Roanoke Entrepreneur Hub

The Roanoke Region offers a wide variety of resources and tools to help get your business up to speed. The region is home to companies, both large and small, including a blossoming entrepreneurial community.

Business Resources

Advisory services to help improve the effectiveness of business strategy, process, or operations by assessing needs and reviewing functions, plans, and directions.
  • Grandin CoLab is a co-working space, event venue, and resource hub for innovation in the Roanoke and New River valleys with two locations (Grandin Village and Downtown Roanoke). 
  • RAMP, Regional Acceleration, and Mentoring Program was created to help high-potential startup companies expand and create new jobs within the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. This highly focused program represents a groundbreaking public/private partnership between the City of Roanoke, Virginia Western Community College, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. Entrepreneurs seeking to scale up their companies are invited to apply for the program, which will be housed in the historic Gill Memorial Hospital Building located at 709 South Jefferson Street, located along the recently announced downtown Health Sciences and Technology Innovation District. For more information on RAMP, please call 540-443-9232.
  • VERGE is a collaborative strategic alliance established to grow the region’s innovation economy, technology, and life science sectors, and the supporting professional communities. They provide mentoring programs that offer startups companies facilities, connections, training, ancillary business expansion support, and growth-focused resourcing. They also work to secure grant funding for regional innovators, entrepreneurs, and infrastructure investment.
  • The HIVE is a business incubation center and co-working space located in Vinton.
  • Carilion Innovation is a catalytic agent and resource for our innovators. Carilion physicians, nurses, and staff make unique discoveries through their research, and continuous improvements to the care they provide our communities. Some of these discoveries are innovations with commercial potential. First and foremost, they can benefit patients in our community. When inventions are brought to market by an Industry partner or spun out as a startup, patients across the country and globe may benefit from our employees’ curiosity and commitment to innovation.
  • Valleys Innovation Council (VIC) works to help our region realize its full potential with respect to growing, attracting, and retaining high-wage STEM jobs. By focusing on the region’s innovation economy, VIC’s work aspires to grow high-wage jobs to benefit current residents of the region, as well as to retain more of the talent being educated in our colleges and universities. 
  • Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) is a member-driven association working to promote the growth of the Roanoke-Blacksburg technology community. We are the essential business resource for technology entrepreneurs and companies seeking to achieve greater success. Our membership ranges from emerging technology firms to the largest employers in the region. The RBTC is building a community that is a catalyst for innovation, inspiration, success, and leadership within the Roanoke-Blacksburg region.

Business Counseling

  • Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides no-cost business counseling services to startup and existing businesses in the areas of business and marketing plan development, marketing research, permits and licensing, strategic planning, and in accounting, legal entities, taxes, and financial management.
  • Virginia Business One Stop walks a new business owner through each step on the path to establishing a new business.
  • Virginia Electronic Commerce Technology Center is a non-profit organization that works with all businesses to promote economic competitiveness through various e-services such as website design, database development, search engine optimization, and Internet marketing.

Manufacturing Consulting

  • GenEdge is designed to help Virginia industries innovate, compete, and grow their bottom line. The program includes experienced Lean Six Sigma Black Belt advisors who assist in developing your competitive edge with the latest integrated tools and methods for optimizing operations.

Certifications

  • Virginia Small, Women- and Minority-Owned Certification (SWaM) program is administered by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and helps small, women- and minority-owned businesses with doing business with state government entities.
  • Entrepreneurship Plus Program from Virginia Western teaches students and prospective entrepreneurs how to launch a business in one semester. While enrolled, you will develop ideas into a real company, learn how to fund and finance your company, design a logo, business cards, website, brochures, press releases, marketing objectives, and more.

 Business Training and Development

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Grants, Financing & Incentives

  • Virginia’s Enterprise Zone program incentivizes investments within specifically targeted areas.
  • VTC Ventures invests in early-stage life sciences and high-growth technology companies through two investment vehicles: the VTC Innovation Fund (Series A / B) and the VTC Seed Fund (seed stage). VTC Ventures is primarily funded by Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic and is managed by Middleland Capital. Our primary goal is to invest in rapidly growing companies to create long-term value within the Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic ecosystem. 
  • Total Action for Progress Business Seed Capital, Inc. provides micro-financing for start-up or existing businesses. The program offers flexible commercial loan packages, including short or long-term loans to qualifying customers in the greater Roanoke Region, cities of Roanoke, Salem, Lexington, and the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Pulaski, and the towns of Vinton and Clifton Forge.
  • City of Roanoke Economic Development Authority created the first-of-its-kind Entrepreneurial District within the city to stimulate and support entrepreneurship by offering incentives in the areas of training, research projects, loans, and reducing the cost of services.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration assists small businesses to start, grow, and prosper.
  • Virginia Small Business Financing Authority is Virginia’s economic development and small business financing arm.
  • Virginia Active Angel Network invests in seed and start-up and early-stage companies in the following sectors: biotechnology, consumer products, and services, electronics/instrumentation, industrial/energy, media and entertainment, medical devices and equipment, and telecommunications.
  • New Dominion Angels is an investor group formed to capitalize early-stage, Virginia-based companies. Their purpose is to positively impact the communities and the economy of Virginia by helping to bring new products and services to market; to support Virginia start-up businesses; to learn from stakeholders and each other, and to enjoy the process; to earn fair, risk-adjusted investment returns.