Reminder: BREC Breakthrough Challenge to help new and startup businesses
Date Posted: 9/20/2012
Attention entrepreneurs with an innovative new or existing business idea: Apply by Sept. 30 to the BREC Breakthrough Challenge and receive mentoring and possible funding to turn a concept into a scalable business model.
Available at no charge for qualified startups and existing small businesses in the 23-county AdvantageWest region, the purpose of the Challenge is to help entrepreneurs develop viable and sustainable business strategies and models, as well as the communications capabilities and materials needed to obtain funding to start or grow the company.
In its second year, the program is a partnership of the Tech 20/20 Center for Entrepreneurial Growth (CEG) and AdvantageWest’s Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (BREC). It is supported by a grant from the CITI Foundation.
The program includes a series of group and one-on-one mentoring and coaching sessions – up to eight hours per venture – where seasoned entrepreneurs and business professionals help the management team at each company develop strategies, goals and plans in preparing for the demands of starting or growing a business.
Group sessions will cover such topics as small business strategic planning, building a sustainable business model and plan, identifying target markets, market research, building a credible funding plan, finding funding sources and presenting one’s business to investors or loan officers.
The program culminates with participants making presentations to a panel of angel investors, fund managers and other finance professionals. Qualifying participants will also have the opportunity to apply to receive a startup loan from AdvantageWest’s Advantage Opportunity Fund.
Participants in the program must commit to attending the classes and mentoring/coaching sessions, put forth an honest effort to execute the plans and actions to achieve the determined goals, and provide BREC and Tech 20/20 with performance indicators such as number of employees, payroll, revenue, and capital raised, for up to three years after the program.
Apply by Sept. 30 using the application form available for download at: http://bit.ly/brec-breakthrough. For more information about the program, contact Matt Raker at (828) 687-7234 or Todd Fisher at (865) 228-4853.
More about Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council: Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council is an initiative of AdvantageWest, the regional economic development partnership for the 23 westernmost counties of North Carolina. BREC is a nurturing organization for entrepreneurs in the region that focuses on education, networking, mentoring, communications and capital formation. BREC has helped local businesses raise capital, brought private equity investors to Western North Carolina to evaluate businesses, hosted venture capital conferences, and recruited businesses with high-growth potential to the region.
More about Tech 20/20: Tech20/20 was chartered as a non-profit public benefit corporation in 1995 and has been engaged in educational and entrepreneurial activities to stimulate economic growth throughout Tennessee and the multi-state Appalachian corridor. The Center for Entrepreneurial Growth has programs for commercialization of technology at Oak Ridge National Labs and the University of Tennessee and has implemented entrepreneurial development programs at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in London, Ky. To date Tech 20/20 and the CEG programs have helped client companies create or sustain over 2463 jobs and had a total economic impact of over $305,000,000 in the region.
Working with us on the development of the county’s economic development strategic plan and supporting our EDC, AdvantageWest provides insight, experience and leadership. They are a critical strategic partner with Macon County.
, Senior VP, Corporate & Public Relations
134 Wright Brothers Way
Fletcher, NC 28732
Email Kathi Petersen