The Innovators Program Inc. and its sponsors, Citrix Systems and Red Hat, announced today that they are accepting applications for the 2016 Innovators Program Raleigh, a three-month accelerator program that lays the foundation for talented and motivated founders to develop the skill set and mindset to build a great technology business.
The cohort-driven, mentor-assisted program is open to five external startups, two internal innovation teams at Red Hat, and three internal teams at Citrix. All of the selected teams will gain best practice expertise, coaching, and mentorship to help develop their startup ideas, to build and market customer-centric products, and to prepare to raise their first round of funding.
The Innovators Program Inc. is a partnership between HQ Raleigh, a workspace and community for high-impact startups, and Nick O’Connor, designer and operator of previous Innovators Programs run by the Citrix Startup Accelerator, which successfully delivered similar programs in Raleigh, Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, and Bangalore, India since 2014.
This unique collaboration combines localized early-stage entrepreneurial support with large-scale enterprise expertise and resources to foster both new startups and corporate innovation.
Says Jesse Lipson, Corporate Vice President & GM of Cloud Services, Citrix, “The Innovators Program is completely unique in the way that it combines internal corporate teams and external startups to come together in an immersive learning experience. By providing these talented entrepreneurs with guidance from industry leaders like Citrix, we give them the tools they need to turn their ideas into successful businesses. And by bringing startup entrepreneurs into this program, Citrix gets great insight about what is happening in the external environment and helps preserve the culture of innovation and intrapreneurship within our company.”
Selected participants will learn to apply core principles of design thinking, lean startup, and go-to-market strategy over the 3-month program with a goal of finding their first customers and validating their business model. Each participating startup will receive one-on-one mentorship, weekly workshops, and a $10K grant. At the end of the program, the selection committee will award three months of coaching and additional grants of up to $50K based on the investment attractiveness of each startup.
Innovators Program Raleigh startup alumni include NC IDEA winner and SXSW: Eco Awards winner Seachange Technologies; health-tech startup Savii Care, which recently closed a $450K funding round; and EmployUs, another NC IDEA grant recipient which raised $750K during the 2015 Program.
Says Ryan O’Donnell, Co-Founder, EmployUs and 2014 Alumni, “The Raleigh Innovators Program truly moves your startup forward. EmployUs started with just an idea and a basic prototype; by the end of the 12-week program, we had over 20 enterprise customers ready to launch our mobile referral-hiring app.”
Early applications are due by August 10th, final applications must be submitted by August 26th, and the program kicks off with a two-day intensive boot camp on September 15th. Learn more or apply at: innovatorsprogram.co