The Expand Contest $35,000 Grand Prize Winner Is

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Lynda Foster announces the Grand Prize winner of the Expand Contest at Super Synergy 2011 in Roanoke, Virginia.

Expand Contest Top 5 Finalists Are…

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Congratulations to the top five finalists. Be sure to check out their websites linked below. You will see why they advanced to the finals round.

These five finalists will compete one more time to determine the grand prize winner on October 27th at the Super Synergy event in Roanoke, Virginia. They will each get a few minutes to pitch their business to the 200 attendees of the event who will then vote for their favorite.

The grand prize winner will then be announced and presented with more than $25,000 worth commercial advertising, coaching, consulting, cash and more.

Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce 2011 Small Business Award Winners

Small Business of the Year

Small Business Advocate of the Year

Business to Business of the Year

Not-for-profit of the Year

Manufacture of the Year

Small Business of Year in Construction & Real Estate

Small Business Legacy Award

Expand Contest Top 20 Contestants Give Their Reaction To Presenting For The Final 5

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The competition for the Final 5 in Expand began Monday with ten contestants presenting their business to five esteemed panelist who then asked questions for 10 minutes to help them decide who advances to finals round.

Since some of the businesses have proprietary information and are still in their start-up phase, we can’t show you the actual presentations. But we did manage to grab a few quick shots of the contestants presenting and then get their reaction to the whole experience. They all did great. Some even overcame technical malfunctions during their presentation but they pushed through like good entrepreneurs should.


  • Mountain View Equine Hospital

  • Better Building Works

  • Inn On Campbell

  • 24/7 Hunting TV

  • Know Better LLC

  • Mommy Doctors Bakery

  • Muneris Benefits

  • Phoenix LLC

  • Sit My Baby


  • ADA Specialties

  • At Home Caregivers

  • BlinkMatch App.

  • Bulldog Field Equipment

  • Engagn

  • Valley Energy Consultants

  • Nature’s Nectar

Whitewash.M2 Publishing

More coming later today and tomorrow after the last 10 contestants give their presentations.

Chad Kropff Tells Why He Entered The Expand Contest

An Expand Contest Top 20 Business

Roger Duncan of Sit My Baby Tells Why He Entered The Expand Contest

An Expand Contest Top 20 Business

Monica Rokicki of Better Building Works Tells Why She’s In The Expand Contest

An Expand Contest Top 20 Business

Jeff Brabant of Skill Capped Tell Why He Entered The Expand Contest

An Expand Contest Top 20 Business

RSVP Now For The October 11th LinkUP Event

October 11th, 2011
RSVP required
SPECIAL invitation only event! Announcement of the Top 5 for EXPAND! contest.
This is not your ordinary networking event. Developed specifically for small business owners, this next level networking event includes Connectors who will find your highest level contacts and help you connect with them, 15-minute, one-on-one laser coaching sessions provided by members of the Professional Coaches of the Blue Ridge group, and a 5 minute leadership moment with guaranteed take-a-ways for you and your business!

What is a laser session? It is a very focused, 15-minute session with an expert coach or consultant to help move you forward and accelerate your success on a particular challenge you are currently facing in as an entrepreneur.

Sponsored by: The Roanoke Regional Entrepreneur Center (Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center), , and


Marketing – Pre 101

Marketing pre-101
By:  Ned Moulton
This won’t be a formal document laying out principles you can plug into your situation and grow your business exponentionally overnight. Instead I’d like to make a few suggestions about life and business that might be even more important than clever marketing methods.  Here’s a question you need to answer for yourself: Are you doing what you love to do? If you are not, it will be almost impossible to succeed at what you are doing. If you love what you are doing you would do it for free. And one of the tests you can give yourself is to question whether you would be doing whatever it is you are currently doing if you weren’t being paid to do it. I happen to be an artist.

I was five years old when I started drawing. The only thing I ever wanted to do was be an artist. I painted and drew pictures for free until I was thirty five years old. Only then did I discover a way to sell my work and make a living at what I loved. I’m not suggesting you have to give away your skills and services for thirty years before you are able to profit from them, but if you have  skills and abilities  that people want or need, and you give them away for awhile, at some point people will be willing to pay you for them.  At that point you can start profiting from what you’d do for free anyhow, and start having fun while doing it. 

When I started trying to sell my art there were no “tent people.’’ Artists who went out to street festivals, like the shows the Taubman puts on here in Roanoke, or the festival in the park, had to make their own displays and roofs or cover-ups. Ex-carpenters made displays out of wood. Ex-plumbers crafted their displays from pipes. Every display was unique. As the festivals gained popularity and people began buying more and more art from these outdoor entrepreneurs – a whole industry sprung up around them. Chicken wire display racks morphed into professional displays, and tarps thrown over flimsy displays became the nearly universal white tent. As the artist’s booths became more uniform, the works inside those booths became more differentiated. Artists and craftspeople who sold their works in these early shows and festivals found they could migrate away from mundane work they found boring and unsatisfying into a field where they could earn a living doing what they loved—creating art.   And there is some kind of magic attached to doing what you love. It looks like play to outsiders, not work. In my own experience, I tried to create an atmosphere of fun in my display booth. I tried to have as much fun—and give those potential customers I met as good a time as I could.   There was never a shortage of gags around my display.  

At one show, I discovered that by sqeezing an empty plastic water bottle I could produce a sound very much like popcorn popping. I would hide behind my booth and start squeezing the pop-pop-pop sounds out of the empty bottle, then peek through an opening in the display walls and ask. “Anybody want some popcorn?” I would always get a few takers. Then I would say. “Butter?” Mor takers. Finally, I would walk into the booth squeezing the bottle and find a booth full of surprised and smiling potential buyers. Not a bad situation to be in if you want to make sales.