Saturday, June 15, 2024

This ‘micropitch’ competition in Williamsburg may be just what you need to fuel your business. Here’s how you can get in on the action

Start Peninsula 2020 is hosted by James City County, in partnership with the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and York County. (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
Start Peninsula 2020 is hosted by James City County in partnership with York County and the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson. (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

A series of three micropitch competition is set to begin so if you have an “early stage” business, you might want to mark the dates: July 14, Sept. 22 and Oct. 13.

It’s all part of Start Peninsula – the 9th annual. It builds entrepreneurship on the Peninsula and “celebrates our local entrepreneurial ecosystem,” according to a news release from James City County.

The event helps develop early stage businesses – those with a product or service that is still being brought to fruition and connects those entrepreneurs with opportunities to validate their business ideas and earn capital.

There will be four winners and one alternate winner selected at each micropitch event

Each of the micropitch winners will be invited to participate in the Start Peninsula main event on Nov. 4 at the Williamsburg Regional Library, 515 Scotland St.

The first micropitch will be done virtually. A maximum of 15 pitches will occur at each event. If a business is invited to participate in a micropitch event, they must pay a fee of $50 before the event.

And here’s the payout: The top three winners of the 12 pitchers in November will receive $5,000 and free access to local resources, according to the news release.

The top three winners from each micropitch event will receive $500 at the conclusion of the series of events in November.

Organizers said dozens of entrepreneurs connect with business leaders and mentors during Start Peninsula. The event is backed by six regional Economic Development authorities.

“James City County has been home to entrepreneurship since 1607. We are excited about the new format for Start Peninsula because it allows more early stage businesses to participate in micropitch events. We look forward to hearing the 12 qualified early stage business pitches in November,” said Christopher Johnson, director of Economic Development for James City County.

Start Peninsula was hosted last year by the city of Hampton at Hampton University. The winners included Atlas Quick-Clip, French Slide and Vestalyze. Since 2012, there have been nearly 250 business ideas pitched at this event.

Start Peninsula 2020 is hosted by James City County, in partnership with York County and the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson.

For more information about Start Peninsula please visit its websiteFacebook page or the FAQ page.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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