After two Northern Shenandoah Valley-based small businesses participated in the first Startup Shenandoah Valley (S2V) business accelerator program, five more have been selected for the program’s second cohort.
The cohort selections were announced Thursday as the small businesses prepare to kick off their virtual program, which takes part in an eight-week implementation “sprint” beginning May 31.
The program includes one-on-one virtual coaching, tailored mentoring, and support on all aspects of running a successful business — such as raising capital, recruiting and retaining top talent, marketing and legal issues, among others. Participants will become part of an alumni network of the Shenandoah Valley’s best companies and a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The program is run through the Staunton Creative Community Fund (SCCF).
"We are amazed by the achievements of our first S2V cohort and can't wait to see what this cohort achieves in the coming months. The fact that we are seeing the impact of this program in such a short amount of time really speaks to the incredible talent of the region’s entrepreneurship and support for entrepreneurship from numerous partners in our region,” said Debbie Irwin, SCCF’s executive director.
In the second cohort from the Northern Shenandoah Valley are: Apps Twenty-Four Seventeen; D.A.H. Cuisines; Dryad Cookery; Jon Henry General Store and New Life Delight Logistics.
• Apps Twenty-Four Seventeen, out of Winchester, is billed as a company that enables small businesses, restaurants, and non-profit organizations to cost-effectively build and manage apps across operating systems and devices. Apps Twenty-Four Seventeen’s app builder is highly customizable and offers low code/no code mobile solutions on iOS and Android devices.
• D.A.H. Cuisines in Stephens City is a catering and meal delivery service providing American-style cuisine with a French flair. The founder is a classically-trained, ServSafe, and Allergen-certified chef, ready to meet customers' dietary needs and culinary desires.
• Dryad Cookery in Strasburg designs and sells high-quality titanium tools and accessories for cast iron cooking with a strong foothold in the adventure and overland travel crowd. The company was founded as part of a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $5,000 more than its goal.
• Jon Henry General Store, out of New Market, specializes in local, regional, and fair-trade eats, treats, and gifts. The company’s weekly food boxes are all the rage as a source of local eats at affordable prices.
• New Life Delight Logistics, out of Winchester, is a woman-owned trucking company that serves the Eastern seaboard and beyond, hauling dry goods in 26 foot straight trucks.
Other cohort members include BeCardless, a digital business card application in Harrisonburg; Central Virginia Prep, a logistics and warehousing solution for third-party Amazon sellers out of Waynesboro; Initial Inspiration, a custom apparel and personalized gift company out of Waynesboro; POP Plastic, a company that refurbishes plastic into furniture and home goods out of Staunton; and Valley UAV Services, an aerial pesticide company out of Rockingham County.
During the inaugural program, Winchester-based Mouse Loves Pig was recognized for working with Virginia’s Economic Development Partnership to plan for increased export sales and plans to hire its first employees over the next year. Shenandoah County-based American Parkour also participated in the program to learn more about expanding Parkour curriculum within schools and camps.
S2V received nearly 30 applications for the program and narrowed that list down to 10 companies with high-growth potential. The program is possible due to a GO Virginia Region 8 grant awarded to SCCF in 2020.