Prosper Startup Accelerator aims to infuse capital into women-led startups
$50,000 Equity Investments Offered to Up to 12 Companies
St. Louis, MO –Prosper Capital is announcing today an open call for applications for the inaugural Prosper Startup Accelerator program. The organization will award $600,000 in equity funding for women-led and women-owned startups. Prosper Capital is part of a broader initiative by Prosper Women Entrepreneursto address the entrepreneur gender gap in the St. Louis region.
Research shows that women start more than 1,200 new U.S. companies each day, and women-led companies bring in more than $1.4 trillion in annual revenues. Yet less than 12% percent of venture capital is invested in women-led companies.
“The numbers show that women make great entrepreneurs, but there’s a disconnect when it comes to funding women-led startups and providing specific guidance for their financial and overall success,” said Maxine Clark, Prosper Capital Managing Partner and founder and former Chief Executive Bear, Build-A-Bear Workshop. “We believe our accelerator will attract those women who are qualified, but may not have considered other programs.”
Prosper Startup Accelerator is one of the first accelerators in the country designed exclusively to help women raise the money needed to help their startups succeed.
Prosper Startup Accelerator will make up to 12 separate $50,000 equity investments in women-led startups, which are defined as companies with at least one woman in a position of leadership and significant and meaningful equity.
Women-led businesses that want to apply can reside anywhere in the world. Particular attention will be given to those that:
- Are in the technology, life sciences or consumer products industries
- Have a product or service positioned for significant growth
- Have a large target market
- Have a substantiated problem that they’re solving
- Have shown some traction, customer engagement in their market
The first group of entrepreneurs selected will take part in the three-month accelerator program starting in January 2015. Winners will receive hands-on training, mentoring, and curriculum designed specifically to help women become more successful in building their businesses and raising follow-on capital. The inaugural class will be housed in the T-REx startup co-working space in downtown St. Louis.
To apply to Prosper Startup Accelerator, visit http://www.prosperstl.com/accelerator
About Prosper Women Entrepreneurs
Prosper Women Entrepreneurs was created to address the entrepreneur gender gap in the St. Louis region. We help existing and aspiring women business owners navigate the entrepreneurship ecosystem through the Prosper Institute (501c3), and increase women entrepreneurs’ access to growth capital and the number of women investing in early stage capital markets through Prosper Capital (LLC).