Innovative WNC small businesses reveal plans to scale up

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A baker, a beer-maker and a milkman walk into a bar….and a few hours later emerge having fully completed an intensive program designed to take their growing businesses to the next level.

The event is the first ever ScaleUp WNC Demo Day, Tuesday, May 26, from 2-6 p.m.

The bar is The Orange Peel in downtown Asheville.

And joining the baker (Dolci di Maria), the beer-maker (Hi-Wire Brewing), and the milkman (Farm to Home Milk) will be fellow members of ScaleUp WNC’s first cohort, with products and services ranging from education technology to clean energy to natural foods, all making fast-pitch growth-plan presentations on their businesses.

The CEOs from these 15 Western North Carolina companies (see full list of cohort members below) were selected for the ScaleUp WNC program through a competitive, merit-based application process to receive free intensive training, one-on-one management support, assistance in connecting with growth capital, and the opportunity to strengthen connections and networks. Demo Day is the culmination of the 12-week program that began in February.

Doors open at 2 p.m., with fast-pitch presentations starting at 2:30. Networking and interactive product demos and sampling will take place immediately afterward, beginning around 5:15 p.m.

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $15 and available at or at the door (if not sold out). Hosting the program is radio personality Matt Mittan. The Orange Peel’s cash bar will be open throughout the event.

ScaleUp WNC is one of eight pilot ScaleUp America programs nationally supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration and focused on assisting high-potential existing small businesses scale up and create quality jobs. AdvantageWest, the nonprofit economic development organization serving the 23 counties of Western North Carolina, was selected by the SBA to develop the project.

Training and technical assistance partners include the Ascent Business Network, based in Boone, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and the Cherokee-based Sequoyah Fund.

More information is available at


More on ScaleUp WNC's Cohort 1

Participants in the inaugural cohort of ScaleUp WNC are the following companies. They are listed in the order in which they will present at Demo Day:

2:40 – 3:20 p.m. (times are approximate)

* Carolina Native Nursery, located in Burnsville, grows and supplies quality native shrubs for wholesale and retail markets, specializing in native rhododendron, mountain laurels, and azaleas.

*, based in Asheville,is a niche job board for the heavy equipment and truck industry.

* Hi-Wire Brewing, a craft brewer located in Asheville's South Slope district, awarded the most medals at the 2014 N.C. Brewer’s Cup and Best New N.C. Brewery for 2013 by RateBeer.

* Dolci di Maria, located in Black Mountain,is a producer of Italian-inspired, gluten-free desserts sold in natural food markets and served in restaurants.

* Outrider USA creates electric-assist recumbent trikes, which the team of eight designs, assembles, and ships directly from their shop in Fletcher.

3:40 – 4:20 p.m. (times are approximate)

* Lusty Monk LLC, located in Asheville,is a family-owned company that makes spicy, fresh-ground, small-batch mustards blending heat and flavor.

* Boone-based New Appalachia provides quality product to buyers while telling the stories of the local craft food family.

* The Filling Station Deli and Sub Shop Inc. in Bryson City is a deli and sweet shop with a unique twist, offering deli style, hot pressed and frozen sandwiches.

* Asheville-based Ultimate Ice Cream Co. hand-crafts small-batch, ultra-premium ice cream using locally sourced dairy.

* Farm to Home Milk is an artisan milk and dairy products distribution company in Asheville.

4:40 – 5:20 p.m. (times are approximate)

* Candler-based SimpleShot Shooting Sports, has taken one of the simplest and oldest shooting tools – slingshots – and updated them with 21st century materials and manufacturing techniques.

* Equinox is an Asheville-based consulting, planning, and design firm with a focus on conservation, sustainability, and environmentally responsible land development projects.

* Mother Earth Produce is a home-delivery service in Arden that works with local farms and food artisans to provide locally grown, organic produce and other edibles to the community..

* is a multimedia career readiness platform developed by Asheville-based Strivven Media.

* Brightfield Transportation Solutions, based in Asheville, develops and owns a growing network of grid-connected/solar-integrated public charging stations.




1. Bill Jones, of Carolina Native Nursery, located in Burnsville, practices his pitch before fellow Cohort 1 members of ScaleUp WNC in advance of Demo Day on May 26.

2. Mary Tantillo, of Dolci di Maria, based in Black Mountain, practices her pitch before fellow Cohort 1 members of ScaleUp WNC in advance of Demo Day on May 26.

3. Barry Tetrault. of The Filling Station Deli & Sub Shop, located in Bryson City, practices his pitch before fellow Cohort 1 members of ScaleUp WNC in advance of Demo Day on May 26.

4. Caleb Crowell, of New Appalachia, based in Boone, practices his pitch before fellow Cohort 1 members of ScaleUp WNC in advance of Demo Day on May 26.