EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Conquer Accelerator announces the launch of its summer 2019 cohort. Five promising startup teams join the ten-week-long program in its fourth year.
“Startup accelerators are marathons for entrepreneurs,” says Tom Stewart, Conquer Accelerator’s program manager. “Teams devote ten solid weeks to their companies, often working until three in the morning to think through challenges.” Stewart has been with the program since its 2016 inception and designs the accelerator’s tailored curriculum. “Our team is here to provide guidance, encouragement, and insights.”
Designed to help both newer and established companies overcome business hurdles, the Conquer Accelerator emphasizes smart planning and growth, extensive mentorship from an experienced bench of professionals, and structured educational components tailored to each startup team. The accelerator program is hosted and managed by Spartan Innovations, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan State University Foundation.
“Nearly ninety-percent of startups fail,” says Paul Jaques, Conquer Accelerator’s program director. “Our program strives to limit the pitfalls associated with startup failure. We provide a launching ground for emerging companies, both from within Michigan State University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and across the state. We want to prepare these teams to hit the ground running.”
Jaques, who serves Spartan Innovations as the director of student and community engagement, has been working with Michigan State student entrepreneurs for nearly a decade. “When we launched Conquer Accelerator in 2016, we envisioned a program that empowers young entrepreneurs and puts the finishing touches on startup teams. Our team is preparing these companies to provide real value to customers, while helping them scale-up and sustain growth.”
In addition to receiving up to $20,000 in seed funding, each startup can expect tailored mentorship from leaders within their respective industries, a creative co-working space at the MSU Hatch, as well as access to a network of angel and venture investors. Once companies graduate from the accelerator they become seamlessly part of Red Cedar Ventures’s investment portfolio.
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