• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 8s

Business accelerator program aims to help small businesses flourish in Alaska

By Heather Hintze 6:22 PM July 26, 2016
ANCHORAGE –

After two years in business, Heather Kelly has seen the demand for more healthy options when it comes to backcountry camping food. That’s the concept behind her startup, Heather’s Choice: dehydrated meals made with Alaskan ingredients like smoked salmon.

“We’ve steadily grown. Today we’re sitting at $31,000 through our website which is our best month of sales yet,” Kelly told to a group of investors on Tuesday.

Heather’s Choice is one of five businesses in Launch : Alaska’s accelerator program. The organization, led by Lance Ahern and a long list of experienced mentors and board members, began as a way to help other startups get their ideas off the ground in Alaska.

“We continue to grow great people who have to leave the state to pursue their dreams and those opportunities. We want those opportunities to be here,” said Ahern.

The companies get mentors to help them grow their business models. Then they pitch to potential investors for feedback.

“There are so many things I don’t know, and that I don’t know that I don’t know,” Kelly laughed.

Aquilo is another business in the program. The Fairbanks-based drone services company keeps up to date on regulations and technology so their clients don’t have to.

Owner Carl France and his business partner are both University of Alaska Fairbanks graduations. He said it was important for them to start their business in their hometown.

“In the Lower 48 there’s a lot more talent but there’s more competition,” France said. “Here it’s more open. If you have the drive and you work hard the opportunity is there and you don’t get closed out from it.”

For Kelly being a part of Launch : Alaska and working with the mentors has allowed her to see her company’s potential.

“They’ve been super helpful in helping me get the business to the next level which ultimately is going to be growing to a global market,” Kelly said.

The other companies include Kwema, which makes smart jewelry to enhance personal safety, voice-control platform XPOHOC and Eiden Engineering, which creates devices and services for home safety.

Each will get to present to real investors at Demo Day on August 25 at the Beartooth Theater.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    Alaskans stride for solutions at annual Heart and Stroke Walk

    by Eric Ruble on Sep 24, 18:48

    Considered a growing problem by health professionals, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Nearly 1,200 Alaskans joined the fight against it at the Anchorage Heart Walk Saturday morning. “We can think about our own families and friends that are potentially suffering from heart disease and cardiovascular disease, which is turning into an […]

  • News

    Charlotte police release video of Keith Lamont Scott shooting

    by CBS/AP on Sep 24, 17:27

    The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Saturday released dashcam and bodycam video of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, as well as photos of the gun and possible marijuana blunt found on Scott when he died. In the dashcam video, Scott can be seen exiting his vehicle before officers start firing. Officers are heard saying “drop the gun, […]

  • Lifestyle

    Mat-Su Borough officials surprised by mountain goat in downtown Palmer

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 24, 17:14

    ANCHORAGE — Matanuska-Susitna Borough Animal Care Officer Nick Uphus arrived in downtown Palmer Friday afternoon to assist police with the unexpected. “I thought it was a loose domestic goat when I got the call. I knew Palmer Police would not put a goat in the back of the squad car,” Uphus said in a Mat-Su […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Tangible’ results from Water Innovations for Healthy Arctic Homes conference

    by Davis Hovey / KNOM on Sep 24, 13:29

    On Wednesday, the conference on Water Innovations for Healthy Arctic Homes, or WIHAH, wrapped up in Anchorage. The goal of the conference was to address the challenges of providing safe and affordable access to running water and sanitation. Panelists with different technical backgrounds presented earlier this week. One of the presenters, local Nome resident Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle, says this conference […]

  • News

    East Anchorage home damaged in early morning fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 24, 13:04

    A family whose home was damaged during an early morning fire was displaced but did not need help from the American Red Cross, officials say. The fire was reported at 1:43 a.m. at 2436 Havenshire Place, Anchorage Fire Department dispatchers told KTVA. Fifteen units were dispatched and arrived by 1:49 a.m. The fire took nearly […]

  • News

    Sitka group wants plastic bag fee

    by Associated Press on Sep 24, 13:01

    A group is exploring a possible plastic and paper bag fee in Sitka. The Sitka Sentinel reports the first Bags for Change meeting brought in about a dozen people. Supporters say single-use grocery bags harm the environment. A fee could range from 10 to 25 cents on paper and plastic grocery store bags. The group […]

  • News

    Shaktoolik plans to ‘stay and defend’ current location

    by Lauren Frost / KNOM on Sep 24, 12:42

    This August, representatives from Shaktoolik completed a strategic management plan to protect their community from erosion and violent storms. The plan lists nine critical actions, including replacing the health clinic, reinforcing the berm, and building an evacuation center. All of these critical actions are part of the village’s larger goal of remaining at their current […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage chiropractor arrested for child exploitation may have additional victims, police say

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 24, 11:50

    An Anchorage doctor has been arrested on multiple charges related to child exploitation and distribution of child pornography, according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. Police said it is possible he has additional victims, and some may live outside of Alaska. Online court records show police arrested 31-year-old Jesse Lee Webb on Thursday […]