Business Startup Accelerator LaunchesFeatured Stories, News Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
A new program aims to encourage start up businesses and possibly even bring more international businesses to Bryan College Station.
Research Valley Partnership President Todd McDaniel says applications are being taken now through March for one of ten slots in the Seed Sumo program.
McDaniel says Seed Sumo is privately led out of the local company Woodbolt, which is selecting mentors to help fledgling companies move forward.
He says accepted entrepreneurs would be provided with business connections, mentors, funds, and space on the Woodbolt campus to develop their company.
McDaniel says besides developing local businesses, goals include making Bryan College Station a top ten startup community, and developing sustainable companies that would help the twin cities become more dependent on business and less on the university.
CLICK HERE to visit the Seed Sumo website.
Additional Information, courtesy of Research Valley Partnership, Inc:
New Mentorship-Driven Startup Accelerator “Seed Sumo” Launches in College Station offering up to $50,000 to as many as 10 startups per year
The three-month program that includes intensive mentoring, business model design and concludes with a demo day for investors will begin May 19th 2014.
Seed Sumo will offer seed funding, workspace, access to potential investors and business
mentoring to as many as 10 startup companies.
It’s a familiar formula used by some of the worlds most successful startup accelerators including (Techstars, Y-Combinator, Capital Factory out of Austin, to name a few).
In fact, Seed Sumo has partnered with the Global Accelerator Network to share the knowledge and mentors of over 60 of the top accelerators in the world.
“Our goal is simple really…we want to help make Bryan/College Station a top 10 startup
community within the next 10 years,” explained Doss Cunningham co-founder of Seed Sumo
and CEO of local INC #505 company Woodbolt International (Cellucor.com).
First-time entrepreneurs will enter the program at the seed stage, where they will spend 100
days developing their ideas guided heavily by super human mentors and world-class lean
The perks seem almost endless for startups that get accepted into the program.
In addition to the $20,000 – $50,000 per startup, Seed Sumo offers over $500,000 in other startup related perks.
Not to mention getting to work at Woodbolt International’s campus, a brand new facility
in the Bio-corridor near Traditions Golf Club.
The workspace is inspired by the likes of Google, Nike and Facebook. The Seed Sumo accelerator has dedicated space on Woodbolt’s campus, but those in the program will also have access to most of Woodbolt’s other amenities, including a cafeteria where healthy gourmet meals are provided free each day, countless indoor/outdoor meet-up zones scattered throughout campus with multimedia and enough whiteboard to solve the world’s most challenging problems, a state of the art R&D lab for scientific pursuits, and a fully equipped 20,000 square foot fitness facility where free personal training and group exercise classes are offered daily.
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough to lure the country’s most promising talent, Seed Sumo participants will have access to a complimentary massage once a week in the “relaxation lounge” located on campus.
The concept of building an accelerator has been on Cunningham’s mind for the past three
years, but he started moving forward with the idea 18 months ago.
His business has enjoyed a lot of success, recently being named as a Top 100 Texas Company To Work For and has been in the prestigious Inc. 500 | 5000 for the past three years.
With his personal mantra of “Grow and give back” motivating him, he decided that there was no better place to launch an accelerator than Bryan/College Station.
Over the past 6-7 years, he has observed the slowly growing entrepreneurial scene in a city that
historically has been so dependent on the success of the University.
Having seen how the community has evolved since he first went to Texas A&M 13 years ago, he believes the BCS community is now more than ready. Cunningham and his partners want to “heat it up” further by being a “private vehicle” that will bring new business ideas and sustainable companies to the area. “Bryan/College Station could certainly be the Silicon Valley of the South in the not so distant future.” Cunningham insists.
“Bryan/College Station has some great organizations and programs providing individual startup
components like angel networks and incubators. We believe a world-class accelerator is
another key piece in a sustainable startup community and will compliment the existing programs very well,” said Manish Patel, co-founder of Seed Sumo.
“The human capital component that accelerators bring to a startup community creates the
stickiness needed to keep these companies here for the long term. In our opinion, for
Bryan/College Station to be a top 10 startup community, we must have a solid foundation of
local mentors that get involved in some way, and a short (time-restricted) accelerator enables
this to happen.” explained Bryan Bulte, Managing Director of Seed Sumo. “Anyone and
everyone that thinks they can add value to Seed Sumo during the 100-day acceleration
program, we want to talk to.”
Cunningham and Seed Sumo’s other partners are confident the program can turn out the next
super company. But it’s not purely about economic returns for Cunningham and his partners…
“Some people are more financially motivated, but being the connector and bringing the pieces
together, being the architect of a master plan that can really drive this community forward is
what Seed Sumo is all about.” he remarked.
Applications for the inaugural accelerator can be submitted starting January 1st, 2014 through
March 15th, 2014. Visit seedsumo.com for more details.
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