Accelerator seeks Frederick startups

Submitted photo
Representatives of The City of Frederick, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, FITCI, Frederick County, Hood College and Frederick Chamber of Commerce, signing the memorandum of understanding for the new Community Growth Accelerator Program.

FREDERICK, Md. — A new program launched by the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, in collaboration with the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and numerous community partners, is aimed at increasing entrepreneurs’ access to resources.

The Community Growth Accelerator Technology Development Program aims to drive start-up formation, development and expansion in Frederick County, Md. Entrepreneurs involved in the program will receive access to weekly in-person classes, mentorship from business leaders throughout the community, focus groups and an online portal with additional educational resources.

The classes, led by local business leaders and university instructors, will cover business skills such as pitching, creating a solid business model, understanding customer segmentation and developing a go-to-market strategy. The young companies will be given the opportunity to practice their pitches each week, and the program will culminate in a pitch competition in front of venture capitalists and investors. The winner will go on to represent Frederick in the global Startup of the Year Contest.

In addition to Frederick National Laboratory and FITCI, Frederick Chamber of Commerce, Hood College, the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, and the city of Frederick Department of Economic Development are also signatories on the memorandum of understanding as the founding partners forming the Community Growth Accelerator.

In addition, many more community partners are involved in the effort. A grant from the Rural Maryland Council provided funding.

Hopeful entrepreneurs looking for an idea can find one at the pre-accelerator events slated for Jan. 21 (an open house) and March 9 (a Hackathon).

The first Accelerator cohort, which will consist of about 10 companies, will be announced at FITCI’s 15th anniversary in May. The 12-week program will begin in June and hold its final pitch session in September.

For more information, contact Ivana Shuck, FITCI community manager, at ivana@fitci.org, 301-694-2999.