FireSpring Fund & Accelerator Update!

Greetings Friends and Supporters!

We closed applications for FireSpring Fund on May 5th and thought you might be interested in the results. I think it will give you an indication of the demand for early seed funding in our community. Our challenge is to narrow down the field and select up to four applicants for the first FireSpring funding and accelerator program. Based on the initial review, there are a number of qualified applicants and it’s not going to be easy!

We received 116 finalized applications, which far exceeded our expectations! Of the completed applications there are 50 that match the current requirements of FireSpring Fund. There were 13 applicants in areas of Florida outside of Central Florida. And interestingly the balance of the applicants came from outside of the state and all expressed an eagerness to move to Central Florida! Can you imagine if we raised enough money to fund the best startups here and had enough to attract other great startups to headquarter and grow their startups here? Imagine the economic impact!

Of the applicants, 20 of those have completed a program that focuses on mentorship and lean startup best practices. There were 13 Starter Studio grads along with clients of WeVenture, Venture Scaleup, I-Corps, etc. These programs along with FireSpring Fund provides entrepreneurs the best possible chance of success!

The purpose of Starter Studio is to take founders with an idea and in just 12 weeks by engaging with mentors and using best lean practices they are ready with a prototype to launch their startup. Our community has come together to provide the mentors and programs to help founders launch, but what happens next is the gap.

What happens to these startups? What’s next for them? How do they continue to grow and get funding? Certainly the mentors and investors they meet in our program are resources, but we have yet to move the needle on funding and support for the period between launch and angel or venture funding. This is where you see a lot of startups fallout. We as a community must come together and give these entrepreneurs every chance of success. This includes investments of expertise and resources.

We can use your help! Please . . .

Come out and support Starter Studio Class 5 on Thursday, May 19th.
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-day-5-at-the-dr-phillips-center-tickets-18742870430

Demo Day is being held at the Pugh auditorium at Dr. Phillip Center. Please support Starter Studio, the companies, the mentors and the community that comes together to help launch ideas! Tickets are only $15 but helps Starter Studio continue this important work.

Accelerator – The PodCast: Tune in here to follow Class 5’s journey to Demo Day. http://starterstudio.com/accelerator-the-podcast/

Donate to FireSpring Fund! There is real demand for funding and support to grow companies and keep them in Central Florida.
http://firespringfund.org/invest/donate/donate.html

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if there is anything we can do for you!

Best,
Donna L. Mackenzie
Executive Director
FireSpring Fund, Canvs, Starter Studio