Montgomery County Community College wants to breathe more life into the county’s startup community, and it’s offering local entrepreneurs a chance to do just that through the Karen A. Stout Start-Up Accelerator Fund.
Despite the name, the fund isn’t quite an accelerator: it doesn’t take equity in portfolio companies. Rather, it’s a mechanism for the college to offer funding to local entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their seed-stage business in Montco.
Entrepreneurs who are accepted will have access to the school’s Entrepreneurship Academy (co-sponsored by Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship) for approximately three to six months, according to MCCC Dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives Gaetan Giannini.
Applications will be sorted into three sectors:
- Services (i.e. education and food)
- Social enterprise and nonprofit
The deadline for applications is Feb. 28. Applicants who have been selected will then be invited to MCCC in April to pitch their business concepts to a panel of experts.
Giannini said the fund typically advances four to six businesses to the final pitch round and funds “50–100 percent of the finalists in some fashion.” Funding scales from $1,000 all the way up to $25,000.
While all applications will be accepted, Giannini said special consideration will be given to military veterans, minorities, women and alumni-owned businesses. Special consideration will also be granted to proposals submitted by companies with 50 percent or greater ownership held by a person or persons in one or more of those categories.