December 7, 2015
Helping entrepreneurs take their ventures to new heights; Deadline to apply is January 31
(Asheville, NC): Starting a business is hard work. Scaling a business is equally hard, and often requires different strategy and skills than used in the startup phase. The ScaleUp WNC program works with existing entrepreneurs and small businesses owners from across western North Carolina that have demonstrated initial success and have potential for significant growth.
Using a cohort based approach, with 15 businesses accepted into each group, ScaleUp WNC provides mentorship, management training, growth capital connections and other critical resources to help companies achieve breakthrough growth and contribute to the small business-led economic development of western North Carolina. Cohort members also gain a strong peer CEO network within their cohort and with ScaleUp WNC alumni (listed below).
Applications are now being accepted for the third and fourth ScaleUp WNC cohorts. The deadline to apply is January 31. Visit ScaleUpWNC.com for more information and to apply. Cohort 3 will begin in March, and Cohort 4 will start in June. Based on previous interest, Mountain BizWorks may fill both cohorts from applications received during this application window.
“Spending the time and energy to develop and refine our ‘pitch’ was worth its time investment ten-fold.” – Adam Charnack, Hi-Wire Brewing (Cohort 1)
In addition to the caliber of companies selected, a strength of ScaleUp WNC is the diversity of companies participating. Industries represented in the first two cohorts ranged from food & beverage to outdoor industry, and from manufacturing to professional services. Accepted companies hailed from Boone to Asheville to Bryson City and places in between. Mountain BizWorks also strongly encourages applications from women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and rural-based businesses. Half of the 2015 participants met one or more of these criteria.
“The community of like-minded entrepreneurs and small business owners created by ScaleUp is one of the most valuable and ongoing outcomes of being part of the program.” – Nikki Holder, Outrider USA (Cohort 1)
Fifteen founders or executive managers of growth-oriented small businesses will be selected through a competitive, merit-based application process for each ScaleUp WNC cohort. Businesses must be based in Western North Carolina, have at least one full-time employee, and have identified opportunities for business expansion. Additionally, accepted businesses typically have been in for business for at least 2 years and have annual revenues between $150,000 and $750,000.
This unique program is offered at no-cost thanks to funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, however companies chosen are expected to make a firm commitment of time to participate in the program. Western North Carolina has been selected as one of the first eight places nationally to launch an SBA ScaleUp America program, a recognition of the vibrant entrepreneurial community in WNC.
“We are thrilled to be launching the next round of the ScaleUp WNC program,” said Bill Carrington, chair of the Mountain BizWorks board of directors. “In the first year, we had the honor of assisting 30 great small business owners from across the region, many of whom are already creating new jobs, raising funding, and reaching new milestones. We expect another excellent and diverse class of entrepreneurial leaders in 2016.”
Mountain BizWorks also thanks our collaborating training partners which have included Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Ascent Business Network, Sequoyah Fund, Small Town Ventures, 1×1 Media, Lenoir-Rhyne University and AdvantageWest.
Additional program details, dates and the online application form are available at ScaleUpWNC.com.
ScaleUp WNC alumni companies include: Cohort 1: Brightfield Transportation Solutions, Carolina Native Nursery, Dieseljobs.com, Dolci di Maria, Equinox, Farm to Home Milk, Hi-Wire Brewing, Lusty Monk, Mother Earth Produce, New Appalachia, Outrider USA, SimpleShot Shooting Sports, Strivven Media/Virtual Job Shadow, The Filling Station Deli And Sub Shop, Ultimate Ice Cream. Cohort 2: APEX Brain Centers, Appalachia Cookie Company, BearWaters Brewing Company, Cab Hound, Covenant Health Products, Destination by Design, Dog Door Canine Services, eCBiz Solutions, Go Yoga, GoWorx, Heurista, Odyssey ClayWorks, Sherpa Hunting, Spectra3D Technologies, The Regeneration Station
About Mountain BizWorks
Mountain BizWorks has been developing small businesses in Western North Carolina for 25 years. Our primary platforms are lending and learning, specifically designed to grow small businesses and create economic opportunity for all. We proudly create access to capital for start-ups and existing businesses in spite of barriers to traditional lending sources. We support the entrepreneurial spirit by offering individualized coaching and training. Most importantly, we turn the dream of business ownership and success into a reality. Learn more about Mountain BizWorks at mountainbizworks.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 7, 2015
CONTACT: MATTHEW RAKER – firstname.lastname@example.org | 828-808-2873