Idea Village Opens Applications for IDEAinstitute Accelerator Program

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The mission of IDEAinstitute is to provide innovative entrepreneurs and potential startup founders with the tools they need to turn an idea into a scalable venture. Applications to the fall 2021 accelerator program are open until Tuesday, September 21st and can be found online

Additionally, in an effort to increase the diversity, equitability, and inclusivity of the region’s startup community, The Idea Village has partnered with AT&T to launch IDEAfuel. The new program will provide a select number of BIPOC-founded startups a grant of up to $15,000 to continue working on their venture beyond the IDEAinstitute Program. 

In addition to these funds, the IDEAfuel pilot program also includes an extra 6 months of intensive mentorship for the program participants. BIPOC participants from the 2020 and spring 2021 IDEAinstitute cohorts are eligible to apply for the new IDEAfuel program.

“Innovation is a key driver of resilience for our communities,” says Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Idea Village.  “IDEAinstitute helps aspiring entrepreneurs transform the problems they face into opportunities and build the foundation of a repeatable and scalable business with transformative potential.”  

For business owners affected by Hurricane Ida, The Idea Village will also provide a set number of scholarships to the IDEAinstitute program in an effort to assist entrepreneurs in getting back on their feet after the storm.  

After completing the IDEAinstitute program, founders walk away with a plan to build a business following the Lean Startup Methodology, and they meet a community of like-minded founders along the way. This program is run in a hybrid format with each week’s session running virtually and with opportunities to engage in person in the final week. IDEAinstitute is led by Loyola University New Orleans Professor Felipe Massa, Ph.D., and the fall 2021 session begins on September 28th and concludes with Pitch Night on December 2nd.

Professor Felipe Massa, Ph.D is also the author of Entrepreneurship in the Wild, a new book launched in partnership with MIT Press that teaches budding entrepreneurs how to reshape successful startup methods and implement them in a non-Silicon Valley ecosystem like New Orleans and other cities across the Gulf Coast. 

Professor Felipe Massa said:  “The frontier of innovation is shifting away from central hubs like Silicon Valley.  This gives us an opportunity to empower people solving real world problems and to rethink the relationship between technology and inclusivity.  Anyone can start a repeatable and scalable business; they just need access to the right tools.” 

Additional support for IDEAinstitute is made possible by the Delta Regional Authority and other generous donors. More information on The Idea Village and its IDEAinstitute and IDEAfuel programs are available online at  www.ideavillage.org. 

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