Accelerator Program for Women-Owned Startups Opens Registration, Up to 10 Spots Available

Tammy Allen, Director | Marketing & Programs, The NIIC

For immediate release

February 9, 2021, Fort Wayne, Ind. More than 30 tech companies have accelerated through the Launch Women Business Builder (LWBB) Program since it began January 2018. Woman-owned tech enabled startups can apply for cohort seven, which will begin March 31, 2021. Apply here https://niic.net/wbc/accelerator/.

Michelle Mang, Owner, NUWAYGO, and LWBB alumna said, “This program enabled me to take my business idea from concept to launch. They helped me flesh out the details, fine-tune my message, and wrap it all up in a pitch for investors.” NUWAYGO is an online platform for connecting home buyers and sellers. “My accelerator mentors have supported me every step of the way.  They have been my motivation, especially when others have taken the wind out of my sails.”

Companies accelerating through the program have also included mobile applications, e-commerce websites, online courseware/programs, subscription programs, databases/analytical tools, and online marketplaces. “Our accelerator experience is a process of intense, rapid, and immersive education aimed at accelerating the lifecycle of innovative companies, compressing years’ worth of learning-by-doing into just a few months,” said Leslee Hill, WEOC WBC Director.

“New this year, we’re excited to have sponsors supporting the program. One of the sponsors, Gensyn Design, is a LWBB Program alumna and knows the program well,” said Hill. “Our sponsors supplement our curriculum by providing expertise throughout the year-long program and in our monthly alumni meetings. This ensures participants receive support as their needs change with the growth of their businesses. Sponsor participation provides a deeper dive, as well as connections to small business owners in the region to expand their networks.” Crownjewel Marketing, Design Fort Wayne, Labenburg Consulting, PNC, Problem Solving Institute, and, and Sandler Training by Wilcox & Associates, LLC round out this year’s sponsors.

The year-long accelerator program includes three sequential phases.

  • Phase 1 Develop and validate your business model. For six months, cohort members focus on developing and validating their business model. Participants receive one-to-one and group coaching, peer-to-peer mentoring, shared workspace at The NIIC, access to the NIIC Navigator® Learning Management System, and networking with The NIIC’s extended talent network.
  • Phase 2 Implement your business model. During this phase, participants examine marketing and business-plan implementation. Upon completing Phase 2, participants may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 non-dilutive funding per company.
  • Phase 3 Sell, grow, access funding. During the final phase, each founder focuses on building sales and attracting outside investment capital or other financial resources. When candidates complete Phase 3, the most promising graduates could have an opportunity to pitch for outside funding to fuel business growth.

Registration is open through March 7, 2021, and the program will begin March 31, 2021. Complete your online registration at https://niic.net/wbc/accelerator. The year-long program investment is deeply subsidized at $299, which breaks down to about $5.75 per meeting. The LWBB Accelerator is an initiative of WEOC WBC at The NIIC.


2,794 women and immigrants served, trained, and counseled—since WEOC Women’s Business Center formation five years ago. WEOC Women’s Business Center serves Northeast Indiana women at all stages of their business ventures. We respond to women entrepreneurs’ unique needs through business growth coaching, training, entrepreneurial education, connectivity, and access to capital. WEOC Women’s Business Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the Host Organization, The NIIC also provides supplemental funding and complementary resources. WEOC Women’s Business Center is an SBA designated Women’s Business Center—one of two in Indiana. For more information, visit www.weocwbc.net.

About The NIIC

499 new products launched, 196 patent applications submitted or granted, and 2,351 jobs created—that is what entrepreneurs have achieved through The NIIC since its inception two decades ago. The NIIC has also connected Northeast Indiana companies to attract $100.4 million in grants and capital.

The NIIC is a non-profit, vibrant entrepreneurial community designed to advise entrepreneurs to plan, launch, and grow successful business ventures. The NIIC bolsters innovative companies to move ideas into action. The NIIC is located in a designated U.S. Small Business Administration HUB Zone. In April 2018, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb designated The Northeast Indiana Innovation Park Campus as an Opportunity Zone through the U.S. Treasury. The NIIC is the country’s only ISO9001:2015 registered business incubation and acceleration program. TheNIIC.org. Click here for The NIIC press kit.

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