SHC's mission is to create more high-tech (high-paying) jobs and more growth investment opportunities for the residents of the high country. We're doing this by investing time, expertise, fresh ideas and money into existing and new startups. 


We're a team of entrepreneurs, coders, investors and technology professionals that have a passion for high-tech and our community. By connecting both, we'll change the economic trajectory of the high country.


We make investments of time and money in exchange for small stakes in the companies we serve. All of the companies and entrepreneurs we work with get guidance from seasoned technology professionals and proven entrepreneurs. 

Ideas are cheap and execution is hard - that's where we come in. We help with product and go-to-market strategies, making introductions to investors, avoiding the hassles of building a company for the first time and the legal pitfalls and delays caused by not structuring correctly. 


Our philosophy is simple - Empower entrepreneurs to do what they do best - Build, Lead and Inspire. 


James Bance

James co-founded his first tech company and moved to the Silicon Valley in 2000. His career has spanned over 18 years with a focus on technology and investments. He's held marketing, sales leadership and strategic partnership roles at Verizon Digital Media (formerly AOL and Yahoo), Bazaarvoice (IPO in 2012), Adometry (acquired by Google 2014). He’s currently co-founder and Head of Sales at ServeHub, a local software startup helping nonprofits grow their mission.

Sam Glover

Sam is an entrepreneur and growth leader who attended UNC Chapel Hill. Over the past 10 years he has worked with several NC based startups, helping them define and measure core metrics and acquire more customers. He recently launched and sold his first company, Zip-Services: a technology platform aimed at disrupting the laundry and linen business. He is currently VP of product for Shoeboxed, Inc. He lives in the Boone area with his wife, daughter and dog.

Jeffery Scott

Jeffrey is a long-time High Country resident, big thinker, conservationist, lover of the outdoors, digital nomad and bourbon connoisseur. He currently runs Metamorphic Consulting where he works with companies in fractional CEO and CFO roles providing executive leadership and business development services for early and mid-stage social enterprises to help them grow, scale and reach impact.






Chris Grasinger

Chris grew up in the High Country of North Carolina. He received his Masters of Business Administration from Appalachian State University in Fall of 2013.  He manages lending and learning services for Mountain Bizworks, covering the High Country region of WNC. Chris also serves on the board of High Country Local First and Ascent Business Network - not-for-profit organizations that provide entrepreneurial support to business owners and prospective business owners in the High Country.  He is a partner in Center 45 Climbing and Fitness.




Madelyn Hjertmann

Madelyn is an entrepreneur and world traveler based in Valle Crucis, NC. With an MBA from Duke University and a BA in Dance from Columbia College in Chicago, she applies a unique combination of business expertise and creativity to all of her projects. Madelyn founded IdealSpace Consulting in 2010, and has helped over 100 individuals, businesses, and nonprofits articulate their goals and streamline their processes. She managed Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center from 2014 to 2015, and currently owns and operates the Valle Crucis Lavender House, a seasonal agritourist destination in the High Country. With additional projects ranging from the performing arts to innovative women's health technologies, Madelyn believes that good business has the potential to change the world.



164 Depot St. 
Boone, NC 28607

Office (828) 278-9306

Note: We don't keep regular office hours, so the best way to get in touch with us is to drop us a line with the button above.

We're excited that you are interested in
Startup High Country!