Press release from Hatch AVL:
Hatch AVL a non-profit foundation supporting high-growth startups, made a bold move this month by appointing Emily Breedlove as their first official Executive Director, with the intention of spearheading fundraising efforts, expanding their regional footprint, and collaborating on tech-based programming development.
George Glackin is one of the Founders of the Hatch AVL vision and has been serving as the Board Chair and President since inception. Glackin shares, “Hatch is really in the business of helping personal dreams come true and that feels really good! The past year has been such a pleasure to serve the Asheville startup community and we are eager to see the ways that Hatch AVL can help to foster a greater sense of Place, Partnerships, and Programming across WNC. We are thrilled to bring Emily on board and to enter into this new phase of development.”
The Hatch AVL Foundation serves as a coordinator and catalyst for connecting the critical elements of the Asheville startup ecosystem and is now making the strategic pivot to fill systemic gaps across the larger Western North Carolina region. Through enlisting Breedlove as their new ED, the Foundation is shifting efforts to building a larger innovation resource network and high-growth business support platform to serve the entire 23 counties of the west.
“I’ve been extremely impressed with the out-of-the-box leadership which Hatch has brought to the Asheville community and am thrilled to help usher in their expansion into the surrounding region. As a passionate advocate for rural entrepreneurship and innovation, I am eager to take the helm on the strategic roll-out of this new vision,” says Breedlove.
As a national thought-leader on rural entrepreneurial ecosystems and with over 12 years of local leadership, Emily Breedlove is no stranger to the WNC business community. Emily served as the Director of Entrepreneurship at the AdvantageWest Economic Development Commission, where she managed the Certified Entrepreneurial Communities Program across the 23-county footprint. Currently, she manages WEWNC (Women Entrepreneurs of Western North Carolina) and acts as current President of FemCity Asheville, leading a community of over 2000 local women in business.
Emily also leads the highly anticipated CampGirlBoss, which is a leadership and entrepreneurship summer camp for middle school girls held this summer at UNC Asheville. Several Hatch leaders are assisting with the Camp and are enthusiastic about the potential it brings to offering both youth entrepreneurship and STEM programming across the region.
Since 2017, Hatch AVL has actively supported high-growth, Asheville-headquartered, early-stage companies and startups who are along the journey from Ideation to Experimentation to Market Scale-up. In that time, the team of entrepreneurial disruptors and advisors has created an agile test bed, or learning lab, where the best and strongest capabilities of the Asheville entrepreneurial ecosystem are focused on a group of high-growth start-ups.
Serving as the hub for locally-grown innovation and home to many celebrated events like HatchThis, monthly Pitch Parties, and Hatch Demo Day; Hatch has created a groundswell in popularity within the startup community of Asheville. The gatherings foster a unique environment for founders to support founders, where they show for each other in the trenches of business development.
With the added goal of 10-10-5, the Hatch team is working to support 10 local companies to reach $10 million in revenue within 5 years. In order to reach that goal and expand inclusion beyond the Asheville location, Hatch is also pursuing strategic partnerships with various programs and organizations located across the state.
When asked about the strategies on elevating innovation, Breedlove remarked, “As a region, we have significant gaps when it comes to helping entrepreneurs successfully bring new products to market. If we want to grow our tech and high-growth business community, it makes sense for an organization like Hatch to step up to help fill those gaps. Complex regional initiatives like this requires a certain level of autonomy and organizational grit, which luckily, this team has in spades. I look forward to helping Hatch AVL serve as the new WNC voice of innovation.”
To find out more about Hatch AVL and their plans for the future, visit www.hatchavl.org or contact them at 828-407-1666.