Business Accelerator for Collegiate Female Founders and Recent Graduates

The WBENC Collegiate Accelerator, previously the WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program, is a premier startup program that fosters growth for the next generation of female founders and women-owned businessesWBENC is proud to invest in the next generation of Women’s Business Enterprises through the support of WBENC Corporate and Government Members.  

Seed capital grants will be awarded to the most disruptive and innovative businesses.

PROGRAM DATES 

April – June 2022

Virtual 

  • Wednesday, April 20 – 5pm – 6pm ET  
  • Wednesday, May 11 – 5pm – 6:30pm ET 
  • Thursday, May 12 – 12pm – 1:30pm ET
  • Wednesday, May 18 – 5pm – 6:30pm ET 
  • Wednesday, May 25 – 5pm – 6:30pm ET 

In-Person 

APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED

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PROGRAM TIMING

The 2022 Collegiate Accelerator will run from the end of April through July. Collegiate Accelerator participants will also have the opportunity to participate in NextGen & NextGen Pitch Intensive continuing August through October.

*The NextGen Pitch Intensive continues September – October 2022 

LOCATION

Virtual & In-Person at the 2022 WBENC National Conference*

* The health and safety of our attendees is our top priority. We will notify program participants of all requirements to attend the WBENC Conference at the time of enrollment. 

Title Sponsor
Program Details

Aspiring collegiate female entrepreneurs (or recent graduates) accepted into the WBENC Collegiate Accelerator will learn to grow and scale their businesses through tailored entrepreneurship curriculum, focused on the fundamentals of growth, marketing, business strategy, leadership, and the essentials for an effective pitch. They receive mentoring from some of the most successful women-owned businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies, while also participating in a showcase of their product or service to WBENC Corporate Members, a pitch competition, and join an alumni community of 200+ female founders.  

Seed capital grants also will be awarded to the most disruptive and innovative businesses.

Tailored Curriculum

The WBENC Collegiate Accelerator helps start-ups grow and scale their business through a tailored education curriculum focused on the fundamentals of growth, marketing, business strategy, leadership, and the essentials for an effective pitch.

Mentorship

Participants in the Collegiate Accelerator receive mentoring from some of the most successful women-owned businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies. 

Demo Day & Pitch Competition

Product and service showcase featuring live pitches and demonstrations during the WBENC Conference. Seed capital grants will be awarded to the most disruptive and innovative businesses.  

 

NextGen Pitch Intensive

Collegiate Accelerator participants will have the opportunity to participate in the NextGen Pitch Intensive, a pitch competition for NextGen female founders held September & October 2022. 

So many incredible connections were made at WBENC that I don’t even know where to begin to describe the experience! There is nothing short of support from every individual you meet.
Kat Samardzija
Founder, Locker Lifestyle & PowertoPitch (now WBENC-Certified)
This was a great opportunity to connect with like-minded women, socially responsible corporations, and more! I was able to learn how to better pitch my business and got feedback on next steps. I was also able to align myself with WBENC who like me, is invested in promoting diversity and innovation, opening doors for others and fueling the economy. Thank you WBENC and sponsors for this major opportunity!
Leyanis Diaz
Founder, MAJOR (now WBENC-Certified)
This program was the best possible decision I could have made to further my business and personal growth. My expectations were blown away, and life-long connections were formed! I will be recommending this program to everyone I can!
Shelby Baldwin
Founder, Rocketing Media
Who Should Apply

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY 

  • Collegiate female founder enrolled Full-Time or Part-Time in a recognized College or University, or a recent graduate (within the last 12 months)  
  • (1) Female Founder participant per company
  • Applicants must be able to participate in programs held in Eastern Time  
  • Applicant must be an owner, founder, or controlling shareholder of a company that has been operating for at least 3 months but does not have to be generating revenue

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS 

  • Preference will be given to U.S. citizens 

APPLICATION CRITERIA 

  • Written application, including an essay stating the desire to attend the program and how the program would enable you for future growth and success
  • Resume  
  • One-minute video elevator pitch about your venture 

SELECTION CRITERIA 

  • Applicants may be selected for a phone interview.
  • Applicants are selected based on their comprehensive application; no one element is weighted more.
  • Participants will be required to attend the entire program, the inability to attend the entire program will result in not being accepted
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Tuition & Fees

Through the support of WBENC Corporate and Government Members, WBENC is able to provide the Collegiate Accelerator free of charge for all students accepted into the program. Travel, lodging, and expenses will be covered for the program.* 

Participating Colleges & Universities

More than 100+ colleges and universities across the U.S. have helped identify prospective students for this program. Join us! Contact us at NextGen@wbenc.org for details on how you can get involved.