Startup St Paul


In order to highlight the opportunities for business startups within the Heart of Appalachia region, St. Paul Main Street is holding its first Entrepreneur Challenge.  The St. Paul StartUP Business Challenge is a competitive process for emerging entrepreneurs and for the Town of St. Paul to increase its business base.

With up to $5,000 in business investment grants, business skills and leadership training, and mentorship opportunities, the Business Challenge is designed to help entrepreneurs establish businesses with the utmost potential for success.  The cash awards will be made to new entrepreneurial ventures locating in St. Paul, VA. This six-week business training and mentorship opportunity will result in pitch nights at which emerging entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses and newly developed business plans will be judged. Focusing on community economic development strategies, eligible Business Categories include; Retail; Arts and Culture, Outdoor Recreation, Restaurants and Hospitality, Technology/Advanced Manufacturing, or Support services for the above. The business must locate in the Business Districts of St. Paul, VA.

Cash grants will be awarded to the top performers of the program once they establish an eligible business. Only those who successfully complete the program will be eligible for cash awards.

Applications will be accepted through March 15th by 11:59 p.m. or postmarked by that date. Applications can be submitted via email, postal mail. For questions regarding the program or application, please contact Kathy Stewart at

Frequently Asked Questions

2017 StartUP St. Paul

When will the winners of the cohort be announced?

Winners will be announced on June 1st 2017 at the Railroad Museum and Gallery on Russell St. during Clinch River Days Festival. 

Where will the classes be located?  What is the timeframe for the classes?  Who will be facilitating the classes?

The classes will be located at the St. Paul Recreation Rooms. The Address is 16550 Tazewell St., St. Paul, VA 24266.  The classes will start approximately at 6:00 and end at 8:30.  Professional and Experienced Trainers will be the lead facilitators.  They have a wealth of knowledge and experience in business start-ups and expansions.   

Do I have to attend all of the classes?

You are required to attend all classes in the program to qualify for the awards. 

If my business does not fit into on the set categories am I still eligible for the prize money? 

The set categories are the priority areas for investment.  This is the first StartUP Challenge for St. Paul, so we cannot firmly say that prize dollars won’t be invested in other categories, However, the award jury reserves the right to not award all of the prize money.  

Do I have to have a business plan to start the cohort?

No, you are not required to have a business plan when you start the challenge.  The courses will cover how to write a business plan and what information should be in the plan.  If you already have a plan, you will use this a time to refine it and perhaps tailor it to fit.

 What are the requirements to be accepted into the cohort?

You should expect to locate your business in St. Paul. Your completed application will also be reviewed for appropriateness of participation in the program.   

What are the requirements to win the prize money? DID WE DISCUSS THIS??

You will be required to actually establish a business in St. Paul and begin operations by June 1st, 2018.  The award jury reserves the right to not award all of the prize money.

Is anyone ineligible to apply for the challenge?

You don’t have to currently live in the region, but you should have an interest in investing in the St. Paul Community.  Units of local government are not eligible applicants

What can the prize money be used for?

The prize money can be used for any demonstrated business related expense. A receipt or statement is required for documentation.

What documentation do I need to provide to show the money is being used for my business?

A receipt or statement is required to withdraw the money from the StartUP account 

Is there anything required of me if I win the money?

The only requirement is that you locate your business within the Town of St. Paul and use the money for a valid business expense. We request that you allow us and the Business Challenge partners to share your success story with the media and we may ask you to present at similar challenges in the future.

Is there a set time that I must use all of the money? 

If the money is not invested in a business by June 1, 2018. It will be forfeited.  The St. Paul StartUP Challenge steering committee reserves the right to extend this deadline, if appropriate.   

What do you hope to accomplish from this challenge?  

We hope to inspire and assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in realizing their dream.  This will increase jobs and revenue in St. Paul, which is beneficial for all involved.  

About St. Paul

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