Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition

Discover the future of Appalachia at the 2024 Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition

Join SOAR Business & Innovation Team on April 11 in Ashland, Kentucky for a day of innovation and entrepreneurship!

  • Spark Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Fund Tomorrow’s Big Ideas
  • Regional Brilliance on Display
  • Diverse Ideas, Bold Pitches
  • Celebrate Creativity & Determination
  • Connect, Witness, Ignite Success

Sponsored By

Meet the Finalists

Cynthia Main

Sunhouse Craft

Cynthia Main, a passionate entrepreneur from Berea, Kentucky, owns Sunhouse Craft—a sustainable artisan manufacturing business. Specializing in traditional craft techniques, Sunhouse Craft creates hand-made brooms and wooden wares, sourcing materials locally to support regional farmers and promote a thriving, local economy.

Stephen & Maggie Prosser

Hazard Coffee Company

Founded by Stephen and Maggie Prosser in Hazard, KY, Hazard Coffee Company is a specialty coffee shop and roastery. Using a data-driven approach, they offer high-quality coffee while creating a welcoming space dedicated to community. The Prossers’ commitment to quality and community has fueled the rapid growth of Hazard Coffee Company.

Eric Sparks


As an additive manufacturing engineer and Manchester native, Eric envisions Kentucky as an advanced manufacturing hub. Through Complet3D, he helps professionals succeed in the additive manufacturing world, providing strategic advice, selling 3D printers, and maintaining the technology. Eric’s goal is to bring high-paying jobs to Eastern Kentucky.

Corey Shepherd, Abby Daniel, Claire Holbrook, Rylyn Rayburn

Insight Emergency Solutions

Insight Emergency Solutions, led by Corey Shepherd and West Carter High School students Abby Daniel, Claire Holbrook, and Rylyn Rayburn, is dedicated to reducing emergency incident response times. Their innovative program provides 3D virtual structural models to first responders, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency planning.

Joana Amorim and Michael Beck

Sylvatica Forest Farm

Founded by Joana Amorim and Michael Beck, Sylvatica Forest Farm is a hub for forest farming, herbalism, and land stewardship in Eastern Kentucky. Operating a Herbal CSA, a tree nursery, a mushroom farm, and an Apothecary, Joana and Michael bring over a decade of experience in permaculture and regenerative farming to their community.

Aaron Floyd

D.A.D.D. Distilling

Aaron Floyd is integral to the company’s operations, overseeing everything from DAAD Distilling Company’s complete operations to expanding its media presence. A Lean Six Sigma expert with a passion for optimizing traditional distillation methods, Aaron benefited from ten years of mentorship in the bourbon-whiskey industry. As a devoted father to his soon-to-be 11-year-old daughter, he enjoys adventures, spending time with his 5-year-old huskador, and trying new cuisine. Currently, Aaron diligently works on enhancing DAAD’s brand awareness to foster the company’s growth and development.

Nicholas “Kyle” Collett

Tool Printing Technologies

A 3D printing technology-based company bringing affordability to you’re toolbox. They offer universal and custom organizers for any size toolbox or workbench through the process of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). They are located on West Highway 92 near Pineville, Kentucky. They are a small family business trying to expand the public knowledge of everyday tools and organization all across the country.

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