The deadline to apply to the competitive program is January 27

(Asheville, NC):  It is a well-known fact that small businesses are a major driver of our economy. In fact, according to the Small Business Administration, businesses with fewer than 20 employees account for 90 percent of all U.S. firms and 97 percent of all new jobs. Less well-known however is that the vast majority of these new jobs are created by the sustained, incremental expansion of existing small businesses, and that start-ups account for only 7% of net new jobs.

The ScaleUp WNC program offered by Mountain BizWorks and partners is specifically focused on this economic opportunity: providing targeted growth strategy development and implementation assistance to existing Western North Carolina small business owners with strong opportunities for growth.

“Spending the time and energy to develop and refine our pitch was worth its time investment ten-fold.” – Adam Charnack, CEO of Hi-Wire Brewing (ScaleUp WNC alumni)

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 ScaleUp WNC program which will include the seventh and eight cohorts for the program and will serve up to thirty area companies with strong prospects for growth. The deadline to apply is January 27. Full program details and the application form are available at Interested applicants are also invited to attend one of the informational sessions to be held across the region:

What’s new for 2019?

“The coming year will build on the program’s successful track record from the seven prior cohorts and will add a few new elements that we’re very excited about,” shares Chris Grasinger, the ScaleUp program manager at Mountain BizWorks.

Hatch AVL, the Asheville-based entrepreneurial development organization with a “10x10x5” goal to build 10 companies with revenues over $10 million in 5 years, has joined the ScaleUp delivery team bolstering the program’s mentor network and expertise for scaling product-based firms.

Emily Breedlove, executive director of Hatch adds, “Innovation emerges from every corner of our region, which is why the pairing of Hatch and ScaleUp made so much sense. We’re thrilled to join the Hatch Mentoring Community with the ScaleUp program to provide an avenue for equipping area companies aiming for growth.”

Also new for 2019, will be hosting one of the cohorts in Sylva, ScaleUp’s first cohort in the “Southwestern” part of the region. This will further access to the program for rural entrepreneurs and follows a very impactful cohort held in Boone. The other cohort will be held in the Asheville area and both cohorts are open to businesses from anywhere across the WNC region.

The ScaleUp WNC Approach

Using a cohort based approach, with 15 businesses accepted into each group, ScaleUp WNC provides over 60 hours of targeted mentorship, management training, growth capital connections and other critical resources to help companies achieve sustained and profitable growth. Cohort members also gain a strong peer CEO network within their cohort and with the now more than 90 ScaleUp WNC alumni.

In addition to the caliber of companies selected, a strength of ScaleUp WNC is the diversity of companies participating. Industries represented in the prior cohorts ranged from food & beverage to outdoor industry, and from manufacturing to professional services. Accepted companies hailed from Boone to Asheville to Bryson City and places in between. Mountain BizWorks strongly encourages applications from women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and rural-based businesses.

“This year we are on track to double our revenues, which we really attribute to the ScaleUp Program.”  -Kim Celetano, CEO of (ScaleUp WNC alumni)

Up to thirty founders or executive managers of growth-oriented small businesses will be selected through a competitive, merit-based application process for the 2019 program. Businesses must be based in Western North Carolina, have at least one full-time employee, and have identified opportunities for business expansion. Ideal applicants will have been in for business for at least 2 years and have annual revenues between $150,000 and $1,500,000.

Example ScaleUp WNC alumni companies

Apply today to join this distinguished group of Western North Carolina entrepreneurs. Full program details and the online application form are available at