We always celebrate entrepreneurs and startups. This past week, we celebrated in a big way — from showcasing it in Frankfort with cookies, the famous Skeeterlog, and mushroom (yes mushroom) jerky to paying homage to the famous Root Beer Stand in Corbin. Small business is big business in Eastern Kentucky.
Entrepreneurship Day at the Capital
The SOAR Business and Innovation team joined KY Innovation and innovation hubs from across the state for the inaugural Entrepreneurship Day at the Capitol on Thursday, March 24th.
Legislators mixed and mingled with the entrepreneurs while enjoying a cookie break on the Mezzanine and were able to visit the display tables each organization set up. On behalf of Governor Andy Beshear, Rocky Adkins made a proclamation stating March 24th Entrepreneurship Day at the Capital.
The SOAR Business and Innovation team shared their 2021 Impact Snapshot, information of their direct services, and highlighted a few of their clients from across the region. Businesses highlighted include Mountain House Mushroom, The Cookie Yoda, Tipper Valley Farm, and Tree of the Field.
Not only was the Innovation representing Appalachia Kentucky, but Joshua Ravenscraft of New Frontier Outfitters was also there as a representative of the Commission on Small Business Innovation Advocacy.
SOAR partners with SpaceX to bring internet to Bell County
SOAR proudly announced their partnership with SpaceX to provide free internet to those who live within a ten mile radius of Pineville for a year. The Starlink pilot project, funded through a grant from the Kentucky Department for Public Health Office of Health Equity, was started to provide more people access to telehealth services.
“With new connectivity, they’ll now have access to telehealth services,” SOAR Executive Director Colby Hall said. “Services that have traditionally been unattainable for them and that’s the scope of the project.”
To qualify for the project, you must be within ten miles of Pineville and be low income, receiving social security, or want to receive telehealth services. If you are interested in the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (606) 766 – 1160 for more information.
You can read more about the Starlink program from our partners at WYMT.
Local root beer stand garners large following
One particular seasonal drive-in restaurant in Corbin has developed a cult-like following around the region.
Since 1977, what most people simply call the seasonal opening of the Root Beer Stand has become a much welcomed and anticipated event. While this seasonal business is open, you had best be prepared to circle the parking lot at least a couple of times in order to gain a parking space. They have tap-drawn root beer and some of the best cheeseburgers around.
Tal Jones, one of SOAR’s Innovation Champions, recommends stopping by outside of normal meal time hours to avoid the usual rush.
A visit to the Crabtree family’s Rootbeer Stand should be at the very top of every visitor to Corbin’s bucket list.
Visit with Jackson Independent High School
Executive Director of SOAR, Colby Hall, visited with students at Jackson Independant on Monday to talk about SOAR’s mission and the opportunities that are being created for students, not to stay in the region but thrive here.
“We really appreciate that you’ve taken the time out of your schedule to come and present to our students. I had a student come up to me after the event and ask about the Hazard SOAR event,” said Jeff Coots, Chief Technology Officer at Jackson Independant. “It was wonderful learning about what SOAR can do for our students.”
You can check out a list of resources HERE.
Taking tech careers one step farther
On Tuesday, March 22nd, the University of Cumberlands announced that they would be partnering with International Business Machines (IMB) to offer Cumberlands students the opportunity to research with the tech company and learn about the tech advancements through IMB.
The collaboration, titled the IBM Skills Academy, will offer students a learning environment where they have access to learn about the latest technology as the industry continues to grow. The academy also allows Cumberlands to compete in the IMB University Awards Program, where students are nominated by faculty members for fellowships and scholarships.
To read more about the collaboration, click HERE.