Thrive is the Alliance’s new crowdfunding initiative, which will be used to generate capital for Kanawha Valley-based businesses with 30 or fewer employees.
Other partners in the project include the Arts Council of West Virginia, Create West Virginia, DigiSo and Generation Charleston.
Earlier this month, a blind panel selected the following nine entrepreneurs out of a pool of applicants:
- Eagle Long Term Care
- Geo-Rhea LLC
- Innovative Events Consultation
- Len Hoover Auto Art
- U.L. Coaching & Consulting
- West Virginia Cheer Academy
These entrepreneurs will each produce 60-second pitch videos to promote their business and need for crowd funds.
The pitch videos will be released on the Alliance’s YouTube page on Sept. 5 for public viewing. Entrepreneurs will attend an event on Sept. 19 where they will be available to answer questions to community attendees.
To attend and participate in the event, community members will pay $20 a ticket. In return, they will get to partake in beverages and food, but more importantly, they get to vote for the entrepreneur or small business they want to support.
At the end of the night, the entrepreneur with the most votes will receive $20 times the number of attendees as cash capital to invest in their business. The fund will also be seeded with $500 from Vision Shared.
Jeff James, chairman of the entrepreneurial board of Vision Shared, said Thrive will be an important asset in the future of the Kanawha Valley.
“The most sustainable and prosperous regions of the world are based on entrepreneurship. Almost all of the nation’s net new jobs over the past decade have been from small business startups,” James said. “Any region that doesn’t have a vibrant startup culture is suffering from an economic prosperity perspective and we know that economic prosperity severely affects other quality of life factors, such as health.”
“Thrive and other events like this are very important to the future of Charleston,” said Eric Morris of Generation Charleston. ”Fostering a creative culture leads to new business ventures and ultimately more jobs for our people.”
The Alliance understands how important entrepreneurs are to our economy and business climate.
This new program is essential to our ongoing mission of creating jobs, enhancing our community and investing in people. We believe the progress of these entrepreneurs will help create jobs and let our future really take flight.
For any questions on Thrive, contact Cullen Naumoff at CNaumoff@CharlestonAreaAlliance.org or by phone at 304-340-4253.