(BLOOMINGTON) – Applications have opened for the 2020-2021 B-Start cohort, a pre-accelerator program for entrepreneurs who want to take their creative business idea and launch a for-profit innovation-driven business across Monroe County, Indiana.
The Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) will accept applications between August 31 and September 30 for Monroe County residents. The 4-month program includes mentorship, consultations with local experts, business development workshops, and a pitch competition. This year’s program will be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 forced everyone to rethink their business models. Businesses are adapting to new safety measures through innovation, creativity, and perseverance,, while maintaining their production and services. B-Start encourages such innovation among entrepreneurs that are looking to start a new business, perhaps with new ideas coming from life changes and uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. B-Start will continue supporting this entrepreneurial spirit and our local talent base, which will in turn create more jobs in Monroe County” said Ellyn Sallee, who directs B-Start and serves as BEDC Project/Development Manager.
B-Start has a history of success, graduating more than 40 companies since it launched in 2015, and increasing in cohort size and number of mentors along the way. Blueprint Stats, a 2019 cohort participant earning 2nd place, is experiencing great success with Elevate Ventures investing $20,000 in the company and is partnering with the District of Columbia State Athletic Association. Hoosier Films, 3rd place winner of the 2019 cohort, launched their first Hoosier Films Annual Festival online.
B-Start has proven to be an important component of Monroe County’s local economic development. It is supported by organizations including Cook Group, IU Ventures, Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship – Ivy Tech Bloomington, The Mill and others. For more information and to apply, visit www.b-start.org.
About the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (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. Since 1985, BEDC has been dedicated to enhancing the vitality of our community. As the leading economic development organization for Bloomington/Monroe County, the BEDC is focused on increasing opportunities whether it is through supporting our existing businesses, tackling workforce issues, or fostering entrepreneurial activity. To apply for B-Start, please visit: http://www.b-start.org/apply.