Edison Project Now Accepting Applications - myfoxcarolinas.com

Edison Project Now Accepting Applications

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Hickory, NC - Each year, the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce sponsors an event known as The Edison Project. It is geared toward startups located in and around the Hickory area.

Alan Jackson’s family business, The Jackson Group, has been a Hickory staple for multiple decades. He knows how to run a business, but looked to a Catawba County initiative called The Edison Project for help with another business.

“Sometimes it’s helpful to kind of see the forest from the trees,” said Alan Jackson. “Kind of step back a little bit and get some outside perspective. And that’s really what The Edison Project gave us, is helping us look at this new business in a very new light, with some outside experience and outside expertise, and that’s just something we hadn’t had before.”

Jackson’s newest business is called The Mesh, an online network made up of locally and regionally produced audio and video podcasts. While it was already building listenership prior to The Edison Project competition, Jackson says the company lacked a strategic plan.

“Thanks to The Edison Project, what we’ve got is not only a strategic plan of where we’re gonna go,” said Jackson. “But we actually started getting in the loop of going to make presentations to potential investors.”

Byron Hicks works with The Edison Project, where businesses compete in an effort to win part of an $18,000 "economic incentive."


“[The Edison Project] gives the entrepreneur the chance to come in and work with a team of mentors to perfect their business plan, also work on their pitch for investors or bankers,” said Hicks. “It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners that want to further the idea of their new business for a competition that has some capital backing.

“When they leave The Edison Project, they come out with a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful business and to raise capital.”

Applications for The Edison Project are accepted through June 11, 2014. For more information, visit catawbachamber.org/pages/TheEdisonProject.
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