Start! Peninsula 4.0

The EDA, in conjunction with the Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator (“Launchpad”) and other Peninsula localities, local chambers and entities, served as sponsors of Start! Peninsula 4.0, a regional entrepreneurial business plan contest hosted November 13th-15th. The event was strategically held at the Applied Research Center in order to showcase Tech Center and Jefferson Lab.

During this annual “Shark Tank”-style competition, over 100 guests watched 23 teams present one-minute “teaser” ideas to a panel of judges, who selected 10 to advance to the final round. Over the course of the weekend, those remaining 10 teams worked to refine their plans with the help of coaches and mentors from the business and academic community, as well as keynote and panel speakers who offered advice and best practices.

The weekend culminated with five-minute pitches from each team and three winners were selected to receive up to $7,500 in cash prizes, along with complimentary incubator space and business coaching.

Several local businesses supported the event with food and promotional sponsorships, including Smoke BBQ Restaurant, Chick-fil-A (Yoder Plaza & Victory Boulevard), Azzurri Italian Restaurant, The Cove Tavern, Starbucks Coffee (Tech Center), Donatos Pizza, Neo Kitchen + Bar, Courtyard Newport News Airport, Tucanos Brazilian Grill, Daily Press Media Group, Scotty Signs and Howell Creative Group. This event continues to grow each year and reinforces our economic diversification and entrepreneurial support activities.