Invest 606, a business accelerator serving Eastern and Southern Kentucky, has announced eight business finalists who have a chance to win more than $30,000 in cash prizes through its pitch contest.

Launched in 2019, Invest 606 provides support to the businesses through six months of training and services. A $15,000 grand prize, $7,500 second prize, and $3,500 third prize will be awarded to the eight finalists completing the accelerator, along with thousands of dollars in other cash and in-kind prizes. To be eligible to apply, the finalists had to be based in the 606 area code. 

The selection process involved a competitive review among a panel of judges who are business and economic leaders in the state and region. The eight finalists are based across eight different counties in the region including Carter, Floyd, Greenup, Laurel, Lee, Mason, Whitley, and Wolfe. Combined they employ more than 30 people and generate more than $2,000,000 in annual revenue. The businesses represent six different industries including agriculture, hospitality, local food, retail, and technology. The finalist businesses and owners are:

  • Chocolat Inn & Café: Dustin Cornett, Lee County
  • Community Treatment and Tracking Solutions: Raenae Moore, Whitley County
  • Goose Bridle Coffee: Will Stevens, Carter County
  • Maysville Brewing Company: Tiffany and Brandon Fields, Mason County
  • Mr. Tibbs' Trading Company: Tim and Ruthie Caldwell, Floyd County
  • Print My Threads: Kyle Robinson, Greenup County
  • Turtle Farm Pottery: Casey Papendieck and Laura Gregory, Wolfe County
  • Velvet Whiskey Candle Co: Kazzi King, Laurel County

Over the next six months, the finalists will complete an individualized and flexible training plan. They will present their business to the public at a Demo Day on January 16, 2021, in Pikeville. The Final Pitch contest will be held April 17, 2021, in Williamsburg.

Invest 606 is founded and led by Dr. Geoff Marietta with the mission to catalyze business growth in the 606 by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed today and grow tomorrow. Marietta is an entrepreneur-in-residence at University of the Cumberlands, which also serves as the home office of Invest 606.

“This is our second incredibly talented cohort of finalists,” said Marietta. “Each represents a successful business that is growing and aligned with the strengths of the region. It is inspiring to see their hard work, ingenuity, and perseverance.”

A full list of the finalists and their businesses can be found at Anyone interested in the events and the accelerator contest may learn more by visiting their website or following Invest 606 on Facebook. 

University of the Cumberlands is a founding partner of Invest 606, alongside the James Graham Brown Foundation and the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.