Last week was about demos, workforce readiness, awards, celebrating and growing young entrepreneurs, and a tasty chocolat — if you are in or around Beattyville, you know that’s how it is spelled — lager combining the passions of craft artisans throughout Eastern Kentucky.
It was a big week with some big flavor. Take a look.
Invest 606 hosts Demo Day
Invest 606’s demo day was Saturday, February 22! It was held at the Overlook Events Center in Pikeville. Our Manager of Business and Innovation, Sabrina McWhorter, and Innovation Champion, Cole Atkinson, were in attendance supporting starters from across the 606.
Invest 606 is a non-profit with a mission to catalyze business growth in the 606 by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed today and grow tomorrow. Giving out more that $30,000 in awards, the Invest 606 Accelerator works to create a vibrant Eastern Kentucky where people enjoy living and working. Our Innovation Team has worked with several of the participants and was excited to join Invest 606 for the demo day.
The Invest 606 Accelerator ends with a pitch competition where finalists have a chance, not only to compete for the $15,000 grand prize, but to present to regional investors to further develop their business.
Make sure to check out this year’s cohort and support our entrepreneurs!
Powell Valley Millwork honored by US Senate
Powell Valley Millwork (PVM) has been recognized as the Small Business of the Week by the U.S. Senate!
PVM was started by Jim Thornberry and his son after both left the mining industry. They wanted to find work in a sustainable business. So, PVM was created! They deal in poplar wood only, and are dedicated to the management of our forests. They are 100% wood-waste free facility and utilize all fiber for finished goods,
You can read more about their story HERE.
Chocolate Lager, you heard that right
Innovation Champion, Cole Atkinson, has tried the first test batch of a still unnamed beer “Dark Lager,” by the Chocolat Inn + Dreaming Creek. It is the first beer produced by the owner of the Chocolat Inn, Dustin Cornett. It has rich lingering chocolate notes achieved by infusing ground roasted cocoa husks that the owner, Dustin Cornett, uses to make the chocolate bars in Beattyville. Currently, it is on tap at Broken Throne Brewing.
The Chocolat Inn is located in Beattyville and offers a unique experience to those lodging there. Each room is inspired by Cornett’s travels and named accordingly. There are currently six rooms, London, Paris, and New York among the options. Cornett plans to add two more rooms soon.
Next Cornett will test out a Golden Chocolate Stout and play around some more while perfecting the recipe.
Make sure to give their lager a try when you stop by Broke Throne Brewing!
Prestonsburg Wins Big!
Most of Eastern Kentucky’s attractions have a hard time competing with those of Louisville and Lexington, but that’s just what Prestonsburg did.
And they brought back three awards from the Kentucky Travel Industry Association! Among the awards were “Most Innovative” and “Best Marketing Campaign.”
Prestonsburg hopes to continue to draw in more people with its trials and history.
You can read more about Prestonsburg by clicking HERE.
What better way to do that than learn from a local professional!
This week, students heard from Rhiannon Greer, the owner and director of Dance with Hope Studio in Grayson, KY. She shared her story and encouraged the participants not to be afraid of starting small, but rather to embrace it.
For the past 5 years, she has encouraged her students to grow both as dancers and individuals. As her business grew, she provided jobs for her older kids as teachers, allowing her to offer more classes and giving them the opportunity to grow as dancers and individuals.
Working toward Workforce Readiness
Innovation Champion, Tal Jones, joined a committee in Knox County that is working on a recertification of their Work Ready Community. The recertification is through the Kentucky Department of Labor.
The committee was tasked with preparing narratives, supporting data, and a progressive action plan to meet goals. Jones is addressing the broadband accessibility metric, providing support data, and detailing efforts and projects in progress to improve that area.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Work Ready Community, click HERE.