#southernstartuptour: Greenville –> Asheville

After leaving the NEXT Innovation Center, we (sadly) didn’t get any time to tour downtown Greenville as we had to get to Asheville for meetings early the next morning.  On the drive to Asheville, the Mini hit a significant milestone.  Obviously, LoriAnne is taking the picture as I practice safe driving.  We got to Asheville that night and had delicious Indian street food at Chai Pani and then had a refined evening reading some dusty, old books while sipping on champagne.  Asheville is one of my favorite destination towns in the Southeast and I always like hanging out downtown at night.  Oddly, on Tuesday night, the place was dead quiet except the champagne bookstore.   An early morning called for an early evening and we were tucked in to bed by 10PM.

The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed out to A-B Tech to meet with Marilyn McDonald, Pam Lewis, Steve Poland and Jill Sparks to talk about startups in Asheville.  The Asheville scene is young and rapidly growing, with the team at A-B Tech bringing lots of great energy to the community.  We gathered a lot of great ideas for events to be held in Athens.   After meeting at A-B Tech, we headed downtown for lunch and met with the CTO (and co-founder) of DigitalChalk, Troy Tolle.  Lunch was delicious and we had a great discussion about what it takes to build a startup community.  After lunch, Pam & Marilyn connected us with Mojo Coworking and we walked a few blocks to check out their space.  They recently moved into a new space and had a lot of excellent ideas for the physical space and creating a welcoming environment.  I can’t find my picture now, but they had awesome power strips (odd, I know).

We finished out our trip to Asheville with some delicious sushi in downtown and another early night as we had to be on the road the next morning at 5:30AM to get to Chattanooga.  Thanks for the tour, Asheville. We’ll be back!



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