Accelerating Appalachia empowered me as a woman in business, us as entrepreneurs, and as owners of a values-based enterprise. AcAp came during a time of transition for our business so it allowed us to dig deeper and maintain accountability to complete the work, fleshing out our current business plan while forming a new business model and groundwork for a new project. It’s the best thing we’ve done for our business so far. We feel like we just leveled up and we are excited about where we are headed.

Ali Blair
Ali BlairACAP participant and Founder at Peg & Awl

The visionary women who run Accelerating Appalachia definitely make sure it lives up to the name ‘accelerator.’ 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’ve also been introduced to a wide range of prospective impact investors that we might not have met otherwise. Accelerating Appalachia has been the best investment we’ve ever made, and we can’t recommend it highly enough to other nature-based businesses who are ready to accelerate.

Aaron and Susan von Frank
Aaron and Susan von Frank ACAP Participants and Co-founders of Grow Journey

We were very excited to be selected to be a part of the program because we were at a point in our business where we needed to scale up but were not confident in the next steps. The business training we received was more in depth than other courses we’d taken in the past, otherwise not available in our region. We also received immense benefit from connecting with peers and professionals in our industry and learned so much by hearing their stories and sharing one-on-one in a confidential setting.

Jacob and Carolyn Gahn
Jacob and Carolyn GahnACAP participants andCo-founders at Sweetgrass Granola

The day we found out that we were accepted to Accelerating Appalachia was a very exciting day. We personally knew a prior participant in the program and their accolades convinced us that this is the help we need to really get our business on track. There were challenges with the program. How can I be taken away from the business for several days at a time? There are too many details of the business that only I know how to handle. There are too many daily fires to put out to be away for that long. However the Accelerating Appalachia team knew better. It is the daily details that are keeping us from focusing on building the business.

The Farm Cart
The Farm Cart ACAP Participants

Congratulations to all of the business owners who were selected for Accelerating Appalachia! You will come out of this experience with more knowledge, motivation, focus and support from outstanding leaders within your local community for the future growth of your nature-based business.

Laralyn Riverwind
Laralyn RiverwindACAP Participant andFounder of Native Touch

As an entrepreneur working with Accelerating Appalachia is extremely rewarding because I truly believe in the importance of nature-based, sustainable, environmentally-conscious products, services, practices, and leadership. I am honored to help build and grow companies that are focused on making the world a stronger, healthier place.

Sarah Benoit
Sarah BenoitProgram mentor and Co-founder at JB Media Institute

Accelerating Appalachia created a unique opportunity for Riverbend Malt House to interact with the successful entrepreneurs, finance professionals, and business leaders throughout our region. Those interactions helped guide our company through a period of explosive growth that continues to the present day. Accelerating Appalachia creates a bridge between the new wave of nature based businesses and an amazing array of mentors, venture capitalist firms, and business leaders who are eager to support a more durable, localized economic model for our region.

Brent Manning
Brent ManningACAP Participant and Co-founder at Riverbend Malt House

As an investor, Accelerating Appalachia is an ideal partner that plays a high value role identifying promising nature-based companies that are investment ready.  It is our pleasure to have a partner that not only provides a source of investment opportunities, but also shares our values to build a movement among entrepreneurs and investors for a healthy and prosperous world for people and planet.

Shaun Paul
Shaun PaulProgram mentor and Founder at Reinventure Capital

Accelerating Appalachia is convening a great eclectic group of entrepreneurs with experts who care about more than just making a pitch. The outcome potential from this hybrid vigor is exciting.

David Wilcox
David WilcoxProgram mentor and Principal at ReachScale