Ten finalists have been selected for the first-ever Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition on Thursday, September 5 at the Appalachian Center for the Arts.

The event is a new addition to the 2019 SOAR Summit and is presented by SOAR, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation Office, and USDA Rural Development. It is sponsored by Peoples Bank, Invest 606, and Toyota Tsusho. The event will start at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

  “The caliber of the finalists truly demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit of those who call Appalachia Kentucky home,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR). “Our work with the Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation Office has led to us establishing a team focused solely upon our Blueprint goal of small business in the digital economy.”

  The top prize will be $5,000, with a runner-up and third place prize of $2,500 and $1,500, respectively. There will also be an audience favorite prize of $500.

  The finalists selected to participate in the pitch competition are:

Nathan Hall | Pine Mountain Remedies | Allen

Seth Long | SouthDown Farm | Ermine

John Nickell | The Que | Morehead

Chris McNamee Class Guard, LLC (ReadiShield) | Pikeville

Max Hammond | A-1 Implements, LLC | Olive Hill

Joyce Pinson | Friends Drift Inn | Pikeville

Mark Halbert | Slope Masters, LLC | Martin

Joseph McKenney | Appalachian Apparel Company | Viper

Robin Richmond Mason | Tree of the Field and RediFlame | Berea

Scott Stuckey | Inquiry Technologies | London

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