FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           Media Contact: Laura Messer

June 23, 2020                                                 757-253-6607;


Start Peninsula Changes Event Format to Multiple Smaller Competitions


Start Peninsula is pleased to announce that it will return for its ninth annual year in 2020. Beginning next month, Start Peninsula will begin a series of three Micro Pitch competitions held on July 14, September 22 and October 13. At each Micro Pitch event, there will be four winners and one alternate winner selected. Each of the Micro Pitch winners will be invited to participate in the Start Peninsula main event on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the Williamsburg Regional Library, 515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185. Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities since 2012.


Early stage businesses are invited to apply to participate in a Micro Pitch event. The first Micro Pitch will be held virtually. A maximum of 15 pitches will occur at each Micro Pitch event. If a business is invited to participate in a Micro Pitch event, they must pay a fee of $50 before the event. At the main event in November, the top three winners of the twelve pitchers will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and free access to local resources. The top three winners from each Micro Pitch event will receive $500 to fuel their business at the conclusion of the series of events in November.


Start Peninsula builds entrepreneurship on the Peninsula and celebrates our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.  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. Dozens of entrepreneurs connect with business leaders and mentors during Start Peninsula. The event is backed by six regional Economic Development Authorities, who are eager to support entrepreneurship.


“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 Micro Pitch 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.

In 2019, Start Peninsula was hosted 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 the James City County, in partnership with the Cities of Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and York County. For more information about Start Peninsula please visit its website, Facebook page or the FAQ page.