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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 looking to expand? Do you buy your raw goods such as grains, botanicals, produce, proteins, fibers, forest products from small growers? Join us for Accelerating Appalachia 2019! Applications are now being accepted for  our new 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 has been extended to March 27.

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. 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.

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. Content will be delivered over a cluster of 3 day sessions in Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina: April 16-18 in Louisville, KY, May 2-4 in Asheville, NC, and May 28-30 in Cincinnati, OH. 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.

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, including 100 hours with experts in holistic business development, finance, accounting, new tax laws for small businesses, inclusive business practices, value chain development, legal structures, understanding investment, and more. 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

Nature-based businesses and entrepreneurs from across the globe, but especially from Appalachia and the southeastern U.S. are encouraged to apply. We will consider other innovative triple bottom-line businesses with special consideration for entrepreneurs where mining, logging, textile and tobacco/farming industries are on the decline. We encourage veterans to apply. We encourage all to apply and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, parental status, or physical or mental disability.

The cost of the program is $1750, with lodging, breakfast, and lunch provided during sessions. Scholarships are available, contact us to 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


 

Making America Regenerative Again

Accelerating Appalachia founder Sara Day Evans was interviewed by Erin Axelrod for The Lift Economy Podcast in an episode fittingly titled “Making America Regenerative Again.” Erin is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. LIFT’s mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all people.

 

Listen to Sara Day talk about her passion and inspiration for the accelerator program here: http://www.lifteconomy.com/blog/2017/11/21/sara-day-evans-making-america-regenerative-again

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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.

 

 

Announcing Accelerating Appalachia’s 2016 Businesses

2015 Pitch Party with Judy Wicks

The 2015 Accelerating Appalachia nature-based businesses will be presenting at the Pitch Party in Asheville on May 14th. We are so proud of this incredible group of graduates in food, farming, eco-services, seeds, botanical essences, natural building and games! Our keynote is the fabulous Judy Wicks, thought leader in growing good economies, co-founder of Be A Localist Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and reading from her book, “Good Morning Beautiful Business”. Emcees for the evening, from Our Southern Community, are the lovely Michelle Smith and the handsome Ned Doyle! Join us for a meaningful and fun-filled evening with yummy local appetizers and cash bar. Tickets available now.

Our 2015 Participants!

The Accelerating Appalachia team and  2015 participants

The Accelerating Appalachia team and 2015 participants

 

 

esam-final_logoEcological Services & Markets, Inc. is an environmental consulting firm that mixes research and management, working with private landowners, Federal agencies, and academic institutions to determine the best ways to establish tradable credit systems for natural resource assets. The team has a strong background in natural resource policy, environmental economics, both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and computer science. Services developed and provided by ESAM include: metrics for trading habitat at a landscape scale including climate change scenarios; landscape-scale population viability analysis; habitat suitability models, using soil, vegetation surveys, and remotely sensed data; estimation of dispersal behaviors of cryptic species using indirect methods such as genetics and inverse simulation modeling; evaluation and prioritization of species monitoring programs; workshops for public and private landowners; software for evaluating the ability of habitat trades to provide conservation value at a landscape scale; high-performance computer network for evaluating uncertainty in landscape-scale management decisions; and quantitative Adaptive Management approaches for managing habitat networks. Contact ESAM founder, Doug Bruggeman, via email: dougbrugg@gmail.com.

 

logo_fbsmFarmer-Baker-Sausage Maker is a company that seeks to energize the local economy by returning to foods crafted by hand. Their restaurant, Harvest HMG RGB 72dpi Circle (2)Moon Grille, nourishes its patrons and the local economy by sourcing its ingredients from small scale farms within 100 miles. http://www.harvestmoongrille.com

 

GRPlogo10.29.14 copy copyGreen River Picklers strives to produce the highest quality pickled vegetables using the simplest and most sustainable means. Locally sourced, consciously produced, and hand packed in small batches, Green River Picklers aims to pay tribute to our southern heritage by continuing family traditions & preserving local food, while continuously fostering growth in our community. www.grpicklers.com kickstarter_logo-try_staffGreen River Picklers has a Kickstarter campaign under way right now. Click the image above to contribute!

 

PrintGrowJourney is a seeds of the month club specializing in certified organic heirloom seeds. We make organic gardening simple for members across the United States and Canada. https://www.growjourney.com

 

RIALogoRiver Island Apothecary is a product line of all-botanical perfume and skin care designed and produced in thoughtful batches by Katie Vie. http://www.katievie.com/

 

SmilingHara_Logo-High RESSmiling Hara Tempeh is the only company offering soy-free tempeh on the market today.  Over consumption of processed soy in the vegan/vegetarian populations is causing health issues, and consumers are looking to companies like Smiling Hara to offer nutrient dense, high quality plant-based protein. http://www.smilingharatempeh.com/

The Smiling Hara Family

The Smiling Hara Family

UDC_Logo

“The Underdog Crew” is a Hip Hop toy and game that promotes the ultimate positivity.  These figurines are the next “little green army men,” only these warriors do not carry weapons. They dance!  They have no particular nationality, nor are they gender specific.  They can be imagined to be anyone from anywhere.  These toys are tokens, or symbols, of all things good and possible.  Everything that you believe to be good, everything that you believe to be possible – so do they!  The toys are functional, and players can battle one another in a game of skill.  Players are also challenged by the question, “How many ways can you play?”  Players are welcomed to create their own rules and games, customize their figures, and to imagine a better world for us all.  Do you care to play? Contact Joseph Adams at bboyeducator@gmail.com


 

The 2015 Accelerating Appalachia nature-based businesses will be presenting at the Pitch Party in Asheville on May 14th. We are so proud of this incredible group of graduates in food, farming, eco-services, seeds, botanical essences, natural building and games! Our keynote is the fabulous Judy Wicks, thought leader in growing good economies, co-founder of Be A Localist Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and reading from her book, “Good Morning Beautiful Business”. Emcees for the evening, from Our Southern Community, are the lovely Michelle Smith and the handsome Ned Doyle! Join us for a meaningful and fun-filled evening with yummy local appetizers and cash bar. Tickets available now.

BALLE Video features Accelerating Appalachia

Accelerating Appalachia is honored to be featured in a new organizational trailer by the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE):

This video includes Accelerating Appalachia founder and BALLE Fellow, Sara Day Evans, with Kimberly Hunter, Jennifer Flynn and Dayna Reggero, as well as the beautiful city of Asheville, our partner Warren Wilson College and inspiring sustainable students, and several 2013-2014 Accelerating Appalachia nature-based businesses: Bark House, Riverbend Malthouse and Echoview Farm and Fibermill.

Here at BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, we know that real prosperity is local by its very nature. It’s in our place where we recognize that how we treat each other matters. That we are connected. From Seattle to Cincinnati, Asheville to Minneapolis, New Orleans to Buffalo, BALLE is celebrating, recognizing, supporting, and connecting the leaders of a new economy.

Narrated by BALLE Executive Director Michelle Long, this organizational trailer highlights a sampling of BALLE Local Economy Fellows in action in their places — James Johnson-Piett, Alfa Demmelash, Aaron Tanaka, Kimber Lanning, Carlos Velasco, Sara Day Evans, Malik Yakini, Nikki Silvestri, and José Corona — along with many other Localist leaders who together form the BALLE Community.

We’re thrilled to host Judy Wicks, co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and author of “Good Morning Beautiful Business” at our upcoming 2015 Accelerating Appalachia Pitch Party in Asheville on May 14.

 

The Nature of Investing at #SOCAP14

At SOCAP 14 in San Francisco, 2500 entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and community leaders from across the globe are coming together to discuss breaking new ground in social impact and Igniting Vibrant Communities.

Check out our video interview with SOCAP co-founder and executive producer, Rosa Lee Harden.

The Nature of Investing discussion was led by Katherine Collins, founder and CEO of Honeybee Capital, Shaun Paul, president and founding partner of Reinventure Capital, and Gregory Wendt, senior wealth advisor and head of west coast office for Stakeholder Capital.

“There is vast potential to create more coherent and regenerative economic activity by examining the ways in which nature creates robust and resilient ecosystems. Investments can be designed with a “whole system,” biomimicry approach that creates processes and products that support the health of the whole. This approach highlights the role that local connection and local engagement play as essential components of any healthy system.”

Accelerating Appalachia is excited to be out west this week representing innovative nature-based businesses from the east.

If you were unable to attend, you can watch SOCAP from Appalachia and beyond on YouTube. Plus, follow the discussion on Twitter at #SOCAP14.

Also, we launched our Twitter account this week! Please stop by and connect with us at AccelAppalachia @Nature_Business.

Slow Money Event in Asheville

Accelerating Appalachia co-hosted Slow Money NC: Financing our Foodshed meeting on Sunday, Aug. 24.

“Asheville really stands out in the area of entrepreneurship,” says Hewitt, who cited both the quantity of entrepreneurs in the area and the community’s general support for entrepreneurship as major contributors to Asheville’s food industry excellence.

“Co-hosting the event was Accelerating Appalachia, another power house in community financing for sustainable food businesses. The Asheville-based organization catalyzed six loans its first year of operation.”

– Mountain Xpress

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Accelerator Featured in Capital Institute Field Guide

Sara Day Evans, a sixth generation Kentuckian, tells the story of the people and places that inspired her to found Accelerating Appalachia, a new business accelerator that is nurturing natural and entrepreneurial capital to appropriately scale a post-extractive, regenerative economy in coal country.

Read more in the Capital Institute: Field Guide for Investing in a Regenerative Economy.

field guide

 

 

 

 

 

                                              – Sara Day Evans