Business Accelerator Program applications open on Oct. 23 – The Ukiah Daily Journal


FORT BRAGG – Following the success of the StartUp Mendocino 2022 Business Accelerator program, West Business Development Center (“West Center”) is pleased to announce that StartUp Mendocino 2023 applications will open on October 3, 2022. This free program is designed to give local entrepreneurs the opportunity to participate in an intensive training program to inspire new thinking about what’s possible for their business, their community and the Mendocino County economy. Participants will build stronger and more lasting business and community connections that enable their organizations to become self-sufficient and resilient.

StartUp Mendocino 2023 builds on West Center’s successful entrepreneurship program, which began in 2019 with a pitch competition and continued with a business accelerator degree in 2022, with the intervening years on hiatus due to Covid. The 2022 program put 13 young entrepreneurs on the road to success.

Anthony Wells, owner of Mendocino Drone and one of the program’s June 2022 graduates, said: “The StartUp Mendocino program pushed me to think big. Rachel Clark, our trainer, encouraged me to not spend so much time as an operations technician and instead be more of a manager.”

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The StartUp Mendocino 2023 program is application-based. Up to a dozen entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in a specially designed curriculum that will give participants the tools to make their businesses more efficient, effective, productive and profitable. You will then become part of StartUp Mendocino’s growing peer-to-peer network, allowing for continued collaboration beyond the program’s schedule. During the 21-week program, participants will be introduced to new approaches in a series of five modules covering business and financial planning, successful branding and marketing, technology and e-commerce best practices, time management and presenting your business.

Senior Instructor Rachel Clark shared: “It’s inspiring to watch entrepreneurs learn hard and implement new systems and structures in their organizations. Knowing that the future of the company is being worked on in the right way enables a participant to dream bigger and do more. Mendocino County needs more leaders like this. I look forward to leading the StartUp Mendocino 2023 program!”

The program is scheduled to begin with an in-person orientation session in Ukiah on Thursday, January 12, 2023 and to take place every Tuesday from January 16 to June 6, 2023. The closing event for the program will take place on Thursday, June 18, 2023.

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Throughout the program, West Center provides participants with marketing, financial planning, technology, and goal setting experts. In addition, they benefit from public relations about participants’ business ventures and have access to planning departments, media contacts and local organizations that support their growth.

Laura Brooks, Program Director of StartUp Mendocino, stated, “I was so impressed with the participants in the 2022 program. They really took their time and worked on their businesses and grew together as a cohort. Seeing their progress and collaboration has been inspiring and has given hope for the future of small businesses in Mendocino County to all of us who have supported the program. With StartUp 2023 we can continue to grow our economy together, one creative, courageous small company at a time.”

The main criteria for submitting a StartUp Mendocino application are: the company is located in Mendocino County; and the store has been in operation for between one and three years. Currently, the program is not available to cannabis-related businesses.

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Individuals interested in the program and its requirements can sign up for information at https://www.westcenter.org/programs/startup-mendo–2023. Applications for admission to the program will open Monday, October 3 at 8am; The closing date for applications is Monday, October 24th at 5:00 p.m. All applications will be submitted to a selection committee composed of business and community leaders and stakeholders and final applicants will be announced on Wednesday 23 November.

StartUp Mendocino 2023 is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors, which include (at the time of writing): Tri Counties Bank, Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Redwood Credit Union and the County of Mendocino. West Center is actively seeking sponsors and volunteers for this business accelerator program in Mendocino.

Visit https://www.westcenter.org/programs/startup-mendo-2023 to learn more about the program or contact Laura Brooks, [email protected]



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