News on the Asheville-area entrepreneurial front:
Mountain BizWorks is very pleased to announce 15 small businesses throughout the region with strong potential for growth and job creation to participate in the fifth cohort of the ScaleUp WNC program. The initiative, made possible with financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration, will provide these entrepreneurs with intensive growth strategy development, mentorship, access-to-capital support, and a rich network of peer business owners.
The 15 companies were selected from a pool of 75 applicants, demonstrating the region’s strength in cultivating small businesses and the need for programs like ScaleUp WNC. Twelve of the cohort members are women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned businesses. The companies hail from Buncombe, Graham, Henderson, Macon, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey counties.
“We are thrilled to accept these 15 companies into the ScaleUp WNC program,” says program director Matt Raker. “The companies are poised for growth, have passionate and capable founder teams and represent the diversity of our region’s economy from manufacturing to craft brewing to the creative sector.”
The ScaleUp WNC Cohort Five participating businesses are: Alpine Towers International (Asheville), Biltmore Coffee Roasters (Asheville), Green Opportunities, Inc. (Asheville), Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. (Franklin), LightHeart Gear (Arden), Lost Province Brewing Company (Boone), Mount Inspiration Apparel (Asheville), Mountain Electronics, Inc. (Burnsville), Phoenix Recovery (Asheville), Real Digital Productions (Brevard), Sew Co. (Hendersonville), TacoBilly (Asheville), VILLAGERS (Asheville), Wehrloom Honey (Robbinsville), and Wink Salon (Asheville).
ScaleUp WNC, is one of fifteen original SBA’s ScaleUp America pilot programs nationally. Launched in 2015, ScaleUp WNC will serve two cohorts annually of fifteen businesses each through 2019. Mountain BizWorks says the end result of the high-impact initiative will be a diverse and distinguished group of entrepreneurs able to drive innovation and economic development across WNC for years to come. To date, sixty companies have completed ScaleUp WNC. Applications for cohort six to be held in Boone this summer are currently under review and are expected to be finalized in March.
More information about the program—including details about Cohort 5 participants and past alumni, can be found at scaleupwnc.com.