ASHEVILLE STARTUP ENTREPRENEURS

Asheville startup entrepreneurs are creating innovative products and services and reaching national and global markets. These startups and tech companies represent the best of our locally-based, fast-growing ventures.

SoulKu

Co-Founders: Allison Blake & Elisa Van Arnam
Site: SoulKu
The Lowdown: Handcrafted gemstone jewelry
Awesomeness:  Percentage of proceeds benefits nonprofits for women

BrewStream

Founder: Jeffrey Cox
Site: BrewStream
The Lowdown: SaaS for breweries
Awesomeness:  Employees record info on any internet-connected device

GEARU

Founder: Ryan Lansche
Site: GEARU
The Lowdown: Outdoor gear membership program
Awesomeness:  Brand new gear every season

The RunnerBox

Co-Founders: Laura Jorgensen & Staci Dietzel
Site: The RunnerBox
The Lowdown: Subscription box for athletes
Awesomeness:  Relocated to Asheville from Boulder for the entrepreneurship ecosystem

bidPress

Founder: Tony Wavering
Site: bidPress
The Lowdown: Online custom apparel marketplace
Awesomeness:  Google, Spotify, and L’Oreal are customers

JB Media Institute

Founder: Justin Belleme
Site: JB Media Institute
The Lowdown: Training courses in Internet marketing
Awesomeness:  Students create real Internet marketing plans for their companies

UGoTour

Founder: Paul Hedgecock
Site: UGoTour
The Lowdown: Free tour guide mobile app
Awesomeness:  Over 1,000 unique StoryPoint™ presentations

Happy Legs Club

Founder: Lincoln Walters
Site: Happy Legs Club
The Lowdown: Premium razor delivery for women
Awesomeness:  Brand video went viral on Facebook with 360K views

Efficiency Lab

Founder: Jon Daggerhart
Site: Efficiency Lab
The Lowdown: Software for the energy sector
Awesomeness:  Serves more than 80 percent of the world’s active nuclear plants

H2PRO

Founder: Dr. Alan Baumgarten
Site: H2PRO
The Lowdown: Daily probiotic and vitamin blends
Awesomeness:  MD founder informed by 30+ years of patient care

Smiling Hara Tempeh

Co-Founders: Chad Oliphant & Sarah Yancey
Site: Smiling Hara Tempeh
The Lowdown: Produces organic, low- and unpasteurized, locally-sourced tempeh
Awesomeness:  Created Hempeh, the first ever hemp fortified, soy-free tempeh

FernLeaf Interactive

Founder: Jeff Hicks
Site: FernLeaf Interactive
The Lowdown: Builds climate resilience software solutions
Awesomeness:  Partnered with federal agencies to spearhead the resilience component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Mount Inspiration

Founder: Evans Prater
Site: Mount Inspiration
The Lowdown: 100% organic and recycled outdoor apparel
Awesomeness:  5% of profits are donated to environmental protection non-profits

Pro(tech)t

Co-Founders: Madison Eddings & Ben Eisdorfer
Site: Pro(tech)t
The Lowdown: Wearable technology to prevent sexual assault
Awesomeness:  3rd place in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Wickbox

Founder: Scarlett Sturgis
Site: Wickbox
The Lowdown: Provides a curated luxury candle subscription service
Awesomeness:  Watch happy customers unbox their hauls on Wickbox’s YouTube channel

Aeroflow Healthcare

Co-Founders: Casey Hite & Don Hite
Site: Aeroflow Healthcare
The Lowdown: Supplier of home medical equipment
Awesomeness:  A 2-time Inc. 5000 fastest growing company (2015-16)

dmarcian

Founder: Tim Draegen
Site: dmarcian
The Lowdown: Industrial-strength email security
Awesomeness: Created free DMARC training curriculum

CRM Market

Founder: Tal Frankfurt
Site: CRM Market
The Lowdown: Online marketplace for Salesforce projects
Awesomeness:  2nd venture for founder of a 2-time Inc. 5000 company

Talking Book

Co-Founders: Ben Matchar & Kris Hartrum
Site: Talking Book
The Lowdown: Independent audiobook retailer and publisher
Awesomeness: Recently teamed up with indie publishing giant Melville House

Riverbend Malt House

Co-Founders: Brian Simpson & Brent Manning
Site: Riverbend Malt
The Lowdown: Locally farmed malts for craft breweries
Awesomeness:  Developed a local food system

Parsley Solutions

Co-Founder: Julien Melissas
Site: Parsley Solutions
The Lowdown: Software solutions for restaurants
Awesomeness:  Customers manage their spot in line from their smartphone without downloading an app

Antenna

Founder: Porter Bayne
Site: Antenna
The Lowdown: Increases reader engagement with a simple, mobile-first tool for online publishers and retailers
Awesomeness:  30 million uniques in the Antenna network

RISC Networks

Co-Founder: Jeremy Littlejohn
Site: RISC Networks
The Lowdown: SaaS platform to migrate IT operations to the cloud
Awesomeness: Clients such as IBM and Cisco Systems

Cloud for Good

Founder: Tal Frankfurt
Site: Cloud for Good
The Lowdown: Salesforce and cloud consulting for non-profits
Awesomeness: A 2-time Inc. 500/5000 fastest growing company

Theraworx

Founder: Steve Woody
Site: Theraworx
The Lowdown: Skin hygiene product designed to fight infection
Awesomeness: Products used in West Africa to combat the Ebola epidemic

BrightField Transportation

Co-Founders: Matt Johnson & Stan Cross
Site: BrightField
The Lowdown: Solar-integrated charging stations for electric cars
Awesomeness: First U.S. solar-integrated station of its kind in Asheville

The Cheat Sheet

Co-Founders: Damien & Derek Hoffman
Site: The Cheat Sheet
The Lowdown: Top US site for everything modern man should know
Awesomeness: A Quantcast Top 125 website, 14 million monthly visitors

Digital Chalk

Co-Founders: Russ Stinehour & Troy Tolle
Site: Digital Chalk
The Lowdown: Learning management system for online courses & training
Awesomeness: Clients include Kauffman Foundation & Duke University

Hi-Wire Brewing

Co-Founders: Adam Charnack & Chris Frosaker
Site: Hi-Wire Brewing
Lowdown: High-growth craft brewery
Awesomeness: Named North Carolina’s best new brewery by RateBeer

GoWorx

Founder: Ryan Klinger
Site: GoWorx
The Lowdown: Industry hub for GoPro®, drone and smartphone cameras
Awesomeness: Semi-finalist in the national One in a Million pitch competition

Cab Hound

Founder: George Wheeler
Site: Cab Hound
The Lowdown: Cloud based apps and services for taxi industry
Awesomeness: Generates a new trip per minute in cities from Atlanta to NYC

Plum Print

Co-Founder: Meg Ragland
Site: Plum Print
The Lowdown: Transform your kids’ artwork into a coffee table book
Awesomeness: Raised a $1 Million seed round in early 2015

Roots

Founder: Matt Parris
Site: Roots
Lowdown: Small batch vegan hummus
Awesomeness: Vegan, non-GMO, and mostly organic ingredients, never any preservatives

Soomo Learning

Founder: David Lindrum
Site: Soomo Learning
The Lowdown: Interactive online textbooks for students
Awesomeness: Provides webtexts to about 90 U.S. colleges

DieselJobs.com

Founder: Jeremy Balog
Site: DieselJobs
The Lowdown: Largest niche job board for heavy equipment and truck industries
Awesomeness: Job board attracts 100,000+ job seekers monthly

FLS Energy

Co-Founder: Dale Freudenberger
Site: FLS Energy
The Lowdown: Design, install and finance utility-scale solar projects
Awesomeness: 5-time Inc. 5000 Honoree

Scriptcycle

Co-Founder: Phil Trunnell
Site: Scriptcycle
The Lowdown: Tech solutions for pharmacies to manage cash prescriptions
Awesomeness: Puts more money in both pharmacies and patients’ pockets

Virtual Job Shadow

Co-Founders: Kim Celentano & Ilya Gorelik
Site: Virtual Job Shadow
The Lowdown: Interactive, online job shadowing and career exploration
Awesomeness: Used by 7th largest US K-12 school district, in Houston

Buchi Kombucha

Co-Founders: Sarah Schomber & Jeannine Buscher
Site: Buchi
The Lowdown: Commercial kombucha brewery
Awesomeness: Fast Company’s “Drive Your Business Forward” winner

Moog Music

Founder:  Bob Moog; CEO: Mike Adams
Site: Moog Music
Lowdown: Inventor of the synthesizer
Awesomeness: Used by Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, David Bowie, and The Beatles

LoLo

Founder: Clark Harris
Site: LoloEffect.com
The Lowdown: Rewards platform for supporting local businesses
Awesomeness: A “buy local” program that literally saves you money

Peppermint

Co-Founders: Kendall Weaver & Shane Remington
Site: Peppermint
The Lowdown: Linux operating system adopted by customers worldwide
Awesomeness: Seamlessly integrates the cloud into desktop apps

Knock out!

Founder: Angela Newnam
Site: Knock out!
The Lowdown: Makes sexy underwear with high-tech functionality
Awesomeness: Winner, Harvard B-School Business Plan Competition

i play.

Founder: Becky Cannon
Site: i play.
The Lowdown: Baby-friendly natural products
Awesomeness: Winner & finalist of tons of best baby product awards

Doctor Directory

VP Information Technology: Cindy Ireland
Site: Doctor Directory
The Lowdown: Online healthcare industry insights & marketing platform
Awesomeness:
$65M acquisition of DD is largest tech deal in WNC history

Galaxy Digital

Founder: Doss Church
Site: Galaxy Digital
The Lowdown: Volunteer management software for member-based organizations
Awesomeness: 10,000 non-profits use its system

BRÖÖ

Co-Founders: Sarah Duran & Brad Pearsall
Site: BRÖÖ
The Lowdown: Beauty products made with handcrafted micro brews
Awesomeness: Won Delicious Living’s “Breakthrough Company 2013”

Eagle’s Nest Outfitters

Co-Founders: Peter & Paul Pinholster
Site: ENO
The Lowdown: Packable parachute hammocks for camping and travel
Awesomeness: World’s leading distributor of packable hammocks

Deltec Homes

President: Steve Linton
Site: Deltec Homes
Lowdown: Round and prefabricated home manufacturer
Awesomeness: Net-zero energy homes that can withstand hurricane force winds

Happy Tap

Founder: Kurtis Powers
Site: Happy Tap
The Lowdown: Draught beer systems cleaning and installation
Awesomeness: Clean taps equal better beer and business revenues

ACF Technologies

Co-Founder: Jose Mora
Site: ACF Technologies
The Lowdown: Software solutions that streamline customer service
Awesomeness: Finally! Enjoy shorter wait times at the DMV

Astral

Founder: Philip Curry
Site: Astral
The Lowdown: Gear for water-sport enthusiasts
Awesomeness: Exclusive PFD sponsor of the 2013 US freestyle kayak team

Bellyak

Founder: Adam Masters
Site: Bellyak
The Lowdown: Face first kayaking, from tame to adventurous
Awesomeness: Created a fun new product category in boating

Blue Blaze Soda & Syrup

Founder: Jackson Anderson
Site: Blue Blaze Soda
The Lowdown: All-natural soda syrups made from real and local ingredients
Awesomeness: Find on tap at restaurants via deal with RC Cola

Outrider USA

Co-Founders: Daniel Rhyne, Tom Ausherman, Jesse Lee
Site: Outrider USA
The Lowdown: Advanced electric-powered trikes for cruising
Awesomeness: World’s first electric trike for quadriplegics via Kickstarter

Lusty Monk

Founder: Kelly Davis
Site: Lusty Monk
The Lowdown: Spicy, fresh-ground, handcrafted mustard
Awesomeness: Won 2nd consecutive top honor at int’l Scovie Awards

Lab Escape

Founder: Trevor Lohrbeer
Site: Lab Escape
The Lowdown: Data visualization software to make smarter decisions
Awesomeness: Visualize 10,000+ organized data points on a single screen

ADORAtherapy

Co-Founders:  Adora Winquist & Laura McCann Ramsey
Site: ADORAtherapy
Lowdown: Essential oils and aromatherapy products
Awesomeness: Founders have global expertise in fashion retail & essential oils

Appalatch

Co-Founders: Mariano deGuzman & Grace Gouin
Site: Appalatch
The Lowdown: Hyper-local apparel manufacturer using sustainable fibers
Awesomeness: 3D prints custom clothing to exact customer dimensions

Dig Local

Co-Founders: Flori & Ted Pate
Site: Dig Local
The Lowdown: Find locally owned places to shop, eat, and socialize
Awesomeness: Born from Asheville Startup Weekend

Mother Earth Produce

Co-Founders: Graham and Andrea DuVall
Site: Mother Earth Produce
The Lowdown: Farm-to-door produce delivery service
Awesomeness: Won the Southeast’s Tap the Future semi-finals pitch competition

No Evil Foods

Co-Founders: Sadrah Schadel & Mike Woliansky
Site: No Evil Foods
The Lowdown: Healthy plant-based meat substitutes
Awesomeness: Order “plant meats” from its online “butcher shop”

Seltzer Goods

Founder: Gay W. Lam
Site: Seltzer Goods
The Lowdown: Eco-Friendly Greeting cards, gift items, and other products
Awesomeness: Created designs for Barnes & Noble, a Fortune 500 Co.

HomeGauge

Co-Founder: Russell Buchanan
Site: HomeGauge
The Lowdown: Software and online tools for home inspectors
Awesomeness: Buyers get free access to trusted U.S. service providers

In blue handmade

Founder:  Mary Lynn Schroeder
Site: In blue handmade
Lowdown: Handcrafted leather goods
Awesomeness: #1 best-selling leather goods shop on Etsy.com

SimplyHome

Co-Founders: Drue & Allen Ray
Site: SimplyHome
The Lowdown: Smart home-monitoring systems to support independent living
Awesomeness: Tech featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Dolci di Maria

Founder: Mary Tantillo
Site: Dolci di Maria
The Lowdown: Gluten and dairy-free fine Italian desserts
Awesomeness: Now available at Whole Foods locations across the south

BuildFax

Co-Founder: Joe Masters Emison
Site: BuildFax
The Lowdown: Collects and organizes construction records of U.S. properties
Awesomeness: First of its kind national data source for property condition

BarberWind Turbines

Co-Founder: Michael Shore
Site: BarberWind Turbines
The Lowdown: Builds cost-efficient commercial-scale wind turbines
Awesomeness: Ferris-wheel design entirely eliminates the gearbox

Biblio

Founder: Brendan Sherar
Site: Biblio
The Lowdown: E-commerce site offering used, rare and out-of-print books
Awesomeness: Carries 85M books from 5K independent bookstores

BeesWax Websites

Co-Founders: Annika Schauer, Raina Lee Scott, Christopher Craig
Site: BeesWax Websites
The Lowdown: Custom web storefront for Etsy sellers
Awesomeness: Instantly generates a website using your Etsy inventory

Freer Logic

Co-Founder: Peter Freer
Site: Freer Logic
The Lowdown: Integrates brainwave-monitoring into electronic devices
Awesomeness: Its steering wheel for Panasonic detects distracted drivers

Trusted Sharing

Co-Founders: Ty Hallock & Duncan Work
Site: Trusted Sharing
The Lowdown: App developer changing the way we use social media to interact
Awesomeness: Co-founder Duncan is former LinkedIn Chief Science Officer

Rightline Gear

Founder: Loran Evans
Site: Rightline Gear
Lowdown: Soft car top carriers and truck/SUV tents
Awesomeness: Improves fuel efficiency and packs away easily

Creative Allies

Founder: Sean O’Connell
Site: Creative Allies
The Lowdown: Runs online competitions to design merchandise for rockstars
Awesomeness: Clients include The Black Keys, Billy Joel & Mariah Carey

MobRocket

Co-Founders: David Bentley & Chad Slagle
Site: MobRocket
The Lowdown: Promotional marketing platform for small businesses
Awesomeness: MobRocket boldly wants to become a Groupon killer

gEHRiMed

Founder: Rod Baird
Site: gEHRiMed
The Lowdown: SaaS platform to manage electronic health records
Awesomeness: gEHRiMed increases work quality, 50% more time efficient

Phytonix

Founder: Bruce Dannenberg
Site: Phytonix
The Lowdown: Biofuels and industrial chemicals from cyanobacteria
Awesomeness: Patented, super-efficient process utilizes photosynthesis

Dog Tag Art

Founder: Jack Carrier
Site: Dog Tag Art
The Lowdown: E-commerce site for personalized dog tags
Awesomeness: Pet tag technology ensures tags are always up-to-date

Valet Gourmet

Founder: Kenan Hopkins
Site: Valet Gourmet
The Lowdown: Food delivery service operating across NC and eastern TN
Awesomeness: Lowest turnover rate of drivers among any comparable services

Text Ripple

Co-Founder: Hans Hegge
Site: Text Ripple
The Lowdown: Mobile marketing platform to maximize marketing efforts
Awesomeness: Clients such as Proctor & Gamble and Century 21