It’s a challenging journey that entrepreneurs trace. The road blends dreams, ambiguity, and passion. Definitely not a journey for the faint of heart.
These concepts are not foreign to our team. You see, the Andrews Launch Accelerator started with a vision from Chip Andrews and his wife Lyn. Knowing the challenges of launching a successful venture, Chip envisioned a place where those willing to take the leap, would receive the resources they needed to be confident that they could turn their dreams into reality. Since our program’s inception, the mission has been to empower our founders to take the leap and receive mentorship from those who have been successful before them.
When we launched, the insight was that if early founders received support, trust, and a little bit of capital, then we could increase their odds of success. Four cohorts, endless lessons, and 16 companies later, we can share that our initial mission is still going strong. For our NC State entrepreneurs, we are here to listen, teach, and build community as they start the rewarding process of launching a venture and owning their future.
Through our program, startups can receive between $5,000 and $50,000 in equity-free grants. The amount awarded is determined by the Accelerator committee on a case-by-case basis. But more important than the capital allocated is the network and external resources we provide. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, but we take the lead in connecting our founders with future teammates, early mentors, and potential investors early on. That way, teams and solo-founders can create relationships with the right external leaders, but also across the teams who will be sitting in the room who in many cases end up being the most valuable piece of the equation. A support group that is there for you as you are there for them through the journey.
Naturally, education is a key part of the program. We know that teams may not be experts in the million moving pieces a startup needs. That’s why we make sure to have domain experts share their knowledge in our weekly sessions while allowing teams to develop their skills and establish internal accountability.
That allows us to be flexible and agnostic to the companies we accept. We have funded and guided companies in the food, fashion, eCommerce, software and more industries.
Some of the common misconceptions in the application are that the founder needs to have a product, a team, or a full-time commitment. We know every startup is different, so we take the time to look and listen to the case each founder makes in their application. Some of the best founders we have accepted were working multiple jobs, were only at the idea stage, or had no team.
So what I am trying to say is, if you have an itch to start a company we’re here to help you. Maybe you are not sure but have that gut feeling that simply doesn’t escape you, then why not? Why not take the leap? Why not open the doors to the future that most aren’t willing to pursue?
Do you have an idea? A side-hustle? Or are already working on a concept that has traction? Then join a team that can meet you where you are and help you thread your path to success. It won’t be easy. But we are here to help you.
I guess it’s how they say, alone you go fast but together you go far. Take a look at what previous Accelerator participants have to say about the program.
Applications close on April 16 by midnight. To learn more about the Andrews Launch Accelerator, seen the full list of program perks, and review eligibility rules, please visit go.ncsu.edu/accelerator.
If you want to increase your odds of getting accepted. Then take a look at our INCUBATE sessions.