Venture Asheville is the high-growth entrepreneurship initiative of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Our work centers on catalyzing Asheville’s high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem and connecting entrepreneurs with startup funding, mentors and talent to scale their ventures.


Venture Asheville grows Asheville’s startup community and connects high-growth entrepreneurs to talent, mentors and investors through unique programming and events.


Transform Asheville into a world-class startup city.


Josh Dorfman
Director of Entrepreneurship

Venture Asheville - Asheville Chamber of Commerce - Josh DorfmanJosh leads Venture Asheville and is a green economy entrepreneur, author, and strategic adviser focused on building mainstream audiences for mission-driven brands. He is also Managing Director of Asheville Angels, the EDC’s member-based angel investor network that finds and funds startups in Asheville and across the Southeast. Previously, Josh launched and directed VineMarket.com, an Amazon.com e-commerce business specializing in natural and organic food. He has been Vice President of Marketing for GoodGuide, a “Fast Company 50″ authority on the health, environmental and ethical performance of consumer goods; Founder & CEO of Vivavi, an e-commerce business specializing in contemporary, sustainable furniture and furnishings, named to the “Green 50″ by Inc. Magazine as a company leading the green revolution; Creator, Executive Producer and Host of The Lazy Environmentalist, a media venture offering consumers clever, stylish and convenient ways to adopt greener behaviors, which he launched as a blog and developed into a book series, daily radio show on SiriusXM, and award-winning reality television series on Sundance Channel; and national spokesperson for Brita’s FilterForGood campaign to reduce bottled waste, winner of a Gold CLIO award for strategic communications. Josh holds an MBA from Thunderbird, The School of Global Management, and a BA from The University of Pennsylvania.

Contact Josh: By Email or phone: 828-258-6137
Office located at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce

Claire Chender
Operations Manager

Venture Asheville - Asheville Chamber of Commerce - Claire ChenderBefore joining Venture Asheville at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Claire was Operations Manager at Liquido Active, a fitness apparel startup, where she focused on supply chain management and e-commerce operations. Previously, she was Marketing Coordinator and Product Development Associate at i play., Inc. a natural baby products company headquartered in Asheville. While at i play., Claire was the project manager for the total redesign of the company’s e-commerce and community engagement websites. Seeking a change of scenery (and weather), Claire and her husband moved to Asheville from New York City in 2012. Prior to her move, Claire gained a solid background in business administration at China Grill Management, a fine dining restaurant group, having previously established her interest in marketing and PR at Barker/DZP, a boutique full-service ad agency. An L.A. native and former competitive surfer, Claire received a BA in English from Vassar College.

Contact Claire: By Email or phone: 828-258-6115


Josh Dorfman explains Venture Asheville’s strategy to nurture high-growth ventures at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.


Email address: