Often, when people criticize Anchorage, one of the things they say is that we’re a bit behind the rest of the country. Sometimes it’s true, and sometime it isn’t. But when it IS true, it doesn’t have to be negative. We’re in the enviable position of being able to note exciting/successful endeavors happening in other parts of the country, cherry pick the most viable options, and make them happen here.
For example, Launch : Alaska, the state’s very first business accelerator.*
Launch : Alaska offers start-ups or entrepreneurs the opportunity to apply for the 13+ week program, located in Anchorage. If accepted, participants gain access to a $25,000 stipend; carefully selected, sector-specific mentors; a rapid growth-focused curriculum to solve organizational, operational, and strategic challenges; workspace at Anchorage’s hub of creativity and innovation (The Boardroom!); and potential follow-on funding when they pitch their refined business plans to investors on Demo Day. A couple caveats: the program focuses on selecting startups and entrepreneurs working in the energy or Arctic technology sectors, and Launch : Alaska will receive a 6% equity investment in participating companies.
If that sounds a little dry, think of it this way: a professional athlete has a manager, a coach, a trainer, a doctor, a nutritionist, a masseuse, an equipment sponsor, a therapist, and who knows what else to help them become the best of the best, ready to WIN. Pretty much everything they need to succeed is readily available but the athlete is still responsible for doing the hard, hard work to achieve his/her goal. Basically, program participants are the professional athletes and Launch : Alaska hooks them up with the suite of services they need to take their business to the next level, quickly.
If you want to learn more, check out these articles:
- Launch : Alaska Accelerator – Increasing the ‘deal flow’ of startups by Gianna Foltz
- Investing in the Building Blocks by Nolan Klouda
- New Launch: Alaska Startup Accelerator wins $50,000 by Joe Morrison
If you’re interested in applying (or know someone else who should) don’t delay: the application period closes on Sunday, February 29.
I can’t wait to see who is ready to launch!
*Full disclosure: I’m thrilled to be member of the Launch : Alaska board!