Riverbend Malt House co-owner Brent Manning, left, expanded his production from less than one ton of malt per batch to four tons while working with Sara Day Evans, right.
“Our experience with Accelerating Appalachia was definitely a positive one,” says Manning. “We learned a lot and we got tied into an amazing network of people in our area that we, frankly, had no idea were available to us.” Photo by Pat Barcas

Accelerati­ng Appalachia helps nature-based entreprene­urs get funding

Last year, Accelerating Appalachia orchestrated the transfer of about $505,000 in investment funds toward sustainable, nature-based ventures in Western North Carolina. This year, the Asheville-based nonprofit — the region’s first social-impact business accelerator — partnered with impact investor Reinventure Capital for 2015 and recently invited businesses to submit funding applications online. Submissions for 2015 are due by […]

N.C. Senate bill may dissolve AdvantageW­est, Citizen-Times reports

Part of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s plans to turn the Department of Commerce into a public-private partnership that would be run like a business, Senate Bill 127 would mandate the dissolution of regional organizations like AdvantageWest and strip it of state funding. It passed a second reading in the Senate Monday night, May 13, by a 31-17 vote.a

Economic summit focuses on innovation-attachment0

Economic summit focuses on innovation

Asheville’s creative culture fosters a lot of good business ideas, but big challenges remain to making many of those ideas come to life. That was one of the thoughts from Mark Erwin, president of Erwin Capital and a former U.S. Ambassador, as he spoke to about 375 attendees at AdvantageWest’s Nov. 19 Economic Summit. He joined a panel of three other experts in a discussion that focused on defining and cultivating business innovation. Here’s some of the highlights of what each of the panelists had to say.

Competitiv­e advantage: Economic summit ponders WNC’s future

On Nov. 15, AdvantageWest hosted its fall economic summit, featuring a panel discussion that included North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell, N.C. Institute of Emerging Issues Director Anita Brown-Graham and banking expert Austin Adams. Here’s what some of the panelists — and observer Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith — said afterward.