The UGA Idea Accelerator Program, sponsored by UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program and ATDC, takes place twice each fall and spring semester. There are two, four-week “business boot camp” sessions that prepare students for the next step in their business development.
Students with an idea or who are ready to start/expand their business are encouraged to apply to the UGA Idea Accelerator Program. The program provides students with access to a board of experienced, successful entrepreneurs, advisers, and investors who mentor student entrepreneurs. Focus areas are customer discovery, strategic planning, recognizing times to pivot, generating revenue, and developing key contacts.
Participants receive honest, unfiltered advice and feedback, help with critical business decisions, and lasting results for their business. Students are held accountable to key performance indicators and receive real-world experiences from seasoned mentors and investors. The accepted companies form a cohort to test ideas, discover their customers, develop their model, and compete for a final award of $2,500 per session.
Teams meet (virtually during COVID-19 social distancing) twice a week for an hour and a half over four weeks. Students are challenged and held accountable for developing their business throughout the UGA Idea Accelerator Program.
The program is broken down into three rounds with teams competing to move on to the next level.
Weeks 1 - 2: Customer discovery process
Weeks 2 - 3: Financial literacy
Weeks 3 - 4: Investor readiness
Those who advance to the final round of the program pitch their business plan to a panel of judges for a $2,500 award.