The Roanoker - January/February 2017 - VL36
In the Roanoke Valley, businesses of all sizes can thrive with passion and hard work.
Entrepreneurs and larger businesses are making their way to the valley, ready to add to the growing
workforce and supportive community. Startups and existing businesses have a variety of opportunities
to network and grow, as well as participate in programs that reward great ideas for our economy.
Governor Terry McAuliffe talks about it constantly-growing
more good jobs in what he calls "the new Virginia economy," one that is less dependent on federal spending and
the military. The new economy also means support for
startups and existing businesses looking to expand. On
both a micro and a more macro level, private organizations, local governments and the state are stepping up to
nurture new businesses here in the Valley.
The CoLab on Grandin Avenue, home to more than 150
small business members, calls itself a gathering center
for creative thinkers, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Members can rent dedicated office space or just come in and
pull up a chair and desk. There is collaboration between
members who have skills to share and special business
Affordable Corporate Suites
provides spacious, upscale accommodations
which are truly affordable, with all the amenities
you need to be comfortable while you're on the
road. We offer three key advantages over competing hotels: extreme cleanliness, blazing fast
internet, and great comfortable beds!
Ariel Lev directs the CoLab, now about three years old.
"We're seeing ourselves turn into more of an innovation
hub, as well as a space where people can come and get
their work done [individually]." For the past several years
the CoLab has been home to the Roanoke Star Tank, modeled after TV's "Shark Tank," where startups make their
pitches to panelists, looking for seed money and business advice.
Lev has also taken on the task of organizing the CityWorks (X)Po, founded by developer and philanthropist Ed
Walker. The "big ideas," event moved to Grandin Village
this past year after being based at the downtown City Market Building. "It was a different vibe but people seemed
Florist Road- Roanoke
5540 Florist Road
Roanoke, VA 24012
Overland Drive- Roanoke
5119 Overland Drive
Roanoke, VA 24018
Lanford Street- Roanoke
4830 Lanford Street
Roanoke, VA 24012
36 | 2017 VALLEY LIFE MAGAZINE