GAUNTLET Business Program / Competition To Complete Decade of Igniting Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Annual  GAUNTLET Business Program and Competition™ is celebrating its 10th year and are looking for entrepreneurs who want to turn their big idea into reality or want to grow their existing business.

Now Virginia’s Largest Business Program and Competition ignites business development through dynamic programming and awards of $300,000 per year in cash and in-kind resources. The Gauntlet’s 10 virtual business strategy classes, additional a-la cart business/finance workshops and networking events connect like-minded entrepreneurs with industry mentors, and growth strategies that have a proven blueprint to foster business development success.

The program has built a network of more than 1000 Gauntlet  Alumni/entrepreneurs, 300 industry experts who serve as mentors and has provided entrepreneurs and communities with over $7 million in resources to advance business development and innovation.

 Local entrepreneurs are drawn to the opportunity to compete for prizes yet share at the end of the program that those prizes end up secondary to the network of relationships they’ve developed.  The program connects participants both in and outside of their industry across local and regional boundaries. Communities engaging in the Gauntlet Program build visibility and deeper bonds with community stakeholders, higher education, ecosystem partners, business leaders and entrepreneurs.

“The Gauntlet is the intersection where diverse resources and entrepreneurship meet.”. The Advancement Foundation  uses this proven business acceleration model to ensure that every community has equal access to critical resources. The collaborative platform convenes business resource agencies, community leaders, mentors, and industry expertise,” said Annette Patterson, president of The Advancement Foundation.

The GAUNTLET includes stakeholders in the Alleghany Highland, Roanoke Valley, New River Valley, Shenandoah Valley,  Southside, and Southwest Virginia to build that strong mentor network and accelerate business growth and development by implementing The Advancement Foundation’s proven model.

Applications are now open for the Class of 2024. Anyone can participate in the program and choose to compete

Virtual classes begin Tuesday, January 30th (6-7:30pm).


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