Generator and LaunchVT team up to propel maker-entrepreneurs

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Generator and LaunchVT team up to propel maker-entrepreneurs

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 2:53pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Applications are now open for Generator Jump/Start, a free twelve-week intensive residency program combined with a public lecture series created in collaboration with LaunchVT. Jump/Start is designed to connect very early stage entrepreneurs with the resources and education they need to turn their prototypes into viable products and bring them to market. Applications are due December 8th.

Generator Jump/Start will select 4 makers with great product ideas for the twelve-week session. Jump/Start entrepreneurs are given free 24/7 access to the Generator makerspace, a $1000 stipend and free tool training classes to help them refine their product prototype aided by Generator’s expert shop leads. In addition Jump/Start entrepreneurs attend six bi-weekly public guest speaker workshops and receive 1:1 mentoring from local experts.  Based on the curriculum developed by LaunchVT, they will be guided in subjects ranging from Market Analysis, Business Formation, and Intellectual Property Protection to Brand Development, and Financing.

“Vermont is famous for its entrepreneurial spirit—we rank second per capita nationally in our small business activity, according to a recent Kaufmann foundation study.  But we rank last in our ability to turn these ventures into successful, scalable businesses,” said Generator Executive Director Chris Thompson.  “By partnering with LaunchVT our goal is to help our passionate early-stage entrepreneurs become successful business people. This program is designed to help more than just the four makers who are selected. The six workshops are broken down into two parts, a public presentation and an intensive workshop for Jump/Start entrepreneurs. Anyone who is interested in starting a business is invited to attend these talks and learn about the essential elements of entrepreneurship.”

At the end of the 12 week program Jump/Start entrepreneurs will present their business plans and products. They will leave with an analysis of their business that they can use to apply for LaunchVT’s early stage acceleration program or other acceleration programs and funding opportunities—all with no strings attached. Unlike many national entrepreneurial incubators, Jump/Start takes no equity in the chosen ventures.

The Jump/Start team selects maker-entrepreneurs with outstanding product ideas living in the greater Burlington region with a viable physical prototype ready for market testing and business model development. Acceptance is determined based on a clear demonstration of product readiness, business feasibility, and entrepreneurial energy.  Students from Generator partner institutions— Champlain College, UVM and Middlebury College—are encouraged to apply.

Public Lecture Presenters and mentors include: Davis & Hodgdon Associates for Finance planning, remote bookkeeping set up and support from, Intellectual property support from Justin McCabe of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, end-to-end business counseling provided by the Center for Women & Enterprise, advice on capital raising and finance from Fresh Tracks Capital, and branding development advice by Michael Jager from Solidarity of Unbridled Labor and product prototyping technical expertise by Generator’s shop leads.

Learn more about the Jump/Start program:

Kaufmann Foundation Study on Vermont Entrepreneurship:|overall,startup-activity|overall,main-street|overall

Learn more about Generator:

Learn more about LaunchVT:

Generator makerspace is a shared design and fabrication environment dedicated to supporting the creative, education and production needs of 300+ members. It offers universal access to studios, shared tool-sets, programming and a vibrant, solutions-oriented community in a 8500 square foot facility.

LaunchVT is a business mentoring program and pitch competition that provides strategic guidance, cash prizes, and in-kind services to entrepreneurs who deliver plans for new businesses that demonstrate exceptional potential in today’s market.