A nature-based business accelerator

Accelerating Appalachia

A nature-based business accelerator

Accelerating Appalachia

Accelerating Appalachia is the first of its kind nature-based business accelerator, connecting innovative businesses, investors and mentors aligned with people, place and prosperity. Organized fully by woman. We attract and scale high-impact, seed-stage businesses in the following sectors: Soil, Seeds, Grains, Grasses, Weather and Water. Think about Sustainable Food, Farming, Clean Energy, Forests, Fiber/ Textiles, Green Building, Craft Brewing/ Distilling, Nutraceuticals/ Integrative medicine and other innovative triple bottom-line businesses with special consideration for innovators and entrepreneurs from marginalized populations.


Appalachia is a world HUB for sustainable businesses, food, energy, agriculture, climate and community resilience, so establishing the world’s first nature-based accelerator to support these innovators was the natural next step. Accelerating Appalachia is responding to success and growing demand:

* Communities – More than 35 jobs created and 50 retained, more than 106 new sustainable farm acres and 12 new

farmers added to supply chains, connections being made developing supply chains across Appalachia

* Entrepreneurs – 60% of 2013-2014 final cohort received investment ranging from $10,000 – $300,000

* Women – 75% of the accelerator applicants were women-led businesses, Accelerating Appalachia is female-led, with

Sara Day Evans, Kimberly Hunter, Jennifer Flynn and Dayna Reggero

* Investors/Mentors – More than 40 participated in our inaugural session, in-kind support of $1.5m, and leading social

impact investing funds such as RSF, Investors Circle, and now BALLE have joined our network as well as a growing

group of individuals interested in lending through a nature-based lending group from Appalachia and around the world

* Youth/Students – Currently they are working with two Appalachian colleges and universities. As well as a new

partnership with Warren Wilson College and their sustainable business class, the 2015 accelerator is held onsite at

Warren Wilson College

* Media – Great coverage from local, national and international press

* Growth – Interest from at least 5 Appalachian communities seeking our services in 4 states

Ivo Valkenburg

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