Recapping Demo Day 2020

February 4, 2020

This week, we’re jumping over into the Venture Asheville world to see what’s going on. Venture Asheville is an arm of the Asheville Chamber that grows the startup community and connects high-growth ventures to potential investors.

Last week, they held their annual Demo Day, which is a way to showcase investment-ready high growth ventures that are already on the ground and actively raising capital. Between the energy of the presenters and the rest of the community being there to support them, Demo Day is always a great way to spend an afternoon. Plus, you get an idea of who the movers and the shakers are in the business world.

If you happened to miss Demo Day, we have a full recap of the folks who presented below.

Sara Delaney of Silverback Beverage

Product: draft-style tea that is naturally low sugar and low calorie. Sara developed this product using kegs and steeping the tea with the same process that beer is fermented.

The value proposition: there is a booming market for non-alcoholic beverages. This provides an option that is not only alcohol-free, but also tasty, and sustainably sourced. Silverback Beverages purchases hand-harvested tea at a premium price from Rwanda, and also participates in seed funding for Sustain, a program that teaches entrepreneurial skills to Rwandan women.

Nick Moen of The Bright Angle

Product: artisan porcelain goods that are made from mountain-sourced, hand-mixed porcelain. Right now, The Bright Angle is focusing on developing their new idea, which is how to diffuse light with translucent porcelain.

The goal: fully scale The Bright Angle from simply producing artisanal tableware (mugs, etc.) and reach a larger audience with their porcelain lights; in doing so, they hope to contradict disposable culture by providing well-designed, handmade goods that serve a purpose.

Andrew Nehlig of Sauna House

Product: hot/cold immersive (literally!) sauna experience on South Slope. Sauna House also provides in-house loose-leaf tea and massage services.

The value proposition: in our fast-paced, superconnected society, there is an increasing demand for communal bath houses where attendees can unplug from their phone and nourish their physical health. Sauna House has sustained growth to the tune of 300+ new members a month, and has highly engaged followers on social media. They want to expand to RDU and Charlotte.

Alexandra Herman of Elaine-Marie

Product: an e-commerce platform that combines curated artisanal goods with the concept of a wedding registry.

The goal: to streamline the experience of choosing a gift for someone in your life by connecting consumers directly to a curated group of artists, who will still retain control over and profit from the sale of their art.

Dr. Jay Worthington of Appalachian Specialty Pharmacy 

The value proposition: ASP is a comfortable, private pharmacy that lowers costs for patients and provides a whole-person approach to care. They specialize in treating HIV and Hep-C, which can often be embarrassing or awkward to discuss with doctors and pharmacists at the counter. By creating a comfortable and private environment, they are able to provide better care for patients and treat them more effectively. They would like to expand these services. 

Dan Whisnant of SDV Office Systems 

The value proposition: SDV is part design and project management powerhouse, part consulting for manufacturing solutions. They are veteran-owned and operated, and focus on designing and bringing to life spaces that heal veterans; specifically, they focus on VA hospital design. SDV Office Systems was co-founded by two U.S. Marine Corps Officers and gold star parents. 

Venture Asheville would like to thank Silverback Beverages for providing drinks and Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn for the make-your-own popcorn bar.
Learn more about what Venture Asheville does on their website | Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.