One year ago, the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce launched the Center for Entrepreneurship (NICE). In 2019, organizers met with more than 35 locals aspiring to start a new company. While some residents were not quite ready to take the plunge, several were and did, resulting in some great new offerings to visitors and residents and growing our local economy.
As these new businesses were incubated over several months, the one thing all founders had in common was the need for advice from more experienced operators, connections to strategic partners, and a cheerleading section to keep them moving forward when encountering obstacles. It became clear there was an opportunity to “package” these needs into one structured program.
This winter, NICE will offer a free 8-week “incubator” program for those truly committed to starting their own company. Beginning with concept validation, through the creation of the business plan and introductions to sources of capital, NICE will lead these brave new entrepreneurs across the finish line. The program is free but does require a certain time commitment (although it is assumed these entrepreneurs will be working full-time elsewhere).
NICE is also offering a free, 4-week “accelerator” program for relatively young but revenue-positive businesses whose founders want to reach the next level with their company. Participants in this program are expected to come prepared with specific business goals they want to meet so they may be matched with the most effective mentors and appropriate investors.
Mentorship, educational classes, and introductions to new sources of capital will be part of both programs. Participants will benefit from:
- Weekly, in-depth educational sessions led by experts, touching on every facet of running a successful business;
- Mentorship matching with 2-3 experienced operators who will work closely with you throughout the program;
- Access to shared resources such as office, conference room, and test facilities;
- The ability to work side-by-side with like-minded, local entrepreneurs who form a supportive community as they struggle with the same challenges of operating on Nantucket Island;
- A celebration Showcase to focus the attention of the Nantucket banking/investor community on our participant businesses.
Island entrepreneurs are encouraged to explore more about each program by downloading the materials and applications here. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, January 21. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.