Business Accelerator for Collegiate Female Founders and Recent Graduates

The WBENC Collegiate Accelerator is a highly coveted and multifaceted entrepreneurial program focused on the advancement of collegiate female founders. Selected students will learn how to navigate growth for early-stage ventures through access to resources, specialized education, and personalized mentorship. The most innovative and disruptive ventures will be awarded seed capital grants.

WBENC is proud to engage, empower, and inspire the next generation of woman-owned businesses by optimizing the power of the WBENC network through the support of WBENC Corporate Members.

PROGRAM DATES 

January – May 2023 

Virtual 

  • Thursday, January 26 | 5pm – 6pm ET
  • Thursday, February 16 | 5pm – 6pm ET
  • Wednesday, February 22 | 5pm – 7pm ET
  • Thursday, March 16 | 5pm – 6:30pm ET
  • Thursday, April 06 | 5pm – 6pm ET
  • Wednesday, April 19 | 5pm – 6:30pm ET
  • Tuesday, May 2 | 5pm – 6:30pm ET

In-Person 

APPLICATION STATUS

Closed

PROGRAM TIMING

The 2023 Collegiate Accelerator will run from the end of January through May.

LOCATION

Virtual & In-Person at the 2023 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. 

A Sneak Peek at the Collegiate Accelerator Experience
Program Details

Collegiate female entrepreneurs (or recent graduates) accepted into the 2023 cohort will participate in a three month, growth-based accelerator designed to guide business owners through their startup phase. Student participants will receive personalized mentorship and support from the WBENC network of leading woman-owned businesses and America’s Fortune 500 Corporations.

Program participants will be taken through a series of educational sessions focused on the fundamentals of growth for startups, and will also be given an exclusive opportunity to showcase their venture’s service or consumer product to more than 3,500 attendees at the bustling WBENC National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

All Collegiate Accelerator students will compete in a lively, in-person Pitch Competition at National Conference, in which seed capital grants will be awarded to the most disruptive and innovative businesses. Take your venture to the next level and join a network and alumni community of 200+ female founders by applying today!

 

 

Title Sponsor
I am so thrilled to have been a part of the Collegiate Accelerator program. I was going through a huge organizational change in my business and would not have felt confident continuing if it were not for the support of the accelerator; and now, I was lucky enough to win the pitch competition and receive funding! I am so grateful.
Sofia Viscuso
Founder | Rize
The WBENC Collegiate Accelerator provided such a great learning opportunity and supportive network for me. I had dedicated mentors who really took time out of their day to help me find resources for ingredients and packaging suppliers, introduce me to other entrepreneurs, and encourage me to think of alternative ways to pursue business opportunities.
Jamie Kim
Founder | Jamie's Farm
The Collegiate Accelerator program is such a unique experience because it allows startups to learn from and connect with industry experts. As a new business, the knowledge I gained and the people I have met from this program has been invaluable!
Kendall Buck
CEO & Founder | Herbtastic
During the conference, 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

Tailored Curriculum

The WBENC Collegiate Accelerator works to develop and scale participating ventures through tailored curriculum focused on the fundamentals of growth, customer retention & marketing strategies, entrepreneurial leadership, and the essentials of an effective pitch.

Mentorship Program

Student participants will receive individualized mentoring from experienced women-owned businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies.

Demo Day & Pitch Competition

Students are given the opportunity to engage with the WBENC network by showcasing their ventures on Demo Day, as well as competing in a live Pitch Competition at National Conference. Seed capital grants will be awarded to the most innovative businesses!

 

Peer Connections

Collegiate Accelerator participants will have the opportunity to learn from, network, and collaborate with like-minded peers to form meaningful connections and gain a greater understanding of the entrepreneurial community.

Who Should Apply

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY 

  • Enrolled full-time or part-time in a recognized College or University, or a recent graduate (within the past 12 months).  
  • (1) Female Founder participant per company – applicant must be an owner, founder, or controlling shareholder. 
  • Company must have been operating for at least three months but does not have to be revenue generating.  
  • Participants will be required to attend the entire program (virtual and in-person at National Conference). Inability to attend and participate in the entire program will result in not being accepted. All program sessions are held in Eastern Time. 
How to Apply

APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW

Applications for the 2023 Collegiate Accelerator Cohort are OPEN NOW! 

Apply Now

 

  • Applicants are selected based on their comprehensive application, no one element is weighted more 
  • Applicants may be selected for a 15-minute phone interview  

 

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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.