Startup Shenandoah Valley: Cohort 1

SCCF is proud to have implemented Startup Shenandoah Valley (S2V), a hybrid program that combines the strengths of accelerator and incubator models. It is the region’s first online accelerator-incubator program for high-growth businesses. Companies selected for the program took part in an eight-week implementation “sprint” beginning in January 2021 with one-on-one virtual coaching, tailored mentoring, and support on all aspects of running a successful high-growth business – such as raising capital, recruiting and retaining top talent, marketing, and legal issues, among others. Most importantly, participants became part of an invaluable alumni network of the Valley’s best companies and a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the support from partners across the region and our new ecosystem builders, SCCF designed an innovative program that helps businesses in the Valley compete at a national level. Additionally, S2V is offered to participants at no charge and without equity requirements.

Cohort 1 of Startup Shenandoah Valley started with nine start-ups run by passionate and driven entrepreneurs. SCCF is incredibly proud of the progress made by the companies in the inaugural class – including signing contracts totaling over $100,000, hiring new staff, and business model refinement. These achievements would not be possible without the hard work of our many partners, mentors, and advisors. 

Highlights of the different businesses in the program:  

QuickFix is an IT support company that engineers quiet information technology solutions founded by Bryant Harrison. The team is made up of caring, smart people who are constantly seeking new and better ways to support their customers by making tech invisible. QuickFix’s main location is in Charlottesville, VA. Guatham Vadakkepatt of George Mason University was Bryant’s mentor throughout the program. Check out QuickFix here: https://www.quickfixgeek.com/ 

Newtown Fitness Club is a boutique personal gym experience founded by Ben Huson and John Fontaine. Using a proprietary e-lock and cloud-based scheduling systems, users get exclusive, time-bound access to a fitness space where they can achieve their exercise goals in a distraction-free, safe, secure environment. Newtown Fitness Club’s main location is in Staunton, VA. Tom Cooke of Spacely mentored Ben and John throughout the program. Check out Newtown Fitness Club here: https://newtown.fitness/ 

Pure Shenandoah is a vertically-integrated hemp and CBD processing company with a network of partner farms and vendors throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Their founder is AK Koyee. Pure Shenandoah’s main location is in Elkton, VA. Aram DiGennaro of SkyView Gardens and Elite Innovations mentored AK throughout the program. Check out Pure Shenandoah here: https://pureshenandoah.com/ 

Panoramic InfoSec protects, resolves, and secures cyber data. Focusing on local, international, and government clients; the firm provides tailored network security services including penetration testing, social engineering defense, incident response and training. Panoramic InfoSec was founded by Sean Zirkle and has its main location in Staunton, VA. Bob Kolodinsky of James Madison University mentored Sean Zirkle throughout the program. Check out Panoramic InfoSec here: https://www.panoramicis.com/ 

Öl Dominion Beer and Exploration Club is a first of its kind sales and marketing online platform, specifically built to help Virginia craft breweries overcome many of their current challenges and help provide stronger bonds between Virginia’s regional craft beer communities. Öl Dominion Beer and Exploration Club was founded by Matt Johnson and is located in Waynesboro, VA. Laura Greer Kuykendall of Frontier Co-op mentored Matt throughout the program. Check out Öl Dominion Beer and Exploration Club here: https://m.facebook.com/OlDominionBeerandExplorationClub/

Mouse Loves Pig makes screen free toys for kids, letting children get lost in their imagination for hours. The company’s award-winning, open-ended toys increase children’s independent thought and self-directed cognitive development. Mouse Loves Pig was founded by Ruth Rau and is located in Winchester, VA. Alison Denbigh of the Staunton Innovation Hub was Ruth’s mentor throughout the process. Check out Mouse Loves Pig here: https://mouselovespig.com/ 

Local Food Network (LFN) facilitates cooperative logistical support through an online, interactive web service to lower distribution costs and increase market access for locally produced foods. LFN’s founders, Dustyn Vallies and Evan Grinde, previously completed the Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) in Roanoke, VA. Local Food Network’s main location is in Roanoke, VA. Matthew Dean of Ethena mentored Dustyn and Evan throughout the program. Check out Local Food Network here: https://www.localfood.network/ 

American Parkour provides Parkour education and equipment to schools, camps, and individuals. American Parkour was founded by Mark Toorock and its main location is in Edinburg, VA. Sam Ensogna of The Scylla Group mentored Mark throughout the program. Check out American Parkour here: https://americanparkour.com/ 

SCCF is incredibly proud to have hosted such a successful program with dedicated participants and is excited to see the continued growth and success of each business. Be sure to check out Cohort 1’s showcase in an upcoming blog post!

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