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Apply Now for Accelerating Appalachia 2019

2019 Applications are Now Open!

Are you a Nature-Based Business (respectful of nature’s wisdom) in food, beverage, textile, shelter, wellness and the outdoors? Extra incentive if you buy your raw goods such as grains, botanicals, produce, proteins, fibers, forest products from small growers – we are looking for you!

Accelerating Appalachia, the world’s first Nature-Based Business Accelerator, envisions and supports a regenerative and inclusive economy built on the values of soil and soul. Accelerating Appalachia has been providing accelerator services to Nature-Based Businesses for years, growing one of the world’s most diverse economies focused on food, clothing, shelter and wellness. Applications are now being accepted for the new 2019 program, Building Soil and Soil. Nature-Based Businesses are encouraged to apply that support keeping multiple small growers and farmers on the land to improve soil, retain water, sequester carbon, and help communities. The application deadline is March 18.

About Building Soil and Soul 2019

The Accelerating Appalachia program brings together mentors, peers, thought leaders and nature-based businesses over 8 weeks in the spring from April – May. Graduates of the program leave with sound business practices, concrete and tangible assets and tools to move their business models forward, and a lasting network that supports them beyond the programmatic sessions.

Content will be delivered over a cluster of 3 day sessions. Intensive sessions will be entire days, while additional curriculum content will be delivered over segments of training days. Each session will include pitch practice with the program culminating in a pitch presentation to customers, investors, and relevant networks. Participants will be introduced to businesses in each of the host regions to further their networks and enrich their understanding of implemented regenerative practices. These visits will be schedule with our hosts with dates and times yet to be determined.

As in past programming, content will be delivered with an Accelerating Appalachia nature-based business development coach, seasoned in working with businesses in a regenerative, inclusive framework. Expert advisors and mentors will join the program for relevant content areas. These guest instructors not only deliver content, but advise each business, often developing lasting peer and mentor relationships with Accelerating Appalachia participants.

To round out the program, each year, participants can receive continued support from Accelerating Appalachia, depending on their needs. Participant individuals and enterprise consistently report that one of the most valuable aspects of participation in the Accelerating Appalachia program is the connection made with their peers and mentors.

Participants will learn how to best support causes and movements facing their communities and our world, but also spend time reflecting on personal and enterprise practices to further their interest in building stronger communities for all.

How to Apply

We have partnered with F6S, the largest founder and startup community, to provide a seamless application process. Please visit here to apply. You will be asked to set up an team/startup profile to apply, but you will not be judged on your profile – we will be reviewing applications based on your responses to the Accelerating Appalachia application questions. Also, you can choose to opt out of F6S emails and delete your profile after the application process if you wish or you can keep your account open for additional opportunities and networking.

Learn More

We encourage you to browse our website to learn more about our team, our accelerator graduates, press, advisers, and more. Connect with us on Facebook @ Accelerating Appalachia. And, contact us directly if you have questions: Sara Day Evans, Founding Director, saraday@acceleratingappalachia.org.


“The visionary women who run Accelerating Appalachia definitely make sure it lives up to the name ‘accelerator’,” says Grow Journey founders Susan and Aaron von Frank. “During the few months of the program, our business probably moved forward two years as far as planning, financial projections, team building, etc. ACAP forced us to get tightly organized, while providing the tools and resources to do so. We’ve also been introduced to a wide range of prospective impact investors that we might not have met otherwise. We can’t recommend it highly enough to other nature-based businesses who are ready to accelerate.”


APPLY NOW


 

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Accelerating Appalachia open for applications in fall of 2018

However, we take inquiries for businesses who are seeking guidance and investment year-round! If you have any questions, please contact Sara Day Evans, saraday@acceleratingapplachia.org.

 

Is your business a fit?… 

Accelerating Appalachia connects nature-based businesses from the rural and urban hubs of central and southern Appalachia to help expand their customer base, supply chains, peer, mentor and potential investor network. Nature-based businesses and entrepreneurs in the following sectors are encouraged to apply:

  • Farming
  • Food
  • Forest products (natural building) and non-timber forest products (ginseng, mushrooms, fruit & nut trees)
  • Fiber/Textiles
  • Botanicals/Wellness
  • Other innovative triple bottom-line businesses with special consideration for innovators and entrepreneurs from marginalized populations.

We are particularly excited to announce our partnership with Kiva Zip. Kiva is a platform that crowdfunds micro loans and is offering 0% interest loans up to $10,000 to farmers in the United States and gives the business incredible exposure. Businesses in the agriculture industry can have difficulty fitting within the terms of formal banking institutions; Kiva better meets the needs of farmers and their financial needs.

 

 

Hemp! The future of Appalachia.

Growing Warriors EventAccelerating Appalachia participated in the Growing Warriors hemp planting event in Rockcastle County Ky. This is the first hemp crop planted in over 80 years. The farm plans to grow the hemp with the intent to be used in Appalachian based textile products. The event resulted in the state of Kentucky suing the DEA for attempting to prevent the event from continuing. Growing Warriors purchased a 600 acre farm for veterans to live and learn how to farm. Accelerating Appalachia linked Growing Warriors to folks in Appalachia for growing opportunities.

For more on the details of the event check out the article in USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/15/hemp-seeds-detained/9157665/

Watch to learn more about the Growing Warriors and view excerpts from the ceremony:

While in Kentucky Sara Day Evans also attended a meeting at the Lexington Venture Club . There she got to hear Kentucky native Joshua Slayton speak about his failures and eventually success with AngelList.