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Baltipreneurs Accelerator will convene ventures from Loyola and across the city

Apps are open through Oct. 31. Preference will be given to entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups, said Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Director Wendy Bolger.

On the campus of Loyola University Maryland. (Photo by Flickr user Mark Plummer, used under a Creative Commons license)

Loyola University Maryland’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) is rolling out new programming for entrepreneurs building a business or social venture.

During weekly meetings running from Nov. 14 through February, the Baltipreneurs Accelerator Program is offering instruction from Loyola faculty members as well as entrepreneurship leaders from the wider local community.

CIE Director Wendy Bolger said the program is open to both university-affiliated ventures as well as those based in Baltimore. Preference will be given to those from underrepresented entrepreneurs, including women, people of color, people with disabilities and veterans.

Bolger said it reflects the center’s “dual mission” to serve underrepresented groups in the city, as well as bolstering activities on campus. The pilot program marks a new step toward carrying out that mission for the center, which launched last year.

“Loyola hasn’t offered something like this before either to students or the community at large,” she said. “The fact that we’re bringing both of those groups together is exciting.”

Along with the weekly instruction, the five to eight participants selected will receive a $2,000 stipend, pitch training, networking and a photo session for professional portraits. They also get access to space in the Loyola/Notre Dame Library, and the program concludes with a demo day.

Bolger said a big emphasis will be on “individualized learning.” That means the programming won’t be exactly the same for each entrepreneur, but rather tailored to what kinds of support each requires at a particular stage or type of venture.

They’re also looking to create an environment where the entrepreneurs support each other. That will be reflected in the choice for who wins additional funding at the demo day next year, as the cohort members will get a chance to weigh in using a peer-review model that originated with D.C.-based Village Capital. It won’t only be looking at business metrics.

“We want the group to tell us, who do you think made the most progress? Who do you think taught you the most? … Who was the best member of this cohort network?” Bolger said.

Applications are due Oct. 31. Here’s where to apply.

Companies: Loyola University Maryland

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