Hatch This


A mash-up of an accelerator, a hackathon, and a weekend-long party, Hatch This matches attendees in teams with expert mentorship to craft a startup and compete for prizes including seed funding and office space at Hatch Asheville, located downtown at 45 S. French Broad Avenue.

Participants should come ready to pitch a business idea or ready to offer your skills and join a team. Once teams form, the real work begins: build a prototype, get real user feedback, pitch your deck in front of real investors, and win prizes.

The Hatch This Experience

Friday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 4th

Join us at Hatchworks Coworking beginning on Friday, November 2nd to pitch an idea or contribute to a team! You can be a coder, a strategist, a designer, a programmer, an engineer, a networker, an MBA, an entrepreneur, a finance-wiz, an inventor, an innovator, a doodler, an artist, a creator, a builder, an academic, a drop-out, an investor, a founder, or a future co-founder – all are welcome to participate at Hatch This.

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The Final Pitch

Sunday, November 4th at 5pm

Presented by Hatch AVL, we invite you to join us at The Final Pitch on Sunday, November 4th at 5pm to watch all of the Hatch This teams pitch in front of our experienced judges one last time. This event is FREE and is held at Asheville Social Hall. You won't want to miss it!

“My experience with Hatch This, even as someone who did not bring an idea to pitch but rather a skill to be utilized, was incredibly rewarding. I was able to get involved in a community of passionate, innovative, and extremely driven entrepreneurs; the energy throughout the whole event was electric. The networking opportunities later helped me get my foot in the door with a local startup as a full-time developer!”

Sarah N.2017 Participant

“Hatch This opened my eyes to what community building can be. The mentorship, camaraderie, and energy built my confidence and left me with long-lasting personal and professional relationships.”

Cory T.2017 Participant

“Will I be back? Without a doubt, and I hope to see you there also!”

Chris F.2017 Participant and Prize Winner

“As a student with a creative mind but little-to-no business experience, I thought I would be lost at Hatch This. I could not have been more wrong. The best connections I have ever made, most drive to follow my passion, greatest thirst for knowledge, and best experience working as a team all came from Hatch This. It was my best decision in 4 years of college and helped pave the road to my future.”

Michael L.2017 Participant

“Hatch This was an amazing experience. I got to work with a diverse team of people from all over NC. The connections I made were so valuable and I am still in touch and working with many of them. The mentors and resources provided gave me the necessary insights I needed to validate my idea. I made meaningful connections and A LOT of progress on launching my business idea.”

Trinity W.2017 Participant

“Hatch This gave me the confidence to dream big and the practicality to manifest that dream into reality.”

Justin S.2017 Participant

“The Hatch This experience inspired us to refine our messaging with a group of fellow participants and local mentors who were dedicated to supporting our presentations. What followed in the weeks ahead was the harvest of some super helpful professional relationships that to this day continue to add value to our enterprise and growth.”

Trey S., Founder/CEO WatchPitch Inc.2017 Participant
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Special Guests

Jonathan Brake

Event Emcee

Jonathan Brake is an experienced coach, strategist and business leader with over two decades experience in business covering five continents covering startups through to multi $bn businesses.

Jonathan understands communication in business like no other, from marketing to team communication to business leadership and development. He has a keen interest in how businesses and people function and interact, and how a business can build its communication inside and out to facilitate rapid growth. Jonathan is a Certified Practitioner with The Predictive Index and holds a Master of Advertising and Public Relations, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science as well as formal coaching accreditation recognized by the International Coaching Federation.

Jonathan is the Founder of Market Hope designed to bring growth resources to businesses, and co-founder of Business In Bare Feet, an online mentoring space for startups and entrepreneurs in regional and developing corners of the world.

Tom Snyder

VIP Night Keynote Speaker

Tom is Executive Director of RIoT, supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. By day he runs RIoT Labs at HQ Raleigh. In his spare time, Tom co-instructs Product Innovation Lab, a Forbes award winning multi-disciplinary course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NC State. Prior to joining RIoT, Tom held an executive leadership role at the ASSIST Center, a National Science Foundation sponsored effort to create wearable electronics for healthcare monitoring. Previously, he spent two decades in product development and technology incubation in NC. He’s passionate about creating and fostering collaborations across disciplines, markets and cultures. He enjoys the outdoors, woodworking, boardgames, big crowds, craft beer and ideas that are just crazy enough to work.


Jake Sorofman


Jake Sorofman is CMO of Pendo, a Raleigh-based SaaS provider that provides user insight, user guidance and user communication for digital product teams. Founded in 2013, Pendo is backed by Battery Ventures, Spark Capital, Meritech Capital and Sapphire Ventures, Pendo has raised $106 million and counts more than 600 customers, including Zendesk, LexisNexis, Coupa, Gainsight, BMC, and Sprinklr. Before Pendo, Jake was VP and chief of research at Gartner, Inc., where he focused on CMO topics and marketing trends. Prior to that, he spent 16 years in marketing leadership roles with venture-backed software companies.

Terri King


Terri is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, writer, and Mom to a teenager. Her business is real estate. She invests in real estate companies, real estate agents, and real estate deals. She started her current company, Coldwell Banker King, in 2011 during the worst housing crash since the Great Depression. Using an unconventional business model, she managed to make it profitable in just two years and a major player in the regional marketplace within five. Terri holds a B.S. in Animal Science from North Carolina State University and a Master of Entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University. She is a 7-generation Asheville area native and a long-time student of the science of personal achievement. Terri believes in using her gifts and talents to create solutions so people can move forward in life.

Jeffrey Kaplan


Jeffrey Kaplan is the Director of Venture Asheville, an organization which serves as a catalyst for high-growth startups by building entrepreneurs and getting companies funded. Prior to joining Venture Asheville, Jeffrey instructed in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida, is a published author in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy, launched and sold pet-tech startup Dogphrendly as an alumnus of the Groundwork Labs accelerator in Durham, and was Product Owner and Consultant in digital product development at Anthroware. There’s over 10 more years of experience ranging from being the Director of Partner Relations at Charlotte Ed-tech startup Proctorfree, being sales manager in a Tampa Bay call center, dropping out of a PhD at Indiana University, being a Middle School teacher, and a hosting a weekly Trivia Night at a bar called “Beer Pit” – but you’ll have to get Jeffrey out on a kayak or grab a drink to hear those stories.

Gwen Wisler


Gwen Wisler graduated from Ohio State University in 1981 with a BSBA (summa cum laude). Wisler worked for Price Waterhouse from 1981 through 1993 in the Auditing Department; she served numerous publicly-held and privately-held clients including Turner Broadcasting Company and Carnival Cruise Lines. From 1993 through 1999, Gwen had various senior financial roles at Cobb Partners, New World Communications and Sunbeam (later American Household). In 1999, Wisler moved into operational roles as the President and CEO of Eastpak, First Alert and Coleman Powermate. She served as the CEO of The Coleman Company, an $800 million outdoor recreation company. Gwen worked as an operational consultant for several private companies including The Sharper Image and Cott Beverages. Currently, Gwen owns Asheville Profits LLC; in return for operational consulting work, clients of Asheville Profits give time to local non-profits. She serves on numerous non-profits boards and one for-profit Board of Directors. In 2013, she was elected to the Asheville City Council. In 2015, her fellow Council members elected her Vice Mayor. Gwen was re-elected to City Council and as Vice Mayor in 2017.

Jim Phillip


Jim is a founder of Vu Partners. Jim has experienced the entrepreneur’s journey from several different perspectives. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit, Jim offers strategic guidance to business owners as they build value and determine the next stage for their organizations. The combination of experience as an entrepreneur, board member, angel investor and investment banker informs his approach as he works with our clients and serves on the boards of several fast-growing technology companies including Peerfit, The Anti, Pacesetter Technology, RF Smart and Breezy HR.

Tom Ruhe


Thom is President and CEO of NC IDEA. He is an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and works with entrepreneurs, governments, universities and NGOs around the world to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset needed to grow vibrant economies.

During his seven-year tenure at the Kauffman Foundation, he directed the Foundation’s programs addressing entrepreneurial education, mentoring, access to capital and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems. Thom also led Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, a school dedicated to advancing community deployed experiential-based entrepreneurial education.

Thom has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Entrepreneurship, addressed the United Nations Assembly on Entrepreneurship, lectured at conferences around the world and serves on multiple boards including Innovation Fund America and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina.


Cory Loken


Cory Loken, one of the founding members of Crunchy Bananas, brings a wealth of wisdom, software engineering expertise, and a splash of alchemy to every venture. Some previous ventures include being a founding corporate member of the Apple Store, and saving a major manufacturer millions by rearchitecting and modernizing their technology. Recognizing the key to magic is fun and balance, when Cory closes his laptop, you can find him enjoying board games with friends, gazing at the stars, or exploring the world around him.

Dominic Taverniti


My expertise are in business operations & expansion, marketing, and product design & development. Over my 20 year business career, I have launched and run my own company, expanded U.S. businesses into Asian markets and developed cross-disciplinary creative and technology teams in both virtual and in-office environments.
Justin Agans

Justin Agans


Just is a Startup Lawyer at Spengler & Agans, PLLC

Dawn Walker


Dawn Walker has led cross-functional Global Sales and Business Development teams in Product development, New customer acquisition and Customer relations in the following areas:
• Food and beverage manufacturing (Pillsbury and Pepsi Cola)
• Contract Feeders (Aramark)
• Dispensing equipment manufacturing (Wunder-Bar)
• Packaging technology (Colder Products Company, Scholle Packaging and
- Supply Chain (HAVI Global Solutions)
This deep market understanding from production, to packaging to dispensing and back of the house operations, assists Dawn in the understanding required to customize turnkey solution. In utilizing this systems approach based on individual needs, Dawn can develop solutions that are customized for the customer's operation based on their needs for today and tomorrow .

John White


Specialties: Web Development, Interface Design, Usability Testing

Arthur Salido


A research scientist, educator, business consultant, and market expert with over 20 years experience working in higher education and with private companies.
An accomplished communicator, passionate about helping individuals and organizations solve unique and diverse problems ranging from product quality, business strategy, funding opportunities, and customer acquisition to community engagement, economic development, and contemporary higher-ed issues.
Lisa Fournier

Dr. Lisa Fournier


Lisa has over 25 years of experience in community-based businesses and emerging-growth companies across a variety of industries. Her role in these start-ups was to implement (proof-of-concept stage)--forming the business and co-creating scalable solutions with customers, suppliers, investors, and development teams. Lisa is currently Assistant Professor of Business and Entrepreneurship at Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville.
Ryan Coffield

Ryan Coffield


Ryan is a Business Attorney at The Van Winkle Law Firm, advising small and mid size business owners on corporate and tax issues, including formations, operations, and reorganizations.

Tim Montgomery


Tim Montgomery has worked in finance and business valuation since 1996. Since 2008, he has focused on a select clientele of prominent venture capital and private equity firms as well as venture and angel backed companies. Tim performs business valuation analysis for companies across the U.S. (primarily 409A, ASC 820, carried interest, and purchase price allocations), and serves as factional Chief Financial Officer to clients in the Southeast helping them with matters related to due diligence, financial modeling, investment fundraising, investor relations, and business plan development.

George Glackin


George is an experienced innovation and new business creation leader. Over a 35 year career at Procter & Gamble, George led teams in all phases of the innovation process from current business operations, upgrade initiatives, front end product and technology development, and creation of disruptive new businesses. He led innovation efforts in all P&G sectors, and on major brands such as Pampers, Tide and Pantene.
George now invests and advises with the entrepreneur community in Asheville, NC, addressing the ideation, experimentation and scale-up phases of new business creation. George is a Founder and Chair of the Board of Hatch AVL, an Asheville-based startup incubator.
William Heedy

William Heedy


William Heedy is a registered patent attorney having experience in all matters related to U.S. and foreign patent preparation and prosecution, trademarks and copyrights. William is available to assist in matters relating to licensing, handling cease and desist disputes for patents and trademarks, and analyzing patent portfolios including due diligence for patent portfolio acquisitions. William is also a member of The Van Winkle Law Firm’s Litigation practice where he focuses on matters relating to intellectual property.
Jamie Gilpin

Jamie Gilpin


A progressive finance professional with extensive experience as a leader of teams spread across disciplines and geographical locations. Strong background, education, and interest in renewable energy, sustainable economics, data analysis, international business, and finance. Entrepreneurial spirit has regularly brought success in building enthusiasm for the use of technology in non-technical environments. Personal interest for innovation has proved infectious and influenced others to deliver successful results.
Michael Shore

Michael Shore


Clean energy companies are changing the world. I am helping them do it faster and better. My track record of success includes creating and growing clean technology companies, leading breakthrough solar and wind energy campaigns, and bringing diverse parties together to work towards common goals. I led my solar business to become a $100 million enterprise, raised oodles of capital, helped make my home state second only to California in solar development, and advised dozens of clean energy companies to become more profitable and more resilient.
Scott Shwarts

Scott Shwarts


Accomplished executive with a proven track record of leadership and vision in planning, executing and developing great products and growing sustainable organizations. Crackerjack at building and leading a team of the best and brightest people whom excel in execution.

Chris Buehler


Chris has experience in the Electronics, Wireless, Internet-of-Things, and Aerospace Industries. He has co-authored several patents in location and wearable technology. Chris has worked with wireless firms such as Andrew Corporation and Nortel Networks, where he helped expand digital wireless infrastructure in Asia and Europe and was later named VP and General Manager for Flextronics Network Services. In 2007 Chris co-founded EmFinders, an emergency locating solution for the critical missing persons such as wandering children with Autism or elderly suffering from dementia. In 2015 he was CTO WHRZT, leading the complete development and launch of a mobile-asset tracking solution.

Kimberly Hunter


Kimberly Hunter is the Entrepreneurship Program Manager at Mountain BizWorks where she manages their business learning programs including overseeing the individualized business coaching program and managing a network of small business coaches. She has extensive business training and management experience, having run her own business, facilitated accelerator programs, and been a college business professor.

Susan Clark Muntean


With two decades of experience consulting entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial teams and a wide variety of businesses, I bring creative problem solving, design thinking and actionable ideas that translate into increased revenues, profits and reduced costs and risks for new and growing ventures. My specialties include market identification, research and analysis, defining pain points and value propositions, designing offerings based upon customer co-creation and input, creating winning business plans and pitches, and winning grants, awards and funding. I put together top founding and management teams and advisory boards and have served as a business plan and pitch competition judge, as well as mentor, adviser, coach, advocate and promoter to a multitude of entrepreneurs across the U.S. and beyond. I have a Ph.D from University of California, San Diego, MBA from University of Oregon and B.Sc. in Business from Pepperdine.

Ted Bruner


Ted Bruner has 30 years of experience developing innovative software and hardware solutions in structural mechanics, aerospace, logistics, RF, ERP, simulations, surveillance, and more while helping to create advanced technologies. Ted has been employed by Univ. Dayton Research Institute, TRW Defense Systems, Lockheed Aeronautical, Xerox and managed his own custom software business for over 15 years serving the defense industry and numerous other companies. He is an innovator who leverages technologies to solve problems.

Allison Glackin


I have over 30 years of experience in uncovering consumer insights. Consumers want to tell me their stories and companies need these stories as the foundation for identifying powerful business strategies. I am passionate about giving consumers a voice, helping clients hear that voice and working with companies to transform the voice of their consumers into actionable initiatives.

Jon Jones


Anthroware is a mashup of anthropologists, designers, data-driven consultants, and technology builders. We solve tough problems that clients cant solve on their own by simplifying your processes: both human and digital.

My passion is people. Serving the Anthroware team, and serving our partners. I love creating delightful digital projects that make a difference. Software should get out of your way so you can get back to doing the things you love. My job is to pursue this goal for our partners. We build software for humans.

Arthur Salido


I have been a research scientist, educator, and consultant/liaison to the environmental and life sciences, biotechnology, and fermentation/beverage industries for over 20 years. I have helped startups and mature organizations create effective teams, develop business strategies, seek funding opportunities, engage their communities, and solve science and technology problems.

Steve Newman


Steve is a passionate combination of a can-do technologist and a jack(ass)-of-all-trades mentality, wearing rose-colored glasses. From writing and validating lines of code, to boardroom presentations of line-items on an enterprise sales order form worth millions (and millions) of dollars, to writing and editing `{`lines`}` in a nationally distributed book on pet health care - not much in the landscape of business has eluded his experiences. Steve is personally driven to create the next big thing using Asheville's resources and likes to think he is well connected to the technical resources in our region.

Chris DiNicolas


Ex-startup founder (3X), award winning Art Director from the NFL and product consultant delivering premium experiences for global brands for 15 years

Chuck Johnson


Marketing and R&D professional with a strong record of goal-oriented innovation to drive profitable business growth. Strengths in strategic planning through marketing execution, equity management, staff and cross functional team building and leadership, project management and new product development.
Experience in food (pet and human), personal care, housewares, retailing and foodservice.

Tom Ryan


Tom's professional mission is to help entrepreneurs everywhere succeed both in business and in life. His current projects include The Start100 Fund- an early stage angel fund and accelerator for mass-appeal consumer product entrepreneurs, Supportedly.com- a digital platform helping entrepreneurs find, understand, and connect to vetted support resources, and Talent Jam- a hyperlocal connectivity program that authentically connects talent to local opportunity.

Angela Brandt


Mrs. Brandt is a senior information security product manager currently responsible for Verizon’s largest revenue-generating security service. With leadership, product development, sales and marketing experience as well as Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt and CISSP certifications, Mrs. Brandt approaches every project with a goal to find the sweet spot between revenue opportunity, value, growth & security. In addition, Mrs. Brandt owns and operates Farmside Village vacation rental cabins with her husband.

Chris Fink


After a career in sales, strategy & customer marketing at P&G and Nabisco, and sales/marketing consulting with PwC, Chris launched RetailGrowth. As a go-to-market strategy expert, Chris helps manufacturers, retailers and their agency partners create innovative business development plans to drive profitable revenue growth, in store and on-line. As a Quality Management and Six Sigma re-engineering professional, Chris applies best practices to create practical and efficient work systems to help companies plan, sell and execute better, grow fast and sustain a cost-effective business. `{`www.retailgrowth.com`}`

Mike Ames


Currently finishing up three years of teaching innovation & entrepreneurship to adults & students at a regional Entrepreneur Center in Tennessee; Last 15 years in the startup world, mostly in Senior Operations roles, focused on building (or rebuilding) startups; 35+ years of management experience, including 10 years in Operations at Coca-Cola USA; Michigan MBA '92.

Guy Smith


Founder and Chief Marketing Strategy consultant with 20+ years experience in Silicon Valley.

Marty Moran


Marty has started, purchased, invested in, grown, and sold seven businesses across various industries over the past 15 years. Additionally, he has a boutique consulting company, Clear Path, LCC that helps business owners and organizations manage the present, build toward the future, and realize dreams. Marty enjoys working with entrepreneurs in a mentorship role as a board member, a consultant partner, or as an operating partner. Currently, Marty sits on both non-profit and for-profit boards, works with consulting clients, is a volunteer swim coach at UNC-A, and is in the process of purchasing a business in western North Carolina.

Why should I attend

Hatch This?

Opportunities to get real feedback on your ideas is rare. Even more rare is to spend a weekend in a room with people like you who want to work on new ideas. This is your chance to pitch your idea, build a team, and win the support and resources you need to launch a successful business.

If you’re on this list, you should be here.
  • If you have an idea for a business
  • Freelancers
  • Students
  • Coders who want to solve a new problem
  • People looking for a Co-Founder
  • Job Seekers
  • Employers
  • Marketers
  • Front-End Devs
  • Mobile Devs
What’s included?
  • Meals
  • Collaboration Space
  • World-Class Mentors
  • Coffee
  • Beer
  • Over $15k in Cash and Prizes
Do I have to Pitch an idea?
Nope. We expect about 1/3 of attendees to pitch while the other 2/3 come to join a team and show off their skills.

Thank you to our sponsors!





Food & Beverage Sponsors


Sponsorship Opportunities?

Volunteer Opportunities?