The Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (BREC), an initiative of the western N.C. economic development partnership known as AdvantageWest, will offer “Speed Dating for Businesses” at its meeting this month.

Jim Roberts, executive director of the BREC and Blue Ridge Angel Investor Network (BRAIN), will give opening remarks and an explanation of the BREC/BRAIN concept.

“So many great things have happened since the Carolina Connect Conference, that we felt it was a good time to have a more social event with a business twist,” Roberts said. “We are finding more and more pieces of the economic puzzle in western North Carolina, but much of the business infrastructure is fragmented.”

Roberts said that on almost a weekly basis, people call him that have interesting backgrounds, but have not found their “niche” in the Asheville-area business scene.

“This event should help plug them into the business community,” he said, “and have fun at the same time.”

The session is set for Oct. 14 at the Gypsy Moon on Walnut Street in Asheville at 5:30 PM.

The Speed Dating for Business event will have many small tables lined up where people will have 8 minutes to get to know the other person’s business. This process will help the entrepreneurs fine tune their “elevator speeches,” where the entrepreneur must be able to explain their business in about 30 seconds.

After explaining their business and hearing about the other business, the participants must write down three things that could help the other person’s business. Then all of the participants will rotate and get to know another person and their business.

By the end of the evening, each person should leave with 25 new contacts and at least 75 ways to increase or improve their business. This type of business event has been held in Seattle, London and many other large cities, Roberts said.

This is the first BREC event following the inaugural venture capital conference Carolina Connect a month ago at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, hosting 360 people and representing more than $1 billion in private equity capital.