CONTACT: SAM GLOVER–| 828.773.0315

Click here for an archive of Mind Your Business from November 2nd, where Sam Glover and David Jackson discuss the High Country Impact Fund in detail.

This month marks the start of a new angel investor fund in the High Country, the High Country Impact Fund (HCIF), which is the first of its kind in the region. The angel investor fund will serve the High Country including Watauga, Wilkes, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell,and Johnson (TN) counties. HCIF aims to create high-paying jobs, establish access to emerging sector opportunities throughout the region, as well as deliver attractive financial returns to its investors.

On November 2, 2017 a press event was held at ECR Software in Boone, NC as an official kick-off for the fund. Speaking at the press event was Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl, High Country Impact Fund Investor Pete Catoe, Sam Glover of Startup High Country, and two companies, HiveTracks and Vixster, who gave the fund their first ceremonial pitches.

“The High Country Impact Fund will invest local capital directly into the area’s small and emerging businesses,” said Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission. “Each new angel fund opening in the region brings added economic opportunity to Appalachia.”

The genesis of the fund came from members of the High Country entrepreneurial and economic development community witnessing an expanding startup ecosystem with no angel investor funds based in the region to support these growth opportunities. These specific regional trends produced a distinct need for unique flexible angel investor capital.

Due to the complexities of creating, operating, and funding an angel investor fund, several partners came together to help establish this flagship fund for the High Country. These collaborators are the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a federal-state partnership focused on Appalachian economic development based in Washington, D.C., Startup High Country, an entrepreneurial institution focused on working with high growth start-ups Ascent Business Network, a Boone based entrepreneurial training nonprofit, Mountain BizWorks, a Community Development Finance Institution which serves Western North Carolina, and RAIN Source Capital Management, a capital management group who manages angel investor funds throughout the United States based in Minneapolis, MN.

The fund aims to support early stage, high-growth companies in the High Country with typical investments between $35,000 and $100,000. By providing capital and leadership, the Fund will positively impact the growth and sustainability of the High Country and its surrounding areas. The fund has partnered with Angel Capital Group – an Alliance (syndicate) of angel groups and funds, based in Knoxville, TN. The network brings Angel investors and entrepreneurs together in an environment that celebrates innovation, rewards strategic risk-taking, and focuses on performance.

For entrepreneurs interested in applying to present to HCIF, applications are submitted via HCIF’s website, and then go through a vetting process. If approved through initial screening, the company will have the opportunity to present to the fund. For high net-worth individuals interested in directly developing a stronger and more vibrant economy in the High Country, the angel investor group is currently accepting new members and encourage those interested to contact the fund either through or via email to Sam Glover –

Detailed information on the High Country Impact Fund is available online at

“I see a lot of economic momentum in the High Country region. There is a strong entrepreneurial culture in the community and a fantastic program within the College of Business at Appalachian State that is stimulating ideas for new businesses. The capital and mentorship provided by the members of the High Country Impact Fund will help in the startup and early growth stages and hopefully set the businesses up for long term success that will benefit the entire community.”
Phil Ostwalt, Partner, KPMG and HCIF Investor

“The members of the High Country Impact Fund are excited to play a vital role in the continued growth of free enterprise and entrepreneurship in the high country. We’re also looking forward to adding new investors to our fund and the friendships and sharing of knowledge that will come out of our shared business vision for this wonderful mountain community that we call home.”

Pete Catoe, Founder, ECR Software and HCIF Investor

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