SEEDS Center in the Valdosta Chamber of Commerce

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With a student population of more than 10,000, the city of Valdosta is a strong supporter of tomorrow's leaders and wants to keep them around even after graduation.

Aaron Reed is proud of his drawings and wants to develop his talent into a lucrative business, but he says that is easier said than done.

Aaron says, "The reason why I haven't ventured out and got a place is because of the start-up cost. There is the cost of the place, the frames, paying the bill each month. It's so much money involved to get started and get established."

But thanks to a local business plan competition with a $10,000 prize, his dreams are well on their way to becoming reality.

Lara Bruhn, the business plan competition organizer, says, "The idea is that teams will be formed and they'll go through a process that includes seminars and free consulting provided by the Chamber members and networking."

In addition to the cash prize, students can take advantage of free business advice from the brand new SEEDS Resource Center.

Amy Karam, SEEDS Center coordinator, says, "A lot of people don't realize the business plan they have in their head is really all they have to put on paper. You just have to write it the right way so you can get funded properly.”

SEEDS Resource Center coordinators say creating jobs for the VSU graduates is their primary goal. WCTV will have coverage of the grand opening of Valdosta's SEEDS Center Thursday night.