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Following up on the success of its first group of startup companies, the eFactory’s Accelerator initiative has announced the second group of entrepreneurs that will be participating in the program.
Five companies have been selected for this next phase:
Some of these companies are already noticing the advantages of the program, not just for their business but for the Springfield region itself. Chad Boschert, founder and CEO of Apt Crowd, is acutely aware of how this program is a springboard for others like himself.
“Beyond the capital, network and education, the Accelerator is an amplifier that can inspire entrepreneurs to solve more problems and investors to see opportunity here at home,” he says. “If Apt Crowd succeeds, the Accelerator succeeds and Springfield succeeds.”
And, of course, the benefits for these young companies are undeniable. The eFactory will invest $30,000 in each company in exchange for an 8% equity stake in the business. Companies also have access to office space, business consulting, mentors, discounted services and custom presentations from industry professionals.
“The resources and investment the Accelerator program provides are absolutely incredible,” says Hector Cruz, CEO of Let’s Do Lunch. “The relationships to develop, the wisdom to glean, and the knowledge to learn are all going to help each of us in the program take our companies to the next level.”
Along with Missouri State University, which facilitates the eFactory initiative, the Chamber and SBDC offer funding and mentorship for the Accelerator as part of our ongoing effort to support entrepreneurial growth and inject new life and vibrancy into the regional economy.
Stuart Emerson, CEO of Reaction Surveys, says the Accelerator offers a number of advantages, and not all are as tangible as funding and space. Emerson is relocating from Birmingham, Alabama, to participate in the program. “The eFactory is an excellent place to make valuable connections,” he says. “Since I arrived here, I’ve already met several very talented developers who are helping improve our product.”
And for Amy Blansit, founder of Solely Jolie, the main benefit of the Accelerator program is confidence. “I feel as though I lack the experience to trust myself to take my business to the next level,” she says. “The Accelerator program provides an education and safety net for entrepreneurs who have an idea but need the resources and support to keep moving forward.”
For anyone interested in seeing these new companies and their ideas, they’ll be on display during an upcoming open house on February 6 at the eFactory.