ScaleUp WNC

ScaleUp provides intensive growth strategy development and implementation assistance to cohorts of 15 small businesses. Western North Carolina businesses with strong potential for growth and job creation have the opportunity to apply to participate in this highly competitive program. With now over 115 alumni companies, ScaleUp is supporting a diverse and distinguished group of entrepreneurs that will drive innovation and economic development across the WNC region for years.

2020 Program Application Window Closed

The application window for the 2020 ScaleUp program is now closed. The members of this year’s single cohort will be announced soon. Sign up for our monthly e-news to be among the first to find out which small businesses are among them.

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Program Sponsors

Major support received from…


Interested in joining our team of sponsors? Contact Chris Grasinger at for details.

Meet the ScaleUp WNC Cohorts


Meet the members of the first ScaleUp WNC cohort


Meet the members of the second ScaleUp WNC cohort


Meet the members of the third ScaleUp WNC cohort


Meet the members of the fourth ScaleUp WNC cohort


Meet the members of the fifth ScaleUp WNC cohort


ScaleUP WNC Cohort 6


Meet the members of the fifth ScaleUp WNC cohort


ScaleUP WNC Cohort 6

More About ScaleUp WNC

Who is eligible to apply?

Growth-oriented small businesses are eligible to apply.

Each cohort will be selected through a highly competitive, merit-based application process. Founders, owners, or executive managers of growth-oriented small businesses are eligible to apply. These businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit company based in Western North Carolina
  • Have been in business for at least two years
  • Ideally have annual revenues between $150,000 and $1,500,000
  • Have at least one full-time employee (can include founder/owner positions)
  • Have identified opportunities for business expansion

This stage of companies, after startup but before maturity, tends to be underserved in Western North Carolina (and nationally), so ScaleUp WNC offers a unique opportunity to help expand growth-oriented businesses and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the region.

How does the program work?

ScaleUp WNC is a cohort-based program. Each participant will be part of a CEO network of up to 15 peer businesses and will receive tailored services to measurably advance their business and achieve significant business development milestones. Program elements will include, but not be limited, to:

  • Entrepreneurship education curriculum: Delivery of proven, established curricula for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small businesses focused on the unique challenges of scaling established businesses. This intensive curriculum includes an opening VIP kickoff party, seven class-based sessions, and a culminating “demo day” showcase event.
  • Management assistance and support: Ten hours of one-on-one support, mentoring, and technical assistance from our team of business advisors and Hatch mentors (new for 2019!) with expertise including leadership, market research analysis, business strategy, technology development, operations, and sales growth assistance.
  • Access to capital: Assistance and connections to growth capital, including preparing investor due-diligence backup documentation, matchmaking events, and introductions with local lenders and investors.
  • Connections and networks: Strengthening connections and networks, including developing valuable relationships with peer entrepreneurs, support resources, mentors, potential supply chain partners, etc.

How much does it cost?

Thanks to our generous 2020 sponsors and partners, the cost of the program is only $675, or three installments of $225 each, for companies admitted to the program. This provides full program access for one participant including 60+ hours of training, mentoring, and networking to scale your business. Companies that would like to add a second program seat (i.e., for a co-founder) may do so for an additional one-time fee of $225. The program fee (or first installment) will be due upon acceptance to the program. There is no fee to apply.

Who is involved?

In addition to the program lead Mountain BizWorks, ScaleUp is supported by numerous collaborators including Hatch AVL, NC IDEA Foundation, Sequoyah Fund, Startup High Country, SBTDC, and more than a dozen capital partners.

Interested in being part of our mentor network?

If you are interested in joining our community of mentors for ScaleUp WNC businesses, please fill out this quick (two questions + contact info) interest form, and we’ll add you to our growing network of mentors working to scale small businesses in WNC.

See 2020 program details »