The Early Risers Academy pre-accelerator program, designed to take participants from business idea to launch within 10 weeks, will kick back off in January 2020.
There are six cohorts slated for 2020, three of which are industry agnostic — any team or individual with an idea for a business can apply. Two of the cohorts will focus on entrepreneurs with ideas for tech-based businesses. The final cohort will be for students who are in between their senior year of high school and their freshman year of college.
One graduate from each cohort will win $1,000 to infuse into their business.
“2020 is the beginning of a new decade, and in this new decade, we are intentionally carving out space for minority founders and business owners to access resources that help build solid foundations and provide hands-on support in order to create successful businesses,” program manager KeAnna Daniels said. “We are committed to reaching non-tech and historically under-represented founders who haven’t always felt seen in Dayton’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
The dates for each cohort are as follows:
• Jan. 14 – March 17, 2020 — general
• Feb. 5- April 8 — tech-based
• April 7 – June 9 — general
• June 3 – Aug. 5 — student
• Aug. 26 – Nov. 4 — general
• Oct. 6 – Dec. 8 — tech-based
The Early Risers Academy pre-accelerator application will be open on a rolling basis. Applicants should indicate which cohort they want when they apply. Up to six places are available in each cohort.
Cohorts will meet for 10 weeks, with in-person meetings on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:30p in the Nucelus Coworking Space in the Kuhns Building, 15 W. 4th St, Dayton. Applicants should be able to commit at least 4-6 hours per week to coursework for the duration of the academy.
“Our ideal applicants are aspiring entrepreneurs with solid ideas that they have given some real thought to and have begun to asks themselves the hard questions regarding its feasibility,” 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 aspiring founders who are looking to take action.”
Participants will spend those 10 weeks moving from idea to founding a business through coursework from the Kauffman Foundation, the country’s preeminent entrepreneurship-building organization. Aspiring founders will receive pitch coaching and hands-on mentoring, weekly discussions with successful entrepreneurs and experts, access to Dayton’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, & alumni support after graduating the academy.
Graduates who pursue business launch will also have a chance to pitch for a $1,000 grand prize at the conclusion of their cohort’s programming. Pitch events will be organized with Launch Dayton, a collaborative effort to connect entrepreneurs to peers, resources, and supporters, and to tell the stories of our region’s thriving startup community.
This pre-accelerator is supported by The Entrepreneurs Center & Wright State Research Institute, collaborators on the region’s Entrepreneurial Services Provider (ESP) grant which is funded by Ohio Third Frontier.