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RALEIGH, N.C.–When the Cherokee Challenge begins reviewing applications for its 2013 class this spring, the newest member of its Advisory Board will be attorney/consultant Houston Barnes. The Cherokee Challenge, a greentech accelerator designed to identify, fund and develop high-impact environmental startups, provides chosen startups with flex-space, facilities at Cherokee Investments and seed funding of $20,000.

Barnes first became involved with the Challenge in 2012 when the program accepted one of his clients, Sanitation Creations. Through their mutual work with Sanitation Creations, Cherokee Challenge and Barnes saw great potential for future collaboration.  Barnes’s firm works with many startups and early stage companies, as Barnes provides not only legal services, but also a wide variety of mentoring and consulting services.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the Cherokee Challenge in this role,” said Barnes. “Given the quality of the ventures that have received investments in the past, and the ecosystem that continues to grow and thrive in the area, I expect the 2013 class to be outstanding.”


The Cherokee Challenge is a startup competition and accelerator designed to identify, fund and develop high impact environmental business ventures. It is an opportunity for an enterprising environmental entrepreneur to receive a seed investment of $20,000, as well as three months of free office space, back office support, and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and investors. The Challenge is sponsored by Cherokee Investment Partners. Cherokee has raised over $2 billion in private equity funds focused on brownfield remediation and, separately, founded a number of environmental businesses and invested in over 70 startups or venture funds in the past 28 years. Through the Challenge, Cherokee hopes to lend their experience and expertise to other environmentally focused entrepreneurs.

Learn more at: http://www.cherokeechallenge.com


Houston Barnes is an attorney and business strategy consultant.  He is also the founding member of The Barnes Law Firm, serving the Triangle region of North Carolina specifically, as well as the state at large. Barnes has worked in a number of areas, including consulting for a Fortune 500 company and serving as counsel for numerous startup entrepreneurial and emerging growth businesses. He excels at counseling clients on the legal aspects of as well as the business issues involved in starting and growing companies. His practice areas include corporate formation and startups, general business and corporate law, real estate, licensing and corporate partnering, franchise law, corporate counsel and government relations in a diverse range of industries, such as technology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, retail and small business and franchise. Additionally, Barnes serves as a mentor in the entrepreneurial programs at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and formerly mentored for the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.

For more information about Barnes and The Barnes Law Firm, visit http://www.barneslawnc.com.