taylormade Fitness, Franklin’s Seafood and Steakhouse and the Main Event all opened doors to the Franklin community in September.

Lauren Davis, co-owner of the Main Event, weighed in on her experience: “As a participant in the STARTUP Downtown Franklin competition, I was able to come together with like-minded individuals who were also hoping to open a business. Networking in class and bouncing ideas off fellow participants and the FSEDI team helped me build confidence and fueled my drive to get my business up and running.

Thankfully, I was awarded a portion of the grant money which allowed me to finish off the last bit of reconstruction I needed to finally have our grand opening.”

It’s time to take your idea off the mental back burner and transition your dream into a real, thriving business within the local community! Applications go live on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

For a full list of dates and contest requirements, visit www.startupdowntown.com.

LAUREN VILLAREAL is the Business Development Manager for Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. Contact her at 562-1958 or lvillarreal@franklinsouthamptonva.com.