MENDOCINO Co., 9/13/22 — Do you know anyone with a new local business that could use some help? West Business Developing Center will be opening up applications for the 2023 StartUp Mendocino small business accelerator on October 3. The training program is designed for Mendocino County businesses that have been in operation between one and three years, and will take place from January until June, 2023.
The Mendocino Voice, along with a number of our local business friends, participated in the first StartUp Mendocino pitch competition in 2019, and is a advisee of West Center — you can read our previous coverage here.
Here’s the announcement about the 2023 program, including how to apply, from West Center:
FORT BRAGG, Calif. – September 6, 2022 – Following the success of the StartUp Mendocino 2022 business accelerator program, West Business Development Center (“West Center”) is pleased to announce that applications will open on October 3, 2022 for StartUp Mendocino 2023. This no-cost program is designed to give local entrepreneurs the opportunity to participate in an intensive training program to spark new thinking about what is possible for their business, their community, and the economy of Mendocino County. Participants will build stronger and more lasting business and community connections that will enable their businesses to become self-sufficient and resilient.
StartUp Mendocino 2023 builds upon West Center’s successful entrepreneurship program that began with a pitch competition in 2019 and continued with a business accelerator course of study in 2022, with the intervening years paused due to Covid. The 2022 program launched thirteen early stage entrepreneurs on their path to success.
Anthony Wells, owner of Mendocino Drone and one of the program graduates in June 2022 said, “The StartUp Mendocino program pushed me to think bigger. Rachel Clark, our instructor, encouraged me to not spend as much time being the business technician, and instead be more of a business leader.”
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 provide participants the tools to make their businesses more efficient, effective, productive, and profitable. They will then become part of the growing StartUp Mendocino peer-to-peer network which provides ongoing collaboration beyond the program’s timeline. During the 21-week program participants will be introduced to new approaches in a series of five modules that address business and financial planning, successful branding and marketing, technology and best practices for e-commerce, time management, and how to pitch your business.
Lead instructor, Rachel Clark, shared that, “Watching entrepreneurs work hard learning and implementing new systems and structure in their businesses is inspiring. Knowing the future of the business is being worked on in the right way allows a participant to dream bigger and do more. Mendocino County needs more of those kinds of leaders. I’m looking forward to leading the StartUp Mendocino 2023 program!”
The program is slated to begin with an in-person orientation session on Thursday, January 12, 2023 in Ukiah and will run every Tuesday, from January 16 to June 6, 2023. The graduation event for the program will be held on Thursday, June 18, 2023.
Throughout the program, West Center will provide participants with experts in the fields of marketing, financial planning, technology, and goal setting. In addition, they will benefit from community outreach about each of the participants’ business ventures and have access to planning departments, media contacts, and local organizations that will support their growth.
Laura Brooks, StartUp Mendocino’s Program Director, stated, “I have been so impressed by the participants in the 2022 program. They have really put the time in and worked on their businesses and they have grown together as a cohort. Seeing their progress and collaboration has been inspiring and has given all of us who have been supporting the program hope for the future of small businesses in Mendocino County. With StartUp 2023, we can keep growing our economy together, one creative, courageous small business at a time.”
The main criteria for submitting a StartUp Mendocino application include: the business is located in Mendocino County; and the business has been operational for between one and three years. At this time, the program is not available to cannabis-related businesses.
People interested in the program and its requirements can sign up to receive information at https://www.westcenter.org/programs/startup-mendo–2023. Applications for entry into the program open at 8AM on Monday October 3, 2022; the closing date for applications is Monday October 24, 2022 at 5PM. All applications will go before a selection committee composed of business and community leaders and stakeholders and the final applicants will be announced on Wednesday November 23, 2023.
StartUp Mendocino 2023 is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, which include (at 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 sponsorship and volunteers for this Mendocino business accelerator program.
Visit https://www.westcenter.org/programs/startup-mendo-2023 to learn more about the program or contact Laura Brooks, [email protected].