SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Aug. 19, 2020) — Yesterday, Startup South Bend – Elkhart, an initiative of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership (Regional Partnership), concluded its inaugural pre-accelerator program. Graduating six participants, Startup South Bend – Elkhart’s Pre-Accelerator Program is designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs validate (or invalidate) their ideas while adding to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and providing participants guidance on sound business practices.
“This Pre-Accelerator is a structured program and uses a cohort model, every participant has the opportunity to learn together, see the struggles that startups are facing, and help to work through them, which is extremely valuable,” said Startup South Bend – Elkhart Pre-Accelerator Facilitator and enFocus Program Director of Operations, Patrick Jones. “It’s about building up the entrepreneurial ecosystem, everyone working together.”
This virtual 10-week cohort-based program connects entrepreneurs with mentors and subject matter experts. Each week, participants gathered virtually for group educational workshops and mentoring sessions. The one-on-one sessions allowed participants the time to work through individual business challenges with their mentor, while the group mentoring sessions were dedicated to pitch development and feedback. After completing this program, participants are now able to talk about their idea clearly and concisely to investors. Participants are also eligible for up to $2,000 of Proof of Concept grant funds to advance their products.
“The Startup South Bend – Elkhart Pre-Accelerator program allows early stage entrepreneurs to take their startup idea from a concept to a viable business opportunity,” said South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership President and CEO, Regina Emberton. “Our goal and the goal of this program is to not only prepare innovation-led startups for a formal accelerator program or an initial investment round, but to also increase our regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, to connect entrepreneurs to each and to mentors.”
Startup South Bend – Elkhart is helping early-stage entrepreneurs take an idea and evolve it into an investment-ready business pitch. Many startups begin with what they believe is a good idea. However, they can quickly run into business obstacles that stall their progress or set them up for future problems. Through this cohort-based programming and individualized mentoring, entrepreneurs are given the tools and the connections needed to take the next step in their startup journey.
For more information about the six entrepreneurs and their startups, click here!