St Louis based Prosper announced the launch of startup accelerator program to fund twelve companies to the tune of $600,000 annually into St. Louis area companies. What is unique about this accelerator program is that funding will be focussed solely on women-led companies. The accelerator states that while it does not necessarily require a female CEO, the company to be admitted in the accelerator program needs to have a strong woman in the C-suite.
Led by Jennifer Ehlen – founder and CEO – Prosper will split into two separate divisions, one will be a nonprofit organization, The Prosper Institute and the second entity will be for-profit, Prosper Capital, and will oversee the Prosper angel investor network as well as the accelerator. St. Louis-based venture capital firm Cultivation Capital will provide back-office support to the Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator.
Applications for the Spring 2015 accelerator class open on September 1, 2014. The first six companies selected for the inaugural class will start the three-month program in January and will be housed in downtown St. Louis. The Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator plans to make a total of twelve equity investments of $50,000 each annually in women-led technology, life sciences, and consumer product startup companies beginning in January 2015.
Participants will also receive three months hands-on training and mentoring and engage in curriculum designed specifically to help women scale their businesses and raise follow-on capital. Each class culminates with a demo day, which gives companies an opportunity to pitch to a packed house of business leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors, and potential clients. Prosper says after graduation, the goal is to work hard to make sure our companies remain successful and continue to receive the support they need to grow.
Who can apply to Prosper?
We’re looking for women-led startups with a focus on technology, health/life sciences, and consumer products. We don’t necessarily require a female CEO—if you’ve got a strong woman on your C-Suite, send us an application! We are stage agnostic. We’ve got the tools and experience to help you develop, whether you’re starting with an idea or working to scale your company globally.
Spring 2015 Class:
January 26-April 24
St. Louis, Missouri
Applications Open: September 1
Applications Close: November 15
Check out http://www.prosperstl.com/for more details