/ˈkad(ə)ləst/ noun | an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action without itself undergoing any permanent change.

Who We Are

Unleashing Entrepreneurship in Appalachia

Appalachian Investors Alliance (AIA) is a non-profit educational foundation working to revitalize the region’s economy by facilitating community-based, self-reinforcing economic and workforce development through entrepreneur readiness.  The AIA provides technical services to community-minded angel investors and committed entrepreneurs.  These services include organizing capital and augmenting accelerator and academic/business school curriculum with practical, “dress rehearsal” entrepreneurial training to compete for precious regional and national venture resources and funding.

The AIA supports investors’ efforts in the region to create access to capital programs for dedicated entrepreneurs.  It is supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Grant program.  With these grant resources the AIA has demonstrated sustainable economic and workforce development is possible through an Impact Investing model tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities in Appalachia. 

Regional AIA-network funds have created a tangible financial impact. To date, over 400 accredited investor members have launched 16 angel funds across 11 states. These funds have deployed over $22M into nearly 90 businesses, leading to over $650M in matching and follow-on investment from across AIA’s growing network and beyond.

Hundreds of jobs have been created through this process in three years.  The AIA has demonstrated that it can shift resources from Wall Street to “Main Street” by working to create more informed investors and competitive entrepreneurs in the region.

Who We Serve



For community revitalization to occur – for the abandoned storefronts and neglected commercial properties to be revived – a profitable activity must take over where formerly unprofitable businesses closed up. Economic resiliency is the key, and deep, lasting change requires a collaborative effort. AIA partners with Economic Development Authorities, colleges and universities and community development organizations to restore thriving communities across Appalachia.


Investors in Appalachia are seeking Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace, clean energy, robotics, software, and artificial intelligence ventures as a focus area for their deal flow. AIA works to educate, inform, and assess entrepreneurs working in these areas and others to ensure they are truly investment-ready from an investor standpoint. AIA helps entrepreneurs understand the mind of the investor so they are better prepared to raise and accept capital needed to launch and scale their new and early-stage ventures.


AIA is the catalyst forming new angel funds in the region and providing strategic counsel to impact minded investors as they consider potential deals and best management practices. Having a proven and repeatable process for identifying, assessing, closing, and curating angel investing opportunities distinguishes AIA from what many angels do. AIA is a force multiplier for public funds, private funds, angel funds, angel groups, university venture funds, impact funds and family offices, preparing them to better amplify and sustain their impact.

How We Help


AIA focuses on 3 primary activities in bringing their venture funding best practices to bear for the benefit of the Appalachian entrepreneurial ecosystem:

1. Organizing capital into angel funds across Appalachia and beyond

2. Providing fund management and technical services, such as due diligence, deal structuring, valuation, closings. portfolio curation and bookkeeping

3. Providing educational material to demystify early stage investing for investors and entrepreneurs

Interested in learning more?
Have AIA contact you to discuss your needs.

Our Angels


Highlighted Area
Region served by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

Inside ARC Region
Outside ARC Region

The AIA network was a key investor in Arkis who supported the company through each stage of growth.  The team is very personable and professional, as well as experienced entrepreneurs themselves, who I count as partners.

Chad Seaver

Co-Founder, Arkis Biosciences, Inc

AIA worked closely with us to develop and deliver a powerful program aimed at helping West Virginia entrepreneurs and startup companies understand risk capital and angel investors, in particular. Our entrepreneurs and startup companies got an inside look at what angel investors seek in a deal, and it made them more successful at pitching their business ideas. But AIA didn’t stop there. They also connected our startups and entrepreneurs with angel investors throughout the Appalachian region, giving them opportunities to raise capital

Anne Barth

Executive Director, TechConnect West Virginia

The diligence performed by the Appalachian Investors Alliance is second to none in this industry.  It gives investors comfort their investments are being smartly made and entrepreneurs the confidence that their business is structured properly to succeed.  If a business passes muster with the Alliance, it can pass muster anywhere.

Mike Green

Co-Founder & Managing Director, Mountain State Capital