We make our selection through the lens of PROFITABILITY, scalability, and efficiency of a business.
The Harbor Accelerator is a business accelerator program designed with the entrepreneur in mind. We have one goal… build scaleable business for the Charleston region. Each startup is provided tremendous resources and support to grow quickly, test the market quickly, and become viable. When starting a business, there are many ways to get distracted and off course.
You’ll be executing a business, not writing a plan. Our program is designed to introduce high impact business concepts to an intense curriculum led by successful mentor entrepreneurs. These mentors will walk side-by-side with the startup team throughout the 14-week program to keep them focused on the critical elements needed to grow their business. At the end of the program, the startups know what is needed to take the next step and are introduced to possible capital sources to help them grow.
Those selected to participate in the 14-week program will receive the following:
- Access to monthly meetings with members of our mentor network
- Access to the Director and Lead Mentor throughout your time in the program
- Educational material and 90 minutes of structured, real world applicable weekly classes
- The opportunity to develop a team of advisors who can stay with you and your business after the program
- FREE workspace throughout your time in the program + free float workspace for the following 12 months.
- This includes: wi-fi, parking, conference room, and more
- Introductions to investors and growth capital sources for your next round of funding
- Invitation to pitch your business to investors and stakeholders at the end of the program
- $15,000 AWS credits for each accelerator team
But don’t just take it from us, check out these testimonials directly from some of our past program participants:
If this sounds like you, the process and expectations are as follows:
The Harbor Accelerator’s selection process depends entirely on the individual or team’s commitment to success and basic business concept. We are sector agnostic and open to any great idea regardless of the industry sector. Certain industries are natural fits to the Charleston region and our unique core competencies. Those industries include Digital, Advanced Security, Aerospace, Healthcare, and Food/Tourism. However, be clear, regardless of the business sector… There are three things we look for when evaluating a startup: innovation, scalability, and the team’s ability to execute.
For those interested in applying for CoHort 10:
- Submit the online application
- Attend a 30 minute interview with the Lead Mentor, Director, and 1 or 2 Mentors
- Within 30 days of the interview, you will be informed if you have been selected into the program
- If offered a spot, you have 7 days to accept or your application will be withdrawn
- The 10th cohort will run from August - November 2018
- Capacity to be working 40+ hrs per week on the initiative, with invitation to work out of The Harbor
- You must attend the weekly 90 minute class
- You must attend scheduled meetings with mentors
- You must be prepared to make 4 minute pitches to mentors, community members, peers, and more throughout the 14-week period
- You are expected to be completely engaged in your business and the process of growing it
- You are expected to consider the recommendations of your mentors and be open to the ideas you come up with
- You must be willing to consider sharing equity in your business with investors and mentors who bring value and or capital to your business
The program is far less “Here’s a map and good luck,” but much more “Jump in, let’s go down this road together.”
Here is the 14-week curriculum outline for the current Cohort (This outline will likely change to fit the needs of the next Cohort):
- Week 1: Who is your customer?
- Week 2: Branding
- Week 3: Direct Sales Strategies
- Week 4: Competitive Advantage
- Week 5: Building a Pipeline/Prospecting
- Week 6: Building your team - What skill sets are needed?
- Week 7: How you tell your story (PR/Marketing/Live Presentation Prep)
- Week 8: Dive into the Data - What is important for you to be tracking?
- Week 9: Creating your operational plan
- Week 10: Funding Sources (Locally & State)
- Week 11: Accounting
- Week 12: Legal/Opportunities as Women Owned Businesses
- Week 13: How are you contagious?
- Week 14: Advisory Board - Where you go from here