Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

"Eat Ethnic was developed out of necessity," reads the app's campaign page. "We craved those restaurants where the food tasted like it came out of our momma's kitchen." Photo from the Eat Ethnic campaign page

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.


Moving from a metropolitan area to the relative seclusion of a small mountain town can be tough on the taste buds if a proper restaurant guide is not available. That’s why one Hendersonville family created Eat Ethnic — a free phone app designed to catalog European markets and eateries nationwide. Users can search grocers, specialty ingredients and restaurants based on location or ethnicity while questing for the perfect meal. Comments, favorites, recipes and a “hidden gem” feature will all add to the app’s interactive appeal. Eat Ethnic aims to raise $8,800 by Nov. 15, to cover app design, web development and marketing costs.


Alone in a Crowd Productions, an independent filmmaking company, was launched by Aidan Weaver and Galen Abell in 2010 and has received various awards for the organization’s small-scale productions. “Our next film, Prism, follows a detective in the 1920s as he begins to uncover a revolutionary secret,” reads the AIAC crowdfunding page. “This will be our most ambitious project to date, which is why we are turning to the community for support.” The Prism team, composed of volunteers, aims to raise $20,000 by Nov. 15 to fund their intentionally vague (no spoilers allowed) “genre-bending” 30-minute film.


“After three years of touring while living out of our van, we are ready to go into the studio and record our best full length album to date!” reads the crowdfunding campaign page by Nikki Talley and Jason Sharp. The duo, who report playing about 200 shows per year, hope to record locally at Echo Mountain Recording and have also scheduled a gig in Brevard on Nov. 13, to rally additional hometown support before their fundraising deadline arrives. Talley and Sharp aim to raise $15,000 by Nov. 22, to fund their recording project.

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more WNC campaigns here.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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