A two-day summit will be held in late November to provide startup founders, entrepreneurs and small business owners with sessions to help their budding businesses.

The UpRiver summit will be held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond on Nov. 27 and Nov. 28.

Activation Capital, a nonprofit associated with the Virginia Bio+Tech Park in downtown Richmond that is elevating the region’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, is sponsoring the summit.

The organization’s board adopted a strategy to help attract and retain talent and it included a signature event with entrepreneurs as the focus. As a result, UpRiver was born.

“We did a survey this summer asking about 150 founders what their challenges are and how aware they are of resources and what they would like to see in content,” said Carrie Roth, president and CEO of Activation Capital.

“We will have an agenda around the pain points that people are having with these startup companies and companies in general,” she said. “We will have a productive summit that is not just a lot of people talking at you but workshops that will really touch on those pain points.”

Sessions and workshops held during the day will focus around the needs of founders, include topics such as on design thinking and customer delivery, on financial modeling and on leadership management.

The workshops will be sort of like a crash courses for entrepreneurs, she said, on topics from the survey. “It will be driven by data to help strengthen companies, to make them aware of the resources and talk to people who have done these things so they can become a stronger company,” Roth said.

The last day of the summit, the Venture Forum RVA in partnership with Activation Capital will host its annual “RVA Companies to Watch” event – renamed this year as rvAwesome Founders.

The awards in the past spotlighted companies that have the potential to be significant contributors to the region’s future economy. Venture Forum RVA, a group that supports entrepreneurs and startup businesses in the Richmond region, has recognized startup companies since 2005.

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