Selection

4. Win Awards of Grants: June 14, 2017

Winners to be announced and grants to be awarded. The award monies can be used for operating expenses including equipment, rent, renovations, inventory and marketing. Those awarded grant money must agree to be in business and open a storefront in Downtown Franklin by September 30, 2017 with all award monies spent by December 31, 2017.

Franklin Businesses Photo by Brian Beachum
The program winners must agree to be in business and open a storefront in Downtown Franklin by September 30, 2017 with all award monies spent by December 31, 2017.
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3. Compete BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION: MAY 31, 2017

Submit your business plan by May 17, 2017 then pitch your business plan to our panel of judges for your chance to earn up to $40,000 towards your business!

Picture of Main St Franklin
You will be provided with all of the training and tools that you need to develop your business plan then you pitch your business idea for Downtown Franklin to a panel of judges. Up to $40,000 in prize money is available for distribution to the top and most successful pitches as determined by the judges.
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2. Learn Training Courses: February 8 - April 19, 2017

Over the course of several months, at no cost to you, we will be providing six two-hour training courses to participants taught by faculty from Old Dominion University. These courses cover topics that are key to successfully launching your own business venture and include:

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February 8, 2017
5:00pm to 7:00pm
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Simple Steps for Starting a Business Overview
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February 22, 2017
5:00pm to 7:00pm
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Innovation, Branding, Competition & Leadership
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March 8, 2017
5:00pm to 7:00pm
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Accounting
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March 22, 2017
5:00pm to 7:00pm
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Finance & Credit
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April 5, 2017
5:00pm to 7:00pm
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Sales & Marketing
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April 19, 2017
5:00pm to 7:00pm
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Business Planning

You will be provided with all of the training and tools that you need to develop your business plan then you pitch your business idea for Downtown Franklin to a panel of judges. Up to $40,000 in prize money is available for distribution to the top and most successful pitches as determined by the judges.

Attendance at all six courses is mandatory to be eligible to pitch your idea to the panel of judges and be eligible to win any prize money.

Picture of Franklin Business Center
Over the course of several months, at no cost to you, we will be providing six two-hour training courses to participants taught by faculty from Old Dominion University. These courses cover topics that are key to successfully launching your own business venture. Attendance at all six courses is mandatory to be eligible to pitch your idea to the panel of judges and be eligible to win any prize money.
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1. Apply Registration Deadline: February 1, 2017

If you have ever thought about owning and operating your own business, but never quite had the motivation or impulse to pull the trigger… NOW is the time! STARTUP Downtown Franklin is the ideal program to get you started on the pathway to becoming your own boss, and the opportunity to win up to $40,000 in prize money never hurt anyone either. Join us for our very own Shark Tank type business plan competition on February 1, 2017, 5:00 p.m., at the Franklin Business Center.

Those who wish to participate must complete our application form. You can apply conveniently online, by mail, or in person at the Franklin Business Center.

* Open to new or expanding businesses only. Government and Non-Profits DO NOT qualify.

arrow_upwardStep 2: Learn

Download the Application to print, fill out, and submit by mail or in person to STARTUP Downtown Franklin, 601 N Mechanic Street, Franklin, Virginia 23851
or click here for directions and hours of operation.

About Startup Downtown Franklin

STARTUP Downtown Franklin is a program of the Downtown Franklin Association with funding provided by Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc., Community Business Launch and Wells Fargo Advisors of Downtown Franklin.

If you have ever thought about owning and operating your own business, but never quite had the motivation or impulse to pull the trigger… NOW is the time! STARTUP Downtown Franklin is the ideal program to get you started on the pathway to becoming your own boss, and the opportunity to win up to $40,000 in prize money never hurt anyone either. Join us for our very own Shark Tank type business plan competition on May 31, 2017, 5:00 p.m., at the Franklin Business Center.

The program winners must agree to be in business and open a storefront in Downtown Franklin by September 30, 2017 with all award monies spent by December 31, 2017.

Steps for Participant Selection

  1. Complete the online application or submit an application via US Mail, email or deliver it in person to the Franklin Business Center by February 1, 2017.
  2. Staff will review your application to determine if it satisfies minimum qualifications. You will then be notified if your business is eligible for consideration.
  3. Once chosen the participant must attend all six of the business courses on the Wednesdays listed below from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Franklin Business Center:
    • Class #1 Simple Steps for Starting a Business Overview: February 8th
    • Class #2 Innovation, Branding, Competition and Leadership: February 22nd
    • Class #3 Accounting: Wednesday, March 8th
    • Class #4 Finance and Credit: Wednesday, March 22nd
    • Class #5 Sales and Marketing: Wednesday, April 5th
    • Class #6 Business Planning: Wednesday, April 19th
  4. At the conclusion of the business courses participants must submit a business plan via US Mail, email or deliver it in person to the Franklin Business Center by May 17, 2017.
  5. All participants are required to present a 5-10 minute business pitch to a panel of judges on May 31, 2017 at the Franklin Business Center.
  6. Winners of the program will be announced at the Awards and Business Showcase event on June 14, 2017 at the Franklin Business Center.

It is MANDATORY that participants attend all events described above.

Award Guidelines

  • The award monies can be used for operating expenses including equipment, rent, renovations, inventory and marketing.
  • Award winners of any amount must open their business in the designated Downtown Franklin trade area by September 30, 2017.
  • All award monies must be spent with appropriate documentation provided by December 31, 2017.

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants will be evaluated on the following key criteria:

  • Overall business idea/concept
  • Local economic diversification/type of business
    • Retail and restaurant type businesses rank highest
  • Viability of business and potential for success
  • Potential for business growth and job creation
  • Marketing opportunity and approach
  • Quality of business plan
  • Management team
  • Timeline
  • Financial/funding needs
  • Business pitch at Pitch Night
funding partners
Community Business Launch LogoPicture of Downtown FranklinFranklin-Southampton Economic Development LogoWells Fargo Advisors LogoODU Idea Fusion Logo