DURHAM – Six Asheville startups recently hit the road as part of Venture Asheville‘s bid to help these fast-growing companies gain capital. The jam-packed two-day tour involved stops in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Durham and Cary.

In case you missed them, here’s a snapshot of the companies that offered products ranging from from solar energy driven solutions to craft beverages:


Matthew Johnson and Stan Cross. Source: Brightfield Transportation Solutions.

Startup: Brightfield Transportation Solutions—Delivering commercial Solar Driven charging solutions for the rapidly expanding electric vehicle marketplace.

Website: www.brightfieldts.com

Founder: Stan Cross and Matthew Johnson

Year founded: 2010

Previous job: Stan was the Executive Director, Warren Wilson College Environmental Leadership Center, Matthew owned BioWheels cycling store

Company mission: “To leapfrog fossil fuel and Drive on Sunshine”.

Number of employees: 5

Funds raised and sources: We closed our Series Seed round in 2016 with support from VentureSouth, Pinnacle Fund, Tuck School of Business Social Venture Fund, ClimateEV Holdings, and four individual investors.

How much are you trying to raise now? Remaining $150K of our current $500K convertible note

How will you use funds? These funds will bridge our cash flow needs as we close pending transformative sales and launch our Series A round.


David Ackley and Cristina Hall Ackley.

Startup: Ginger’s Revenge – A craft brewery in North Asheville focused on the production on alcoholic ginger beer.

Website: www.gingersrevenge.com

Founders: David Ackley and Cristina Hall Ackley

Year founded: 2015

Previous job: Marketing, beer industry, non-profit

Company mission: “We are dedicated to producing exciting and creative craft beverages from sustainably sourced ingredients. We specialize in alcoholic ginger beers, which are all naturally gluten-free and made with 95 percent organic ingredients. We intend to be a force for good in our community, to inspire imagination and adventure, and to have fun!”

Number of employees: 10

Funds raised and sources: $450,000 equity, $450,000 debt, $50,000 line of credit.

How much are you trying to raise now? $250,000

How will you use funds? To purchase new tanks and equipment to double production capacity, grow sales team, marketing, working capital.


Jon Nilsson and Dominic Taverniti.

Startup: CharGrow – Probiotics for plants, enabling growers to cut costs, improve yields and move away from harmful chemicals.

Website:  www.char-grow.com

Founder:  Jon Nilsson and Dominic Taverniti

Year founded: 2018 (products I’ve marketed since 2014)

Previous job: Jon, soil scientist with 25 years of ecosystem management and agricultural product development experience. Dominic, entrepreneur with a background in international business expansion and digital technologies.

Company mission: CharGrow helps commercial growers and home gardeners move away from harmful chemicals, increase yields, reduce costs and benefit the environment.

Number of employees: two co-founders.

Funds raised and sources: No funds raised to date.

How much are you trying to raise now? $300,000

How will you use funds? To establish sales team and execute marketing plan. Expand current production capacity and launch new facility close to source of supply. Register products state by state, attain additional certifications.

Ailis Grosh.

Startup: Burban – –Cheap food, drinks, and entertainment, conveniently laid out on a map.

Website: www.burban.city

Founder:  Ailis Grosh

Year founded: 2017

Previous job: College student

Company mission: “To create a simple, user-friendly way to explore a city, on a budget.”

Number of employees: four

Funds raised and sources: No funds raised to date.

How much are you trying to raise now? $50,000

How will you use funds? At least $25,000 will go towards app development, and the rest will be split between marketing and customer acquisition.

Laura McCann.

Startup: Adoratherapy – Manufacturer of innovative aromatherapy products.

Website: www.adoratherapy.com

Founder: Laura McCann

Year founded: 2015

Previous job: CEO of WYSWYG, branding agency

Company mission: “Transformation is at the very heart of the ADORAtherapy mission. Founded upon the belief that Mother Earth’s abundant resources offer the ability to transform the human experience, our aroma perfumes lift and shift your mood in the moment, allowing you to tap into your best self.”

Number of employees: Two

Funds raised and sources: $1.2 million from friends, family and angel investors.

How much are you trying to raise now? $250,000

How will you use funds? To launch a sampling program and campaign, advertising and inventory.


Jason Moore.

Startup: Elite HRV – Removing the guesswork from health and fitness by making advanced biomarkers easy and accessible.

Website: www.elitehrv.com

Founder: Jason Moore

Year founded: 2014

Previous job: Business analyst and a health and fitness consultant.

Current mission: “Removing the guesswork from health and fitness by making advanced biomarkers easy and accessible”.

Funds raised and sources: To date, no funds raised for equity.

How much are you raising: After reaching over 290,000 users and growing faster every day, we are actively fund raising up to $1 million in the next 3 months to further expand our execution capacity.

Asheville startups take show on the road for whistle-stop funding tour