The single biggest barrier to ideas becoming a reality is access to funding.
That’s why we are partnering with KY Innovation to host the Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition, presented by Community Trust Bancorp. This year’s competition will be held on Thursday, June 23 at the First Federal Center at Hazard Community and Technical College. It will be a part of our FOCUS Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, presented by Kentucky Power, on June 23-24 in Hazard.
We’ve launched our application HERE. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 13. Finalists will be chosen and will go through extensive support and coaching from SOAR’s Business and Innovation Team and our partners.
The winner will receive $10,000. Second place will receive $3,500 and third place $1,500.
Ideas are limitless. With that, we know startups come in all shapes and forms. Here’s our criteria:
- Business must be based in one of SOAR’s 54 counties and a startup.
- A Startup is defined as a concept or existing business financed by its founders that is attempting to attract outside investment.
- If you have an existing business, it cannot be more than three years old.
- Your pitch/business must have a product or service that has or has the potential to be sold online and/or exported
Everyone’s a Winner
While there are three cash winners, every applicant to the Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition will receive coaching from SOAR’s Business and Innovation team.
And it doesn’t end there.
Our team members, appropriately called Champions, begin to identify challenges. Just as important, we identify and seize opportunities.
- Coaching and Mentoring
- Direct Services such as:
- Email and Digital Marketing
- Business Planning
- Referrals to Technical Assistance Providers and their subject-matter experts
We’re with you from the time you land and launch — and beyond!
Last year’s Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition winner was Walleye Solutions. The Lincoln County startup provides aesthetically pleasing cable pass through wall ports that allow cords, cables, and plugs to pass freely through a wall.
You can watch the entire 2021 Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition HERE.
Our 2020 winner was Tipper Valley Farms. The Rowan County Appalachian Proud farm produces all-natural products with their free-range goat’s milk. They combine this with selected oils and formulations with sensitive skin in mind and contain no unnecessary, harmful, or harsh chemicals, additives, preservatives, or dyes. Check out their online store HERE.
In 2019, Tree of the Field claimed first place in our first-ever Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition. The Madison County-based agritech business continues to grow, recently launching a bourbon-scented Skeeterlog. You don’t have to look far to find their Skeeterlog and handmade chimineas. If you do, no worries. They have an online store.
Attending the Pitch Competition
This year’s Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition is part of the SOAR FOCUS Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This two-day event will feature programming and dynamic speakers focusing on important topics such as:
- Challenges and opportunities to accessing capital
- Research and development
- Funding and support programs
- Community-driven entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneurship and innovation in our schools
Registration to the FOCUS Summit includes a complimentary ticket to the Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition. Register and lock in your Early Bird registration for the FOCUS Summit HERE.
For more information
Got questions? Contact Sabrina McWhorter, Manager of Business and Innovation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.