Startup South Bend – Elkhart Launches Cohort 2 of Pre-Accelerator Program

SOUTH BEND – ELKHART REGION, Ind. (Sept. 9, 2020) — Startup South Bend – Elkhart (Startup SBE), an initiative of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership (Regional Partnership) is now accepting applications for Cohort 2 of its virtual Pre-Accelerator program taking place this fall.

Pre-accelerator programs allow early-stage entrepreneurs to take their startup idea from a concept to a viable business opportunity. The goal of Startup SBE’s Pre-Accelerator is to prepare innovation-led startups for a formal accelerator program or an initial investment round. Through cohort-based programming and individualized mentoring, Startup SBE gives entrepreneurs the tools and the connections needed to take the next step in their startup journey.

The virtual 10-week program connects entrepreneurs with mentors and subject matter experts through a cohort-based model. Each week entrepreneurs attend a group educational workshop or an individualized 1:1 mentor session to make progress on their startup.

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How do I know if the Pre-Accelerator program is right for me?

  • I’m located in St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall counties in Indiana or I’m willing to launch my company there.
  • I have raised less than $50,000 in funding/revenue to date.
  • My idea addresses a national or global market (i.e., tech enabled or disruptive technology).
  • At least one founding member can commit six hours per week for ten weeks.

What are the benefits of applying?

  • The program is no charge, and no equity is taken.
  • Complete a startup pitch deck and an executive summary.
  • Have access to up to $2,000 in early-stage funding for prototyping and validation activities.
  • Be introduced to mentors, coaches, and potential investors.
  • Sometimes ideas fizzle out. Here you’ll have opportunities to connect with other entrepreneurs who possibly become new co-founding team members.

After the Pre-Accelerator Program, Startup South Bend – Elkhart will help you identify next steps, including:

  • Participating in the University of Notre Dame’s IDEA Center commercialization engine.
  • Introductions and referrals to investors.
  • Invitations to demo days and/or special pitch events.
  • Continued assistance from mentors.

Important dates to keep in mind:

  • September 8 – September 30, 2020: Accepting Applications for Cohort 2
  • October 7 – December 2, 2020: Group workshops/sessions take place each Wednesday evening from 5-7pm.
  • December 15, 2020: Graduation and Pitch Event


About Startup South Bend – Elkhart
The mission of Startup South Bend – Elkhart, a non-profit initiative of the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership is to promote and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the South Bend – Elkhart region. Startup South Bend – Elkhart works to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and culture in the regional community, identify and nurture new business startups, and support the growth of existing high potential businesses. For more information about Startup South Bend – Elkhart, visit

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit

Program Contact
Patrick Jones
Startup South Bend – Elkhart
(317) 319-4647