Premier Incubator Program for Women of Color Entrepreneurs at HBCUs

The WBENC Women of Color Incubator is a premier program designed for Black female student entrepreneurs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This incubator provides the next generation of Black women entrepreneurs with the resources, community and support they need to strengthen their idea and grow their early-stage ventures.

Students accepted into the incubator will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with subject matter experts from some of the most successful women-owned businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies. 

The Incubator will culminate with a Pitch Competition awarding a thousand dollars in seed capital and the opportunity to attend WBENC’s National Conference & Business Fair in Denver, CO for FREE to access a network of 4,000+ attendees.

Upon program completion, graduates will continue their engagement with WBENC via programs such as NextGen, the Collegiate Accelerator Program and continued participation in the Women of Color Program.

The Incubator at WOC Incubator at University of Maryland Eastern Shore will culminate with a Pitch Competition awarding seed funding prize packages:

WOC Championship Winner will receive $25,000

1st Place will receive $1,000
2nd Place will receive $500
All Pitch Participants: $100

Every scholar that pitches in the Pitch Competition will receive a cash prize. 

Class Schedule

Session 1: Fri, Sep 22, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

  • Kickoff & Design Thinking – Ideate | On UMES Campus

Session 2: Fri, Oct 6, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

  • Design Thinking – Ideate & Intro to BMC | Virtual via Zoom

Session 3: Fri, Oct 20, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

  • Business Model Canvas Development | On UMES Campus

Session 4: Fri, Oct 27, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

  • Business Cost Structure & Pitch Training | Virtual via Zoom

Session 5: Fri, Nov 10, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST

  • UMES Pitch Competition | On UMES Campus

 

Applications are closed.

Program Dates

September – December

Location

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Campus

 

Women of Color Incubator Sponsors:
Women of Color Program Founding Sponsors:
Program Details

The Incubator will culminate with a Demo Day Pitch Competition, judged by Corporate Executives, awarding cash seed funding to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in addition to an all-expenses paid trip to future WBENC events across the nation.

Upon program completion, graduates will continue their engagement with WBENC via programs such as NextGen, the Collegiate Accelerator Program and continued participation in the Women of Color Program.

Testimonials

2021 Howard University Incubator Pitch winner, Mia Thornton, chief executive officer of MainSail Technologies, and the 2021 N.C. A&T Incubator Pitch Winner, Katelyn M. Williams, Founder & CEO of The Curly Scientist, both participated in the WBENC Collegiate Accelerator program. As part of the Collegiate Accelerator program, they had the opportunity to showcase their businesses during a live pitch competition at the 2022 WBENC National Conference in Atlanta, June 7-9, and participate in the two-month Collegiate Accelerator program.

The incubator gave me to tools to get my business up and running with confidence. From the speakers to the activities, I gained so much more insight into the world of entrepreneurship.
Katelyn M. Williams
The Curly Scientist, 2021 NC A&T Incubator 1st place awardee
Katelyn M. Williams
The featured speakers and member leadership provided a remarkable learning experience for individuals at various places in their entrepreneurial journey. 
Mia Thornton
Mainsail, 2021 Howard Incubator 1st place awardee
Mia Thornton
Why Participate

Black female student entrepreneurs or recent graduates accepted into the WOC Incubator will learn how to test the viability of their ideas and discover how to transform their idea to a minimum viable product. Participants will engage in entrepreneurship curriculum taught by subject matter experts from some of the most successful women-owned businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies. The Incubator will culminate with a Pitch Competition awarding a thousand dollars in seed capital and the opportunity to attend WBENC’s National Conference & Business Fair in Denver, CO for FREE to access a network of 4,000+ attendees.

Eligibility

  • Black female student entrepreneur
  • Applicant must be enrolled at University of Maryland Eastern Shore or a recent graduate within the last 12months of the University.
  • Have a business idea or early-stage venture
  • Ability to participate in all scheduled classes held in Eastern Standard Time. Accepted applicants will be required to attend the entire incubator, inability to attend the entire incubator will result in not being accepted.
  • Completion of the online application, including an essay stating the desire to attend the incubator and how the program would enable you for future growth and success and resume.
  • Applicants are selected on first come, first serve based on their comprehensive application, no one element is weighted more.

Contact aawasom@wbenc.org for more information.

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