2012 Robert Pizzinni, Sky-Diving Simulator

In October 2009, Robert Pizzinni met with SBDC counselors to discuss his vision for a sky-diving simulator to be built in the city of Virginia Beach. At that time, Mr. Pizzini had little knowledge of what should be included in a business plan and needed direction on the best course of action to move his project forward.

Mr. Pizzini is a former Naval Explosives Ordinance Disposal expert who wants to take his expertise and love of sky diving and establish an indoor training center. Mr. Pizzini met with three SBDC counselors and completed the Center’s NxLeveL training program, a 12 week course during which participants develop a complete business plan. His SBDC engagement greatly improved his knowledge of business and prepared him with a course of action to implement his vision. He had many questions about the project’s financing and there was considerable discussion about investors as well as other potential financing options available to him.

During the course of his research, Mr. Pizzini initially identified a location several miles from the oceanfront and the SBDC recommended that he begin discussions with the City of Virginia Beach and local developers to see if this project had any merit. The project caught the attention of one of the larger local developers who has included the sky-diving simulator as the anchor tenant in a retail and residential project.

While this project has not been completed, nor is there any guarantee of success, the advice and guidance provided by the SBDC played a large part in helping Mr. Pizzini advance his project to this point. He has a real chance of being the catalyst behind an attractive new oceanfront development project which would generate new jobs both during the construction phase but also during its operation. It would provide Virginia Beach with yet another attraction to draw tourists to the city, go a long way in saving the military scarce travel and training funds while also ensuring that military readiness is maintained and improved.

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