Accelerators / Arts

Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network names 5 Founder Fellows

The 12-week program is supporting entrepreneurs who are empowering refugees and immigrants, creating an inclusive tattoo studio and more.

The 2019 cohort of the BCAN Founder Fellowship. (Courtesy photo)

Inside Charm City Meadworks last Monday, the Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN) introduced the second cohort for of the BCAN Founder Fellowship.

The three-month program is designed for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to go all-in on their business. In all, 50 applicants applied for this year’s cohort, of which five were accepted.

The fellows are driven by a social mission along with selling a product, from supporting immigrants and refugees to providing an inclusive art space.

BCAN, an initiative founded by MICA, teamed with seven local partners to provide support and facilitation for the program. The goal is to help refine business models, and put a plan in place for sustainable growth.

Over the 12 weeks, the founders receive support in the form of mentorship and access to investors, as well as pro-bono financial and legal services. They also receive a $5,000 seed investment, and office space at BCAN’s headquarters at MICA.

The local partners include Conscious Venture Lab, Startup Portal, DLA Piper, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Orange Moon Media, Andre Bean Brand Architecture and the Builder Fund.

Here’s a look at the cohort:

  • Branding by Brandi, the graphic design agency founded by Brandi Mebane that specializes in web development and branding
  • Cajou, a maker of dairy-free ice cream made from cashew, almond and hazelnut milk
  • Fruit Camp, a forthcoming tattoo studio that seeks to provide an inclusive environment, particularly serving people who may feel alienated in tattoo studios including queer people, women and people of color; the founders aim to make the studio a hub of queer art
  • Mera Kitchen Collective, the food cooperative that seeks to empower refugee and immigrant women by hosting pop-up events, catering and cooking classes
  • Vent Coffee, the Medfield-based coffee roaster that works with importers to provide fair wages for growers
Companies: Maryland Institute College of Art

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