Who should apply?

You’re a BIPOC founder based in Birmingham, AL (and the surrounding areas) that wants to grow your business, but you don’t believe you are currently best positioned to do so. An ideal participant fits in at least one of the following descriptions.
  • You are interested in scaling up your business but are too intimidated to make the first big step.
  • Your small business or side hustle has a loyal customer base, and you are considering pursuing this full-time. You want the financial freedom that comes with being your own boss, and you have the drive to scale your business.
  • You want to position your company for future investments that’ll help you grow your business faster.

I am a BIPOC founder based in (city/suburb), just outside of Birmingham. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, we encourage you to apply if you are based in Birmingham, AL or the surrounding areas.

Are you looking for small/startup businesses from a specific industry?

No, our program is industry agnostic.

What phase of the business should I be in to apply?

To gain the most value from this program, we recommend that you are past the idea (pre-product) stage. We expect that most applicants will be in the prototype (usable experiments) phase of their business. For some, this may mean that you are testing (or have tested) the desirability of your business model (e.g., there are people who need/want your product or service).

Is there anything that I need to do to prepare for the program?

It would be helpful if you fill out a business model canvas. You can download one here.

If you have not yet written out a business plan, we suggest completing the CO.STARTERS canvas first. You can download it here.

How can I apply?

Our application is closed for the inaugural cohort. Join the waitlist here to be the first to know when our application for the next cohort opens.

What’s the admission process?

The first step is to complete our written application by Wednesday, 2/24, at 5 pm CST.

If you’re invited to interview, you’ll be sent a link to book a time to meet for 15-minutes. Interviews are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 3/3, through Thursday, 3/4. The interview is intended to be a general conversation. We want to learn more about your business, why you want to attend EGK Starters, and what you hope to gain from the experience.

All finalists will be notified via email by Sunday, 3/7. Selected candidates will need to sign a consent form (for our research study) before beginning program activities.

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.

When does the 2021 batch take place?

The 2021 batch will consist of five-months of virtual sessions delivered in three phases for Birmingham, AL-based, BIPOC-led startups.

Phase I: Exploring Innovation Opportunities [March - April 2021]

Each startup will meet individually with the team for weekly action-focused consultations.

Phase II: Developing and Communicating Innovation Opportunities [April - July 2021]

Startups will meet monthly for mentoring, workshops, and more.

Phase III: Closing Demo Day [August 2021]

The Closing Demo Day is an experiential learning opportunity for BIPOC-led startup founders to improve their pitching skills, with the potential to earn seed funding (first round funding) for their venture.

What if I can’t make it to all the sessions?

If you are unable to make all the sessions for the 2021 batch, please submit your interest for future batches here. Attendance is required and will be a deciding factor for selection.

How do I express interest in future batches?

Please submit your information here.

Where do I go to learn more about the program details?

Learn more about our program here.

I have read the program details and the FAQ, but I have more questions. Can I speak with someone?

Feel free to email us your questions.

If I am an angel or VC investor and want to participate in the program, how do I reach out?

Together we can make a difference in closing the opportunity gap between BIPOC-led startups and angel/VC investments. There are several ways to get involved.

If you are interested in providing mentorship or sponsoring the program, please visit our Get Involved page. If you would like to participate in our research study, please visit our Investors page. For more details, please email us at info@egkstarters.com.