An Invitation to Entrepreneurs from DayOne Ventures

“Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs are alive and well and thriving in Blacksburg, Virginia.  But this town is one of the best kept secrets in the start-up world.  DayOne Ventures aims to change that by inviting the brightest and best from anywhere to come here and join the party.”

– A founder of DayOneVentures @ VT KnowledgeWorks

According to David Catalano, a DayOne Ventures mentor, applications are open!


DayOne Ventures @ VT KnowledgeWorks DayOne Ventures is an invitation-only seed stage investment and mentorship program for technology-based startups. It is housed at the VT KnowledgeWorks Business Acceleration Center, located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. Each spring DayOne engages with up to three early stage startups through a competitive evaluation process. Winning teams can receive up to $16,000 to cover personal and business expenses related to participation in the summer mentorship program, plus class A office space and high-speed internet access during their stay. Throughout the summer, each team receives regular mentoring by successful entrepreneurs who have built and sold technology businesses. The program typically begins in late May and concludes in late August. At the end of the summer, each firm has the opportunity to present to potential investors via a demo day event.

You're invited to read more about DayOne Ventures on Handshake 2.0 and to follow DayOne Ventures on Twitter @dayoneventures.


VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Who's in FRONT? Danielle Yarber
DayOne Ventures Launches - Seed Stage Investment for Technology Start-Ups


  1. Clark Thomas says:

    It is a fallacy to assume that only sexy new technology yields a sexy new business. Many of the best businesses start with “established” technology, but with a better business plan. That’s where I stand, and that’s why nobody at B’burg will be looking at me. Meanwhile, check out this Forbes URL for how the real entrepreneurial world works:

  2. Thank you, Clark Thomas, for your thought-provoking comment. I’ve read the Forbes piece by Shaun Rein and excerpt it here for readers:

    “The first three myths were, in brief, that you should spend a lot of time preparing detailed business plans, that you need to come up with the coolest, most innovative product and that you can fob off difficult and unwanted work on others.)…The fourth myth about starting your own business is that you need to spend money to make money….The fifth myth is that you need an MBA or lots of experience to succeed as an entrepreneur….The sixth myth about entrepreneurship is that you should try to raise money from venture capitalists.”

    I can’t speak for DayOne Ventures. My views are solely my own.

    DayOne Ventures entrepreneurs will be housed at VT KnowledgeWorks – of which my company is a member – and will be mentored as I have been to derive the best individual path for their companies. To me, “myths” one through five that Rein mentions are standard questions for a company founder to ask him or herself within the larger question of “What am I doing and why?”

    Rein elaborates upon the sixth myth:

    “Instead of running around Silicon Valley, focus on your business, building revenues and profits and doing whatever you can to keep your costs as low as possible. If you really do have a good business model, the venture capitalists will find you. And by then your firm will be worth a lot more.”

    Ah, therein is the key difference. DayOne Ventures isn’t in Silicon Valley. Its born of a conscious, entrepreneurial culture that values the entrepreneur and what he or she can create.

    I’m hoping you put “that’s why nobody at B’burg will be looking at me” to the test and apply.

    Best wishes to you, fellow entrepreneur, with your business and your dreams.

  3. Clark, I have similar misgivings about VC as well. They have found me, recently. I turned them down. Their intentions did not match my company’s mission.
    I count the pennies, watch the bottom line and enjoy the entire process. Until there is a VC who will not want to mentor nor monitor me, I will steer in the opposite direction. At my age, 54, as one who has owned and sold her own business, I am uncomfortable with the mentality of the VC in general. Anne, please notice I said in general. But this comes from many conversations with the local VCs who frankly are not savvy enough in my book to truly understand ideas that break from the norm, let alone a company founder who tends to break the rules, yet succeeds.

  4. For me, Monica, the choice between bootstrapping and receiving funding isn’t either-or.

    I fall into the “want to change the world” category of entrepreneurs so I want and need the enterprises of my company to have a role in the global economy show.

    While getting a part can happen if I’m in the right place at the right time, i.e. pushing the broom when the director needs a fill-in for the star, I increase my opportunity by suiting up and showing up for the audition.

    I bootstrap AND formally apply for angel and VC funding. During the application process, I am bootstrapping as all passionate entrepreneurs do – when I’m not creating like a maniac, I’m thinking about creating. I seek the right and perfect match between my vision for my company and an angel investor’s vision for his or her funds. I respect the power of an investor to literally make dreams come true. Until that happens, if it does at all, I am not waiting passively, but following Rein’s advice: “…focus on your business, building revenues and profits and doing whatever you can to keep your costs as low as possible.”

    And I have sovereignty. If I am offered funding, I can choose to take it or not. Whether through bootstrapping or funding, or a combination thereof, I will see my company succeed.

    Thank you so much for contributing to this conversation.

  5. I don’t see any Blacksburg bias against new business models for existing concepts. For example, Webmail (later Mailtrust) launched an email service with a different/better business model. They found local mentors, raised capital here, and succeeded. Now they are part of Rackspace and the founders are wealthy.

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