FROM FLOYD COUNTY – The 4th annual Floyd C4 came to a dramatic conclusion on Monday night, as 8 of the participants in the 6-week business development series gave their best pitch to judges. Contestants had already submitted written business plans, which were confidentially scored by the 3 judges the week before. Each business had 10-minutes to pitch followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers with the judges.
Medina Mercantile was the top place winner, earning $5,000 to use toward expanding the business beyond imported hand-made baskets sold wholesale to include select locally-made items sold retail, predominantly online. Owner Cassie Wilson, who is also a designer, will use part of the money to work with local artisans on special pieces and the rest to do some much-needed work on the building, located on 8909 Deer Run Dr in Copper Hill.
Windy Creek Farm took 2nd place and a $3,000 prize. Owner Jake Bruton, a large animal veterinarian by training, emphasized the opportunity available to his farm business selling USDA beef, pork and lamb. He is also working with other local farms to meet demand. Windy Creek Farm is on Franklin Pike in Floyd.
ColdSpring Nurse Mares, LLC won third place and a $1,000 prize. Owner Bronwyn Watts explained that the new company “provides an innovative and vital service to the equine community” by providing nurse mares to foals who have lost their biological mothers. The farm, located on Kristi Lane in Floyd, serves the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic region, which includes many acclaimed horse farms.
“The quality of this year’s plans and pitches were excellent, “ according to Jon Beegle, the Chairman of the Floyd County Economic Development Authority and a stand-in for a judge who wasn’t able to make it. “Out of a possible 300 points, less than 15 points separated 5 contestants. They really showcased the innovation and entrepreneurship in Floyd County and showed promise in both start up and expansion opportunities.”
This year a “Best Pitch” award and $400 prize was given to Buffalo Mountain Adventures for their pitch which included a costumed skit and mini-rap about the business. Brittany Bonner explained that the company is already offering a shuttle service for groups in or visiting Floyd, and they are adding guided outdoors adventure services in the Spring to include hikes, river and caving trips and mountain biking.
The Floyd C4 Business Development Series, funded by the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, provides 6 weekly sessions on business start-up, marketing, finance, operating a business and how-to-pitch. C4 stands for Curriculum, Creators, Coaches and Challenge.
“The Small Business Development Center is an integral partner with us in putting this on as their staff members Tom Tanner and Amanda Forrester do some of the presentations as well as provide business counseling services to participants. The Floyd County EDA is fortunate to have great partners that make this possible—including the County, the Town, Virginia Community Capital, and the New River Valley Regional Commission,” Beegle added. “We look forward to continuing to work with all of the businesses who did the Floyd C4 and seeing them grow and succeed in Floyd.”
This was the 4th annual Floyd C4 series.
One-year follow up on the first two Floyd C4s showed that 22.5 full-time equivalent jobs were created by the new or growing businesses and more than $650,000 in private investment was generated.
Follow up with the cohort from the third year is currently underway.
For more information, contact Lydeana Martin at email@example.com or 540 745-9300 or by cell at 540 267-4083.
Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”
Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.