An Entrepreneur in Every Garage

"A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage."
– Presidential campaign slogan attributed to Herbert Hoover

Allen J. Fuller, III asked me via Twitter, "You have talked about regional development in the past.  What would the NRV [New River Valley of Virginia] look like if your vision were realized?" 

For regional economic development, an entrepreneur in every garage! Yes, I certainly have talked about regional economic development. A vision of the awesome power of social media to contribute to a regional economic revolution is fundamental to Handshake 2.0's business model.  We walk the talk of economic development through social media and Regional Economic Development on Handshake 2.0 certainly has its own category on the site.

If realized, what would regional economic development look like to me?

An entrepreneur in every garage. 

Or in every basement, coffee shop, dorm room, home office, bedroom or established corporation – wherever computer power and tools and materials could exist for a creative mind to invent.  And then for that mind to think, "This could be a business."

That's part of my vision.  It's only part because of this:

β€œWhen I started my company, I had to find my own mentors and scrape together capital in an ad hoc manner – and also do all the work required to make the enterprise succeed operationally.  I’m excited about helping the next generation of entrepreneurs by systematizing those critical tasks.  And Blacksburg [Virginia] is a great place to live and work.”
– Pat Matthews, DayOne Ventures Mentor

That's a hard way to go.  For my vision, which is impatient, I want new companies now, funded now.  That can happen when a culture of entrepreneurship is born of consciousness rather than opportunism.

I see our region creating a culture in which entrepreneurs are valued as individuals, as creators and inventors, as potential world-changers and as potential generators of profits, enriching their companies, their investors, and their communities.

Just look at these recent entrepreneurship launches, some within the past few days:

Allen, thank you for asking about my vision for regional economic development in the New River Valley of Virginia.  It's already taking shape.

BTW, Allen, are you an entrepreneur?  Got a garage?  Around here, it's a good time to be an entrepreneur.


Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0, is part of the culture of entrepreneurship through membership in business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks. VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media.

When Does the Woman Pick Up the Tab?
NewVa Corridor Technology Council 2010 TechNite Award Nominees


  1. Anne, Thank you for the thoughtfulness and time you put into this post and response to my question.

    That is quite a goal, I hope to see it come to fruition! I look forward to the continued discussion on this topic.

    As for my plans, I will need a little time to organize my thoughts.

    Thank you again!

  2. I so appreciated your “walk the talk” question. It’s nice to talk of goals and objectives but how will we know when we’ve achieved them? “What will that look like?” is a powerful question for turning dreams into realities. I respected and appreciated the challenge.

    And I have more dreams, too. What will the region look like with an entrepreneur in every garage?! Ah, a great question, inspired by AJF III! I am organizing my thoughts, too…

    Thank you again!

  3. I am very intrigued by this idea. We (my partner and I) do not own a retail store. And quite frankly, I have no plans to own one – at least not any time soon – and social media has literally made it possible for me to make a living doing business with people all over the world. I have a new customer I just signed in Australia!

    And guess where it all started? In the basement…

    This is very exciting!!!

  4. A case study! What a gift! Thank you so much for offering your company’s story as an example.

    Since you and I began following each other on Twitter, I have wondered about the quality of your products. I will tell you that I placed an order to find out for myself. I got what I ordered, I got it quickly, it’s packaged beautifully, and if it works with the same loveliness as the scent (I love the package too much to open it yet!), I will have received a first class product – from an entrepeneurial venture started in a garage!


    Pic for those interested:

  5. oh now I’m really blushing! πŸ™‚

  6. you guys are in great company! Microsoft was started in a garage! πŸ™‚
    Me, I started in the laundry room!

  7. A laundry room! Great! I started in a home office, but some of my best ideas come while at The Weight Club. I consider it part of my corporate campus. πŸ™‚

  8. Thought-provoking:

    “Local economic development officials should recognize the value of cultivating high-growth firms versus trying to increase entrepreneurship overall or trying to attract relocating companies when utilizing their resources.”

    Small Business Administration

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