Bloomington, IN (June 17, 2015) – The Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) has announced B-Start, a pre-accelerator program that will guide early-stage student technology startups through the initial stages of their startup process and prepare them for acceleration. The program will provide business and networking services, along with cohort activities and individualized mentoring based on the startups’ needs. Over the course of the four-month program, students will participate in:

  • Mentorship & Coaching: Individual startups will be paired with a mentor or coach based on the unique needs of each.
  • Facilitated Consultations: B-Start will arrange consultations with local experts in areas such as business plan development, law, intellectual property, market research, marketing, and pitch development among others.
  • Informational Programming: Startups will attend 4 sessions on various business topics as a cohort.
  • Pitch Day: Startups will pitch their startup in front of B-Start partners, BEDC members, potential investors and other community members. Participants will receive prizes based on various scoring criteria.

“B-Start will give students a space to get serious about their startup idea and begin to test its viability in the marketplace” said Dana Palazzo, Project Manager of the BEDC. “As these students grow with their business, they’ll gain the knowledge and connections to the resources here in Bloomington, and hopefully be inspired to stay in the area and continue their development.”

The program is open to all Indiana University-Bloomington and Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington students who want to take their idea for a technology-related business to the next stage of development. Applications will open August 1 and close August 28. Applicants who advance to the next round will have an interview with B-Start staff and will be notified of selection, with the first session beginning September 14. Six to ten startups will be selected.

Fundraising is currently underway for a graduation stipend and a pitch prize fund to use towards the future development of these startups. The program will provide startups with a foundation for acceleration including a business plan, a pitch deck, and a viable prototype of their product/service.

About B-Start

B-Start is a pre-accelerator program of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) designed for Indiana University and Ivy Tech student technology startups. B-Start participants are at the earliest stage of their business development and are coached through a rigorous comprehensive process of cohort activities and individualized mentorship over the course of the program to build a foundation for accelerating the growth of their startups. For more information, visit www.b-start.org.

About the BEDC

The BEDC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the retention, development and attraction of quality jobs in Monroe County. The BEDC is led by a partnership of private industry leaders, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington. For more information, visit www.comparebloomington.us.

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