Builders and Backers Launching To Help Accelerate Duluth Entrepreneurs’ Ideas

DULUTH, Minn.- A new online program will be starting in Duluth to give aspiring entrepreneurs a place to share and build their ideas, and the deadline for an application is this week.

In partnership with the city, Duluth Area Chamber Of Commerce, and Heartland Forward, Builders and Backers will launch their new Idea Accelerator program this summer.

“We don’t want people to quit their jobs, don’t go find a lawyer, don’t go build something, don’t hire someone yet, let’s talk about what’s your idea,” said James Atkin, Head of Communities and Public Engagement, Builders + Backers.

It’s a 90-day online cohort where 10 people with just an idea will get the chance flesh out their concepts, then at the end each participant will get up to $5,000 to test their idea.

“Rarely can you find funds or moneys to get in at that stage that aren’t going to dilute your or take your idea,” said Matt Baumgartner, President of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.

“And I think of our BIPOC community, I think of females who might want to get into entrepreneurialism and they aren’t the typical people that you would see at the table seeking funding and things like that and that’s why this is so special,” he said.

The application is online and Mayor Emily Larson says the deadline is the end of this week.

This program is a pilot, and participants will be encouraged afterwards to take their ideast to programs like Innovate 218.

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