Greg Lingo from EDGe Business Planning has been developing a professional relationship with Senator Dunnavant after speaking with her about Startup Virginia a few months ago. With the help of Greg, Senator Dunnavant was able to coordinate a time to tour 1717.
Richard Wintsch, Executive Director of Startup Virginia, was the one who gave the tour. They had a great discussion about the startup ecosystem in Virginia and Sen. Dunnavant was eager to hear Richard's ideas on where the state legislature could help.
The dialogue during the 90 minutes was very interesting and engaging. Sen. Dunnavant met with several founders and mentors while getting a tour of 1717. She did not announce that she was a state senator so many of the people she talked with did not recognize her. That did not impede progress or the exchange of ideas as she was able to make a connection with each person she talked with.
In a follow-up email from Hannah, Sen. Dunnavant's assistant remarked that Senator Dunnavant's office had lots of follow ups from the different groups they met and they look forward to making connections with them and on behalf of their businesses.
After the tour, Senator Dunnavant said, "That was hands down my favorite tour of the year to date and I want to be eligible to mentor there."