Start your engine, small businesses! Asheville Test Drive program launches


Have an idea for a small business but not sure how buyers would embrace it? A new program in partnership with Mountain BizWorks and the City of Asheville gives people an opportunity to test their ideas in a low-risk environment.

It’s called Test Drive and here’s how it works. This innovative partnership gives fledgling businesses the opportunity to exhibit their up-and-coming business ideas at Asheville festivals to gain valuable feedback.

Are you in the startup phase of your business and searching to get in front of as many customers as possible? Do you have a product or service ready to sell but not enough data to determine if your goods are market-ready?  Try Test Drive, where pre-revenue and startup entrepreneurs can sample, market and sell their merchandise at the region’s most well-attended events in Asheville.

“Asheville is unique in its locally-focused economy,” said Economic Development Specialist Jon Fillman, festivals coordinator for the City. “We pride ourselves on building and growing partnerships to achieve City Council’s vision for a thriving local economy.”


How it works

Your business must be pre-revenue or a very early startup, making less than $20,000 in annual revenue. Your business must be under two years old. You must at least 18 years old or be represented by a parent or guardian

And you must attend or participate in required Test Drive activities, including participating in a prep workshop. Here’s the schedule:

All upcoming Test Drive Prep Workshops are held at the Mountain BizWorks Training Room, 153 S. Lexington Ave.

  • 4 to 6 p.m. April 25
  • 10 a.m. to noon May 10
  • 10 a.m. to noon June 1


Turn your dream business into reality with resources available in this community. Learn more at the Mountain BizWorks Test Drive webpage.