The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. (SCEDC) this week unveiled a new seed accelerator program in partnership with Lakeland Universityand the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Called the Sheboygan County Accelerator for Learning Entrepreneurship (SCALE), the program invests in up to six pre or early-revenue startups per cohort, per year.
"SCALE is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs with a start-up business," said Ray York, SCEDC and Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay business counselor. "The program will educate these entrepreneurs while accelerating their progress by connecting them to the resources in our innovation community. We are fortunate to partner with Lakeland University, which has created the curriculum of SCALE and has a great educator in Stephanie Hoskins, (Herb Kohler and Frank Jacobson) chair of business and entrepreneurship, who has gone through many accelerator programs herself."
Hoskinsis also the co-founder of Sheboygan-based startup Debtle. The company’s cloud-based software helps organizations streamline the negotiation, settlement and payment of overdue customer invoices.
The SCALE program is free to the selected applicants and each business will receive a technical assistance grant worth $10,000. Half of the grant will become available after the first week of the program. The remaining $5,000 will become available upon completion of the 10-week course schedule.
“I'm excited to work with the SCEDC to bring this new accelerator to Sheboygan County startups,” said Hoskins. “At Lakeland, we feel very strongly that successful new businesses can launch, scale, and succeed outside of the traditional startup hubs in Wisconsin. We are just getting started with our entrepreneurial support efforts and looking forward to a variety of upcoming programs like SCALE, which will help keep founders local and support new endeavors.”
SCALE accepts applications from all types of startups across all industries and business models. The program goal is to help startups reach the point where they are ready to go to an equity-based accelerator or raise from angels, crowd investing, or pre-sales.
The 10-week program will include two weekly curriculum-based meetings and one weekly networking event, a community partner meeting, and an update meeting with staff or mentors. The first SCALE session will be held Feb. 21, 2023 and the program will conclude mid-March. Sessions will take place at Jake’s, A Lakeland Community. Interested businesses can apply online.
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