Chamber of Commerce is looking for proposals for next Visalia SOUP crowdfunding event


VISALIA – How do you “feed” a good idea? With a homemade batch of SOUP.

The Visalia Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Visalia Convention Center, Fresno Pacific University – Visalia Campus and River Cross Church is now accepting proposals for its second Visalia SOUP event on Oct. 20.

Visalia SOUP supports the entrepreneurial spirit by creating a venue for the community to gather, listen to great ideas that support the community and to help fund projects that will make a lasting impact. Proposals can be about a new or expanding business, a community project, an event or other ideas. Proposals must be submitted by Oct. 6, 2017. All proposals can be submitted at:

Visalia SOUP supports Visalia’s best ideas to make our community stronger. Visalia SOUP raises money, builds community support and connects local resources to help entrepreneurs carry out their ventures.

To attend, a recommended donation of $5 gets you entry into the event, soup, bread and a vote. Attendees will hear from four presenters, who have four minutes to describe their idea to the group (without the use of technology), and will answer four questions from the audience.  At the event, attendees eat, talk, share resources, and vote on the project they think benefits the city the most. At the end of the night, the ballots are counted and the winner goes home with all of the money raised to carry out their project. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress. The second Visalia SOUP will be held on October 20, 2017 at the Tulare County Office of Education Redwood Conference Center located at 6200 S. Mooney Blvd.

Martial Arts for Kids with Autism and Special Needs was the beneficiary of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s first SOUP program on March 18. Owner Greg Morentin was one of four people to present their community projects at the first SOUP. Each presenter was given four minutes to pitch their idea and then take four questions from the audience. About 100 people attended the event at 210 Café in downtown Visalia, with most paying a suggested $5 donation for some food and a chance to help out a local idea. In the end, Morentin had the winning idea and earned the SOUP pot of $1,450.33. He said he will use the money to advertise the classes and try to set up his own space somewhere in Visalia.

The community-based crowdfunding event began in Detroit where hundreds of community members, activity coordinators, teachers, small business owners, parents and children place a small fee into a pot that gets them in the door. Since 2012, Detroit SOUP has held 95 dinners and raised more than $85,000 for local entrepreneurs.

For more event details and proposal requirements go to: or call the Visalia Chamber of Commerce at 559-734-5876.

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