Join community effort to help build a business through Valley Ventures Entrepreneur Cafe

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals,” wrote Jean Vanier, author of Community and Growth. The greater community has a unique opportunity to help build a business by crowd funding through the Valley Ventures Entrepreneur Café on June 2 at the Lewisburg auditorium at the New River Community and Technical College. Community members from throughout the region can donate $10 for a delicious supper by Shoney’s and receive a ballot to cast their vote for the winner of seed funding of $800, plus crowd funding. Valley Ventures is a regional effort to encourage entrepreneurism in the counties of Greenbrier, Fayette, Pocahontas, Summers, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas and Raleigh.

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers who offer a product or service that meets a need of consumers. The innovative problem solvers competing for funding to help build their business on June 2 are:

Evan Dodrill of Shady Ridge Enterprises, LLC with the Herdsman GPS Livestock Tracking Device. Evan knows firsthand the devastation of having animals break through boundaries and cause harm to themselves and others. He is developing a device to address this.

Janine Lazarus of GoodLadd Dog Training has been solving dog’s problems for years in the Greenbrier Valley through behavior modification and better communication. She has infrastructure expansion needs to better serve her clients.

Michael Moses of MVM Research and Development has used plastic pollution to create a product to help the environment through flood prevention and landfill solutions, as well as other uses.

Jesica Temple of Innovation Abounds, LLC has created “The Shake it Out” a nutritional drink pouch to optimize taste, texture and benefits of the drinks.

Steve and Nancy Wardwell of Sweet Meadow Farm sell Savory Suppers – ready to eat dinners using their own locally grown produce without GMO (genetically modified organisms). They need funding for a greenhouse and more raised beds for fresh produce to meet the demand.

The seed funding investors for the event are Greenbrier Valley Economic Development, BB&T and the Greater Greenbrier Community Foundation. The event sponsors are New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and New River Community and Technical College, along with GVEDC. WVVA is the media sponsor and their anchorman, Greg Carter will serve as the moderator for the evening.

Valley Ventures also features student entrepreneurs and will have a demonstration by the social entrepreneurs of Greenbrier East’s Pre-Engineering class. The team of Erin Leslie, Sarah Leslie and Taylor Lewis have created an artificial hand using a 3D printer. The hand will be used by a child through the e- NABLE program. Kevin Warfield is their instructor and mentor. Business students, Hope Nash and Sarah Helmick created fliers to publicize the Valley Ventures’ June event and were supervised by instructor, Kristi Haddix.

Community partners for the Valley Ventures Café are the Region 1 Workforce Investment Board and Beckley-Raleigh, Greater Bluefield, Greater Greenbrier, Fayette, Princeton-Mercer, Summersville and Pocahontas Chambers of Commerce. For more information, please contact Program Coordinator Katie Ickes at 304-667-7027 or