Venture Asheville's Incubator Helps Startups Surpass $50 Million in Capital Raised and $100 Million in Revenue
From the Mountains to the Market: Inside Venture Asheville's Incubator Helping Startups Surpass $50 Million in Capital Raised and $100 Million in Revenue
ASHEVILLE, N.C., April 21, 2023 (Newswire.com) - Venture Asheville announced their portfolio of startups in its mentorship-based incubator, known as Elevate, raised more than $50 million in capital and generated over $100 million in revenue. Founded in 2015, Venture Asheville is the high-growth entrepreneurship initiative of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville - Buncombe County (EDC) and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Elevate has served over 70 Asheville headquartered startups with the average startup incubating for 18-24 months. These startups created over 360 high-paying jobs, with an average salary of $78,000 per year.
In 2015, the EDC Board of Directors launched Venture Asheville as an innovative expansion of the regional AVL 5×5 Strategic Plan, "From the outset, the programming of Venture Asheville was laser focused on filling critical, early-stage funding gaps, providing world-class mentorship and streamlining access to the many partners and agencies that support entrepreneurship here," shared Jay Richardson, EDC Board Chair. "The Board is incredibly proud of the success of Venture Asheville and continued success of our participating founders."
In 2017, NC IDEA funded Venture Asheville with a $100,000 Grant to launch the incubator. Ben Redding, CFO of NC IDEA, recognized the success of the program, "Venture Asheville is a leading ESO the rest of the state is now watching, rising in status and impact," Redding said. Proving that momentum, in 2022 LinkedIn ranked Asheville as the seventh fastest-growing tech hub in the nation.
Five distinct components of Elevate have contributed to its success: Expert Mentorship, Peer-Facilitated Mentorship (Founder to Founder relationships), Entrepreneurial Competency Assessments (www.theE13.com), Experience Portfolios that help founders navigate their entrepreneurial journey, and Engaging an Event-Driven Ecosystem, including the recent Entrepreneur Resilience Summit and Venture 15 Awards Show.
"In the world of entrepreneurship, success hinges on the ability to navigate complex and rapidly changing environments," said Jeffrey Kaplan, Director of Venture Asheville. "At Elevate, we believe that mentorship, experiential learning and competency assessments are essential tools for founders. Investing in this community of founders is a smart long-term strategy, as these entrepreneurs will become our region's future philanthropists, civic leaders and possibly elected officials."
"Elevate was a game changer for us," said Claire Watson, Co-founder of Moonlight Makers. "As two busy moms juggling working in our business full-time, nearly 30 employees and six kids between us, it was hard to find the time and space to work on our business. But Elevate gave us the support we needed to focus on higher-level issues and connect with mentors who could help us achieve our goals. Thanks to the guidance we received, we were able to become the top seller on Amazon Handmade. We're so grateful to the Elevate community for helping us get to where we are today."
About Venture Asheville
Venture Asheville builds entrepreneurs and gets startups funded. It is the high-growth entrepreneurship initiative of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC) and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Venture Asheville grows Asheville's startup community and connects high-growth entrepreneurs to talent, mentors and investors through unique programming and events. For more on Venture Asheville, visit www.ventureasheville.com.
Source: Venture Asheville