Rare Convergence of Capital and Funding Leaders to Visit WNC August 29, 2017
Lenoir-Rhyne University & Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Lenoir-Rhyne University & Asheville Chamber of Commerce
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At a time when the future of federal funding is uncertain, the inaugural “Show Me the Money Conference + Funding Expo” will be held in Downtown Asheville on October 9-10, bringing regional leaders in finance, grants, and capital access to Western North Carolina. The two-day event will provide attendees with access to the most innovative tools, training, and connections needed to successfully secure funding for their businesses, non-profits, or community projects.

The Conference, Funding Expo, and Networking Reception will take place on October 9th at the UNC-Asheville Sherrill Center and Kimmel Arena. Then on October 10th there will be optional intensive workshops offered at the Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies and Asheville Chamber of Commerce for those looking to aggressively seek funding platforms.


Convergence: Exploring the Nexus between the For-Profit and Non-Profit Funding Models

Opening Keynote, Josh Jacobson is Managing Director of Next Stage Consulting, a strategy and implementation firm based in Charlotte, NC and serving nonprofit organizations and social cause start-ups throughout the Carolinas. Over the last nine years, Josh has directly managed engagements with more than 150 nonprofits. Before relocating to NC, Josh worked in NYC – first as Senior Officer at The Juilliard School where he worked on the $150 million Campaign for Juilliard, and later as a Senior Resource Development Director with Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway. Josh is an active member of the Charlotte chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he is President-Elect for 2018. 

Acceleration: Maximizing High-Growth Entrepreneurial Endeavors through NC Seed Grants & Programming

Afternoon Keynote will be Thom Ruhe, President & CEO of NC IDEA, a private foundation with a mission to maximize the economic potential of the people of North Carolina by supporting the formation and fruition of high-growth entrepreneurial endeavors in the state. Through a strategic combination of grants and programs, they now support entrepreneurs and a diverse group of organizations throughout NC that are also helping entrepreneurs succeed.

Thom is President and CEO of NC IDEA. He is an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and works with entrepreneurs, governments, universities and NGOs around the world to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset needed to grow vibrant economies.


In addition to keynotes, there are over 45 expert trainers from across the Southeast US leading the 15 interactive breakout sessions.  The sessions are organized around the following five tracks;

  • Track A: Start-Up Businesses
  • Track B: Business Expansions
  • Track C: Investor Ready
  • Track D: Non-Profit Organizations
  • Track E: Cluster Focus
    • Catalyzing the Life Science Innovation Sector
    • Financing Agribusiness and the Local Food System
    • Funding Tech Ecosystems and Community Infrastructure

Over 50 funding organizations will participate in the October 9th Funding Expo, consisting mainly of; federal granting agencies, regional foundations, financial planners, commercial loan providers, crowdfunding experts, Angel Fund Networks, business counselors, Small Business Centers, University departments, industry-specific experts, grant writers, attorneys, accounting firms, and government contractors.


During the final breakout session under the “Investor Ready” Track, there will be a Pitch Competition between the top 5 high-growth applicants for a top award of $25,000 in cash and prizes. Application Criteria and prize packages will be unveiled during the Asheville Entrepreneurship Week at the 1 Million Cups Anniversary Party on September 6th. Applications will be accepted at www.showmethemoneyconference.com until September 25th.


On October 10th, the optional intensive workshops will present attendees with the opportunity to get hands-on support around the processes taken to successfully apply for funding in WNC. Held at the Lenoir-Rhyne University classrooms in the Asheville Chamber of Commerce building, the following five workshops will be offered;

  • Track A: “Start-Up Funding Application Workshop,” taught by Russ Seagle, Executive Director of Sequoyah Fund. The workshop will review the steps and forms needed to be submitted in order to apply for a start-up business loan.
  • Track B: “Expansion Funding Application Workshop,” taught by Sandra Dennison, Regional Director of SBTDC, and Tommy Dennison, Vice President and Business Banker at PNC Bank. The workshop will equip and prepare attendees to asses capital needs for their existing business, and identify which type of financing is most appropriate for their growth needs.
  • Track C: “Building an Investor-Ready Pitch Workshop,” taught by Stephen Poland, Lead Trainer of ScaleUp WNC, Director of the Embedded Entrepreneur Program, and Owner of 1×1 Media; The workshop will walk attendees through steps needed to prepare a compelling, consistent, and competitive pitch for equity capital.
  • Track D: “Competitive Grant Writing Workshop,” taught by Mark Goldstein, President and CEO of Communication Mark. The workshop will share proven methods of building more innovative partnerships, project structure, and narratives in order to be competitive in securing upcoming grant funding opportunities.
  • Track E: “2017 Community Reinvestment Act,” taught by Jeanne Milliken-Bonds of Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, along with representatives from FDIC and OCC. The workshop will review the newly adopted funding parameters for CRA projects, which now include funding for Broadband infrastructure and Workforce Development.

Tickets are on sale now online. Full agenda, sponsors, and speakers are listed on the main event website at www.ShowMetheMoneyConference.com

Rare Convergence of Capital and Funding Leaders to Visit WNC