Velocity Labs, a Startup High Country led accelerator for high growth companies launched its first session of the 12-week course on September 11, 2018. The inaugural Cohort consists of 7 local startup companies in search of a repeatable, scalable and profitable business model.
The participants include:
ChurchLEARN, a software company that helps churches recruit, equip and develop volunteers.
Hatchet Coffee, a roasting lab, slow bar, and coffee lounge.
High Country Food Hub, an online market for local food and artisan goods. It features over 500 products from 50+ small-family farms and food entrepreneurs from Watauga and 9 other surrounding counties.
SGS, provides scenario-based learning development and a digital coaching platform for people and organizations needing greater risk agility, change of behavior, cultural alignment, improved performance, and innovation in an ever-changing environment.
SilverBarre, a fitness training technique that focuses on the training and support of the aging body. Age Graceful. Stay Active.
The Insulators, use artificial intelligence to build models and generate accurate quotes for insulation and building world.
Thriftsy, the new way to save on your favorite brands while having fun in augmented reality!
On Thursday, September 27th, the companies in Cohort 1 and community leaders gathered for a Velocity Labs Kickoff Celebration at the Hatchet Coffee Roasting Facility. Jeffrey Scott, founder and director of Velocity Labs outlined the importance bucking the old way of getting a business started (huge business plan and traditional financing) and focusing heavily on problem/solution fit and customer discovery.
"Startups face a number of challenges while building a viable business. At Velocity Labs we help founders understand that they are really a temporary organization in search of repeatable, scalable and profitable business model. What is the big problem they are trying to solve and for whom? Is the opportunity worth the investment of millions of dollars and years of work? These are tough questions founders must answer first before the business plan is written, money raised and the business grown. We help them put first things first and validate their business model early on to increase their likelihood of success as a high growth company in the High Country." -Jeffrey Scott
Founders/CEO’s then gave 3 minute pitches to the room. Many great connections were made between the startups, local investors and potential mentors.
With 7 weeks remaining in the course, the companies will push to test their business models, interview and learn from their customers and will force to examine their processes and ask themselves tough questions in order to move forward successfully. The program will wrap up in early December with a community event to celebrate and motivate the founders to take what they’ve learned about themselves and their business and to go apply it in the real world.
Special thanks to our local brewery sponsors, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Booneshine Brewing Co, & Blowing Rock Brewing Co. for providing beer for this event. Everyone enjoyed great pizza from Carolina Pizza Co. and delicious cookies from Appalachia Cookie Co. as well!
As always, a huge thank you to our event sponsors and host-Hatchet Coffee, and all of those that attended and contributed to the Kickoff Celebration!