BCAN Pilot looks to provide creative entrepreneurs with the 'infrastructure' to grow a business - Technical.ly Baltimore


Jun. 26, 2019 1:32 pm

BCAN Pilot looks to provide creative entrepreneurs with the ‘infrastructure’ to grow a business

The pre-accelerator program starts with a daylong event this weekend. In the future, the Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network is planning multiweek sessions.
BCAN looks to help creative entrepreneurs build businesses.

BCAN looks to help creative entrepreneurs build businesses.

(Courtesy photo)

With a daylong event this weekend, the Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN) is kicking off programming designed to serve as a guide for participants’ entrepreneurial path.

BCAN was created as an initiative of Baltimore-based arts college MICA to support creative entrepreneurs working in any discipline across the city.

On Saturday, June 29, the event, called “You Are Here,” is set to provide a series of workshops facilitated by Q Ragsdale of Baltimore’s Orange Moon Media on building a business model, developing a positive entrepreneurial mindset and exploring revenue streams. The free event at BCAN’s headquarters on W. Mt. Royal Ave. is currently at capacity, but waitlist applicants are being accepted.

The event also points toward a new group of resources from BCAN. It’s the first public resource for a new programming series called BCAN Pilot, said Program Director Sharayna Christmas. The organization last year launched Founder Fellows, a program which worked with a group of entrepreneurs that have established their businesses to help them grow, and has been heading out into creative spaces to combine art and practical tips.

BCAN Pilot is designed as a pre-accelerator for all entrepreneurs. Creative entrepreneurs put a lot of work into their products and services, Christmas said. This program looks to provide tools that help the founders have all the necessary things in place to expand when an opportunity comes about. It’s aimed at working with entrepreneurs at all levels on steps like establishing a legal business entity putting a financial system in place, establishing a business model and an evaluation system.

“BCAN Pilot is going to focus on making sure people are infrastructurally sound,” said Christmas.

So along with providing about 30 entrepreneurs with tools to assess their business model, Saturday’s event is an introduction to the community of this level of programming.

In the future, Christmas said BCAN is planning “a 6-week program where entrepreneurs can come to take free workshops on everything from how to incorporate your business to how to choose an accounting system, develop a business model and accelerate it.” It’ll meet weekly, covering a different area each session, Christmas said.

Along with those getting started, it’ll be open to all entrepreneurs that are looking to move forward. Even if entrepreneurs are putting out great products, they may still need to put the infrastructure in place, or want to move forward in a way that can help them hire more people.

A key consideration, said Christmas: “How are they going to make a living off what they love?”


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