A record number of 160 applications were submitted, and 42 companies were invited and evaluated by external judges. 15 were selected for participation in cohort 3.
Georgia State’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI) is uniquely structured to address the next generation of entrepreneurs through innovation, access, and societal impact. ENI works to develop an inclusive culture of creativity and innovation targeted at over 52,000 students, providing them access to unique interdisciplinary programs, practical experiences in entrepreneurship, and thriving corporate and startup communities.
The inaugural cohort of the Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund (MSESF) was established in 2019 with a $300,000 gift from The Marcus Foundation to assist underrepresented students, recent alumni, and Georgia State community entrepreneurs with growing new ventures. The term underrepresented includes low socioeconomic status, minorities, women, first-generation college students, veterans, legal immigrants, and refugees.
With an emphasis on fostering inclusive entrepreneurship and the goal of eliminating achievement gaps for all entrepreneurs, the MSESF is a six-month business accelerator program that provides seed funding, targeted workshops, networking opportunities, and intensive coaching by an Entrepreneur in Residence to help GSU entrepreneurs create and scale new ventures.
After a record number of 160 applications were submitted, 42 companies were invited and evaluated by external judges. 15 were selected for participation in cohort 3.
This cohort will participate in weekly workshops covering topics from customer discovery to legal pitfalls and all business matters in between.
Workshops and one-on-one coaching will culminate in our signature Main Street Demo Day in October 2022. Demo Day provides cohort 3 participants with an opportunity to compete for additional business funding. The founders will showcase and pitch their businesses to a public audience of corporate and strategic partners, investors, successful entrepreneurs, and university leadership.
ZANE ACCESS® is the not-for-profit arm of the Zane Venture Fund that provides diverse, early-stage founders and students with access to resources, training, support and funding critical to success.
ZANE ACCESS® programming, events, and content provide underrepresented entrepreneurs with education and mentorship on capital readiness to successfully fundraise and scale their companies and connect them with a powerful entrepreneurial and investment community.
This partnership is an alignment of the collective missions of Georgia State University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI) and the Zane Venture Fund to support early-stage diverse founders and historically excluded entrepreneurs such as women, veterans, minorities and first-generation college students and graduates. This partnership is beneficial for both students who are aspiring entrepreneurs and for companies that may be looking for capital now or somewhere in the near future.
The Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund Core Team is made up of Faculty and staff from the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI).
Lyshandra Bennett – Assistant Director
Erica Bracey (’01) – LaunchGSU Manager
Deniece Griffin – Marketing Specialist
Musaddeq Khan (MK) – Entrepreneur in Residence
Recha Reid – Associate Director
Jennifer Sherer – Director
- George Rhone (’17) – Staff
- Mateo Osorno – Student Assistant
- Sydney Tyler – Student Assistant
We’d also like to recognize the many faculty, staff and supporter who have provided guidance and counsel to the Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund founders and companies along their entrepreneurial journey. The program is designed to intentionally leverage broad support from across the university and beyond.