Developing my timeline for GrittyWorks, the new name for our accelerator. looking at different business model templates, liking the Business Model Canvas right now. Open for suggestions on how best to share and get feedback on the business development process thus far :) Included as part of huge regional grant but won’t know if we’ve got some funding till August, bootstrapping it for now, and even though there’s lots of regional and local enthusiasm and confidence that the funding will be there, it ain’t there yet!! Good stuff happening, though, and keeping as optimistic as I can – getting to be part of the sweet documentary on stories of strong Appalachian women, “We Are Here Appalachia” (contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, it’s a Kickstarter “staff pick”!) On my way to San Francisco this week for the Global Innovation Summit to contribute to conversation on (in their words) “solving one of the overarching questions of our time: how do we intentionally grow innovation ecosystems in new places?” Hmmm, that’s what we aim to do in Asheville with the Grassroots Institute for Good (The GIG) to serve the land based economies of Appalachia and the world.  Then to Boulder for the Unreasonable Climax ;) part of the NC Entrepreneurship Summit in September and then back to SFO in October, thanks to Rosa Lee Harden, to help with the entrepreneur experience at SOCAP12 – i guess that sounds exhausting, but I’m Wide Awake!
We Are Here

I’ve been away, my blog, for good reason. My beloved father died after several years of living with Alzheimer’s……what a bizarre and wretched disease. For his last two years, I traveled every month from my home in Asheville, NC to my family home in Midway, KY and pretty much lived there the last couple of months. I wanted to know Papa Joel (PJ) as much as possible while he still knew me. And, he did, till the very end. He still had his faculties about him, knew his family, some friends, said “I Love You” alot. Over the last couple of months he was deteriorating rapidly, growing weaker, but still his essence and determination were pushing through – he would still flirt with the nurses during his 10 day hospital stay and say “i love you” to me every time he saw me. We were trying to get him rehab to help with his diminishing ability to walk, but the overflowing and understaffed public institution that is the University of Kentucky medical center just couldn’t do much for him – their default was to nursing home. Having none of that, we set up home health care and took him home to Midway. He was so happy to be there, showed some improvement, but after 5 days, in the wee hours of the morning on June 3rd, he read a page of Harry Potter (his constant companion for the last year), told the nurse to turn out the light, “he was ready to go to sleep” and he did, peacefully. He saw the road diverge, and took the one less traveled. To not linger more, and suffer more, and hang on expecting western medicine to prop him up. He has now joined us in our hearts, where he lives and guides, and is with me always. Over 600 people showed up over the two days we celebrated the life of this extraordinary man, this generous man who gave to his community, his beloved Kentucky, through his political activism, he and my Mom feeding over 20,000 people through the years at their Kentucky home, his free and open sharing as a physicist, a woodworker, as a human being. He loved the world, loved people, and rode out on a full moon, lunar eclipse and Transit of Venus into the Unfinished Universe. Welcome, PJ, welcome to one love.

Good things this way come – so very much excitement around the accelerator and it’s evolution. Regional economic development group included us on grant, invited to speak on panel for accelerators at Gov’s statewide entrepreneurship summit in AVL this fall, invited to Silicon Valley for Global Innovation Summit in July and am part of multi-media project on Women of Appalachia doing badass stuff. Sweet couple following me around with cameras, to boring meetings for now, but I take them to Kentucky soon and that will not be boring! Symbiosis happening with Mycelium School and many others as we develop a pathway of support for socents in Appalachia. Reaching out to many people and organizations, even some I preconceived notions that I didn’t like and found I was wrong wrong – being less stubborn. As PJ would say, “be helpful to people, even ones you think you don’t like, you never know how or when they may be helpful.”

And on a final note, I have intentionally not promoted my blog to grow followers cause I wanted it for my own thoughts for awhile. But I’m ready to get it out there now, to ask my friends and kindly strangers from around the world to help grow this sweet accelerator to help the land economies of Appalachia, and well….anywhere that people live off the land!  :)

“To successfully make the transition to the new socioeconomic era of the information age, we need to learn to focus the enormous power and efficiency of capitalism on the world’s most important problems. To do so will require figuring out how to unite the scalable tools of Technology Entrepreneurship with the moral ethos of Social Entrepreneurship. This is the essence of what the Startup Genome is calling Transformational Entrepreneurship.”

I think we are heading in this direction with our accelerator. i have reached out to the folks opening Asheville’s new tech accelerator to collaborate and connect with ours and they are interested. i want us to launch transformational entrepreneurs in farming, forestry, culture and fiber – don’t ya’ll?

removing obstacles to becoming an accredited investor

not slick or sexy, but useful 13 min guide for startups starting small business. plow through it, and maybe make a slick sexy vid with same content.!

New info in Accelerators and Such. Atlanta to get new accelerator for good. Asheville next???

Atlanta getting social good accelerator, and other sundry accelerators for good.  No time to waste, AVL, let’s do this!

Asheville stuff: Asheville will host the N.C. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Summit this fall. This is the first time Asheville is hosting the summit, a gathering of top business leaders. Here’s the website for last year’s summit. It’s a big deal to get these leaders in town.

It’s also a big deal for Asheville to host a Startup Weekend, also in late summer/early fall. These weekends are awesome for people looking to launch a business. At Startup Weekend, you get expert help and actually get off the ground in 54 hours. From the website:

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.

Look for more details to come.

Add in the fact that Asheville is creating a new tech accelerator, and we’re starting to see key ingredients come together to make Asheville a true hotbed for entrepreneurs. What is a tech accelerator, you ask? Dale Neal of the Asheville Citizen-Times recently reported:

The accelerator program is the first project of a new private foundation at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship on campus and across the community.

Here’s how it works:

The accelerator will accept up to 10 companies for a 12-week intensive course. Each company principal would get $6,000 up to $18,000 per company. For the first four weeks, they focus on building their management team, the next four weeks on their product, then the final four weeks on sales.

Along the way, they are matched with a series of mentors to help refine their business plan, their product and their pitch. The program builds toward a Demo Day, when the companies unveil their product and business plans to interested investors.

The accelerator model has proved successful at Y Combinator in Silicon Valley and the TechStars programs in Boston, New York, Boulder, Colo., and Seattle.

from kevin:

it’s international. the socents pay their own way, via an online marketplace. it’s residential, six weeks and mentors and investors stay in the broken down fraternity house with the entrepreneurs. those are the basics.

 then there is brand value.
  it’s got a huge brand within the world of developing world focused social entrepreneurs.
then there is association with two other high quality programs that are world class in their ways
unreasonable is not as good as echoing green, probably, but UI does media, social media, video better than more substantive programs. i would propose we adopt elements of both, along with the global social benefit incubator at santa clara university, which boasts kiva as it’s top grad. it’s about two weeks, based in silicon valley, brings in top vc’s but it has elements that are adaptable. i am not a huge fan of any program or curriculum in its entirety.
and i could recruit an international cohort in a heart beat, tying into agora’s nicaraguan based accelerator, adding in curriculum on becoming investable for blended value social and environmental value social entrepreneurs like c02 bambu, a great company.
as well as being in a network with Dasra, a great Indian accelerator program
we’d be in a network of the world’s best social enterprise accelerator programs, linked to a global seed fund network, when that came on line, via village capital.
and then we’d be an expansion fund up on the top level just released a white paper called Sustainable Capitalism. An excerpt from the 26-page paper:

“The objective of this paper is twofold. First, we make the economic case for mainstreaming Sustainable Capitalism by highlighting the fact that it does not represent a trade-off with profit maximisation but instead actually fosters superior long-term value creation. Second, we recommend five key actions for immediate adoption that will accelerate the mainstreaming of Sustainable Capitalism by 2020:

1. Identify and incorporate risks from stranded assets; 2. Mandate integrated reporting; 3. End the default practice of issuing quarterly earnings guidance; 4. Align compensation structures with long-term sustainable performance; and 5. Encourage long-term investing with loyalty-driven securities.

Read the rest: