Dozens of business leaders won thousands of dollars in prizes and cash at The Gauntlet Business Competition.

Competitors went through weeks of training, exercises and submitted their business plan to judges.


The Advancement Foundation celebrated the 4th Annual Gauntlet Business Competition Awards Ceremony last week. The Gauntlet Business Program and Competition (Virginia’s largest business program and competition) began in February 2018 with 103 entrepreneurs throughout Roanoke County, Botetourt County, and the Alleghany Highlands. After 10 weeks of classes, and various extra credit engagements, 41 businesses submitted a business plan and entered The Gauntlet Business Competition to compete for over $250,000.00 in cash and prizes for their businesses! All 41 competing businesses in The Gauntlet won prizes and below is the list of the top 10 winners this year! 
Platinum Division Winners (top 10) (total prize package values include cash and in-kind awards):
1st Place: Advance Energy Solutions (engineer from Roanoke County integrating solar power technology with mainstream electric power systems) ($23,450.00) 
2nd Place: Alleghany Outdoors (owners of Twin River Outfitters on the James River in Buchanan- now opening Alleghany Outdoors on the Jackson River in the Alleghany Highlands offering rentals and day packages for biking, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and camping) ($18,350.00)
3rd Place (tied): Southern Hills Homebrew Supply (expanding Roanoke County business offering supplies for home brewing) ($16,750.00)
3rd Place (tied): Twin Creeks Brewing Company (expanding micro brewery in Vinton) ($16,010.00)
4th Place: BOCO Fit Rage (inspiring group fitness, nutrition, and wellness program in Botetourt) ($10,485.00)
5th Place: Eco Brew Tours (tour company that will bus you around the region for river adventures and brewery outings) ($10,585.00)
6th Place: Couture Unicorn (Roanoke’s first mobile fashion bus) ($5,400.00)
7th Place: The Farm at Glen Haven (gorgeous wedding and music venue in Clifton Forge) ($5,070.00)
8th Place: Total You Health (brand new business in Roanoke County offering a specialized light therapy for pain relief, injury recovery, and weight loss) ($5,255.00)
9th Place: Brown Hound Tree Service (tree removal service in Roanoke County as well as talented wood carvers and artists that re-purpose the removed trees) ($5,385.00)
The Advancement Foundation is extremely proud of each of the extraordinary Gauntlet participants and contestants this year and greatly looks forward to the 5th Annual Gauntlet Program in 2019! Registration will begin at the end of this year and you are welcome to contact The Advancement Foundation anytime for more information, to find out how to become a mentor or sponsor, and to sign up for the 2019 Gauntlet participant list. 
A huge “Thank You” to all of this year’s Gauntlet mentors, faculty, and sponsors! Thank you to the lovely Becky Freemal for emceeing the event! A special “Thank You” to the 2018 lead sponsors and organizations which include the Town of Vinton, the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation, the Economic Development offices of Roanoke County and Botetourt County, the Vinton War Memorial, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, and State Farm!