The Department of Economic Development is a strong supporter of entrepreneurial activity, and sees it as a critical component of the City’s overall economy. Listed below are a number of resource partners for entrepreneurs and small business owners to utilize and help their ideas and businesses grow and thrive.
CoLab Roanoke provides an infrastructure for Roanoke’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through programs, education, networking, mentorship and shared workspace. By providing shared spaces and resources, entrepreneurs and small business owners can interact with each other and create opportunities to grow their ideas and/or businesses. Staff is on hand ready to help find answers to questions and assist with matching clients with resources in the community. For more information on CoLab Roanoke, please call (540) 524-2702.
Entrepreneurship Plus Program
The Entrepreneurship Plus Program from Virginia Western Community College teaches students and prospective entrepreneurs how to launch a business in one semester. This program offers unique hands-on experience and acts as a business incubator. While enrolled, you will develop ideas into a real company, learn how to fund and finance your company, develop a logo, create business cards, launch a website, design brochures, write press releases, implement marketing objectives, and more. For more information on Entrepreneurship Plus, please call (540) 857-8922.
The Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) accelerator 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 is housed in the Historic Gill Memorial Hospital Building located at 709 South Jefferson Street, along the proposed Roanoke Innovation Corridor. For more information on RAMP, please call Marc Nelson at (540) 853-2717.
Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC)
The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) is a member-driven association working to promote the growth of the Roanoke-Blacksburg technology community. The RBTC is the essential business resource for technology entrepreneurs and companies seeking to achieve greater success, with members ranging 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. For more information on joining the RBTC, please call (540) 443-9232.
Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center
The Department of Economic Development works closely with the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to promote entrepreneurial programs throughout the Valley. The SBDC provides a number of courses which are beneficial to entrepreneurs and small business owners alike, including basic introductions to starting a small business, financing options, how to create a business plan, and online marketing. For more information, please call (540) 983-0717.
Virginia Business One Stop
Virginia Business One Stop is a single source of information related to business in Virginia. The Business Registration System walks a new business owner through each step on the path to establishing a new business. For more information on Virginia Business One Stop, please call (804) 786-6585.