Fifth STARTUP Franklin Southampton is underway

Published 10:04 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. (FSEDI) recently announced the fifth installment of STARTUP Franklin Southampton. The business competition provides financial assistance and business training for those aspiring to start a retail or service-based business within the City of Franklin or Southampton County limits. The program is funded by Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. (FSEDI), Bronco Federal Credit Union and The Bank of Southside Virginia (BSV). Community and in-kind sponsors are The Franklin Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Event, Camp Community College, Real Country 101.7, and The Tidewater News.

“STARTUP has funded 10 businesses in Franklin Southampton in its first four rounds, and all of those companies are operating today,” said FSEDI President and CEO Karl Heck. “STARTUP has made our main retail areas more vibrant and successful with locally-owned businesses providing goods and services to their neighbors,” said Heck. 

All STARTUP participants must submit an online application by March 10 and be selected to participate. If selected for STARTUP, participants must attend seven mandatory business classes led by Camp Community College business instructors, along with a business plan study hall that includes community mentors. Applicants are required to submit a completed business plan and pitch their business idea to a panel of community leaders on pitch night to be eligible for prize money. One grand prize winner will be selected to receive a reimbursable grant award of $20,000. A second-prize winner will receive a $17,000 grant award.

The fourth annual STARTUP ran successfully in 2021, with two prize-winning businesses added to the area. Grand prize winner Simply Prepared and runner-up winner Farm Fed Food Truck opened their doors to the Franklin Southampton community in April 2022. Studio SoCo and The Graceful Baker, LLC also opened after participating in STARTUP 2021.

Applications for the 2023 round went live Friday, Jan. 27 and completed applications are due on March 10.

For a full list of dates and contest requirements, visit or like STARTUP Franklin Southampton on Facebook for updates. Think you’ve got what it takes? Proceed to Step 1… apply!