Soda Jerks named finalists for national entrepreneurship award
Haywood Community College Entrepreneurship students and owners of Waynesville Soda Jerks, Chris Allen and Megan Brown, were recently named finalists for the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Student Entrepreneur Awards. The award will be presented at the NACCE 2014 conference in October in Phoenix, Arizona.
The NACCE Awards program honors and celebrates entrepreneurial thinkers and doers by providing a platform to be recognized nationally for their importance to their local economy. In addition, the NACCE Awards honor entrepreneurially minded college leaders and their students, past and present, shining a spotlight on the role of the community and technical colleges in fostering economic vitality through entrepreneurship in their communities.
The Waynesville Soda Jerks use local produce and an all-natural approach in their handcrafted and locally made artisan sodas. Allen and Brown’s business is headquartered in the HCC Student Business Incubator in the Center for New and Expanding Business.
Allen and Brown are able to combine the knowledge they receive from the Entrepreneurship Program with assistance from HCC’s Small Business Center to set their business up for success.
In their first year of operation, the Waynesville Soda Jerks successfully implemented a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign that raised more than $7,500 with 59 backers.
The Waynesville Soda Jerks’ artisan sodas can be found seasonally at the Haywood Historic Farmer’s Market and year round at The Strand in Waynesville. Allen and Brown are also available for private parties, catering events, and local festivals.
For more information on the Waynesville Soda Jerks, visit www.waynesvillesodajerks.com. For more information on HCC’s Entrepreneurship Program or the Small Business Center, call 565-4219.