...sectors to apply to the program. "Our goal is to grow portfolio companies here, and thereby expand employment and economic activity in Westchester County," she said.
Funded by the private sector through the Westchester County Association’s Blueprint for Westchester initiative, the Blueprint Accelerator Network is governed by a diverse committee of business leaders. A Selection Committee, which includes experts in venture capital, business acceleration, and innovation, will review applications now through October 15, when the first finalists will be identified and invited into the program.
Successful applicants must meet or exceed the committee’s guidelines in five key areas:
- Development Stage – Accelerator companies should be less than five years old with their core product developed, and expect to be in the market within 0-18 months;
- Market – The company’s market should be definable, large and with continuing growth potential;
- Management – The company’s leadership team should be knowledgeable and deeply committed to the success of the business;
- Need – The company should be in a position to benefit from the services provided by the Network and able to take the business to the next stage;
- Preferred Characteristics - Applicants must have a business plan with reasonable financial projections. The applicant should be focused on a targeted industry with a company that is scalable and has potential to increase employment in Westchester County.
Unlike small business incubators, which offer centralized office space and shared services to startup companies, The Blueprint Accelerator Network operates as a “boot camp” for early-stage companies. After a highly selective process, companies receive access to capital and business services, partnerships with universities, and opportunities to work with established organizations in the early-stage company’s field. Once the company reaches the next stage of growth, it graduates and a new early-stage start-up will take its place.
More information and an application form can be found at the website for The Blueprint for Westchester.