Launch in 10 weeks: new pre-accelerator program helps entrepreneurs turn ideas to businesses

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By Audrey Ingram

Are you a college student with a business idea who wants to win $1,000 to launch it? Dayton Tech Guide is looking for you to join their first Early Risers Academy cohort!

Dayton Tech Guide wants 10 student venture teams from Dayton-area colleges, including:

  • Wright State University

  • The University of Dayton

  • Central State University

  • Sinclair Community College

  • Wilberforce University

  • Cedarville University

  • Wittenberg University

The fall cohort kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Teams meet for 10 weeks with in-person meetings every Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. in the Kuhns Building, 15 W. Fourth St., Dayton.

“Our ideal applicants are students with solid ideas that they have given some real thought to and have begun to ask themselves the hard questions regarding its feasibility,” program manager KeAnna Daniels said. “We particularly want to know that they have skin in the game and are committed to making their idea work, even if they have to pivot. We are looking for students who are looking to take action.”

Teams spend the 10 weeks moving from creating an idea to founding a business through coursework from the Kauffman Foundation, the country’s preeminent entrepreneurship-building organization. 

Student founders receive pitch coaching and hands-on mentoring, participate in weekly discussions with successful entrepreneurs and experts and get access to Dayton’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and alumni support after graduating the academy.

Participants should be able to commit at least four to six hours per week to coursework for the duration of the academy.

“I’m excited about creating a space for students to grow, to create, to learn and to get them connected to resources that will support their entrepreneurial endeavors,” Daniels said. “Currently, we don’t have a ton of resources to support college students outside of their respective colleges and universities. During the process of launching the Early Risers Academy, we have begun to build those relationships and pipelines into the broader Dayton entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Student teams who complete the pre-accelerator program will pitch their ideas to the community at Dayton Tech Guide’s November edition of Early Risers. One startup will be awarded $1,000. Apply here to be part of the inaugural cohort.

Dayton Tech Guide plans to launch additional Early Risers Academy cohorts through 2019 and 2020 that will not be limited to only students. Contact Daniels for more information.

Our entrepreneur and small business coverage is powered by Dayton Tech Guide, an organization that seeks to connect entrepreneurs to peers, resources and supporters while telling the story of the region's thriving entrepreneurial community.

NewsZack Frink