Kale & Flax announced today that it is partnering with New2Lou to launch Wild
Accelerator, a non-profit 9-Week Micro-Accelerator for female founders geared towards idea-stage and
early-stage entrepreneurs looking to land initial investment capital, develop a working prototype or create
a sound, focused go-to market strategy.
Wild is an intense and hands-on 9-week immersion program with weekly workshops led by 1-2 industry experts focused on 6 key areas: Branding, Investment Pitching, Product Design, Growth Hacking, Finance/Legal, and Starting Up Lean. The program is free for the selected entrepreneurs, however, Wild is encouraging local and national businesses to donate to the overall growth and success of the program.
Applications open February 3rd and run through February 20th, 2018 at wildaccelerator.org. All female founders ranging from $0 to $250k in annual revenue are welcome to apply. The focus of Wild is on the potential of the entrepreneur and the idea, and not about traditional, conservative selection criteria. Any type of business can apply, and Wild has made clear they are not solely focused on tech or software.
Wild will announce the top ten female finalists the last week of February, and each will be invited to pitch in-person to the advisory selection panel. The ten finalists will be narrowed down to 3 entrepreneurs who will participate in the 9-week accelerator program for free with support of our partners and sponsors. After completion of the accelerator, each WILD entrepreneur will receive $25k of in-kind services from Kale & Flax and supporting partners, as well as, initial due diligence on a $10,000 non-profit growth loan and $25,000 small business loan.
In contrast, many of the female-focused accelerators and programs around the country are centered around a classroom, lecture style learning environment, and startups compete against each other for a single prize. One of the founders of Wild was actively involved in a women-focused accelerator previously, and took cues from what they understood did work and did not work for mentors, founders, and investors alike.
“With the launch of Wild, we’ll be only the twelfth city in the nation with a dedicated female accelerator program. This will will be a big deal for Louisville and will put us on the map as a leader in this space,” said Kale & Flax’s founder, Tarik Nally. “Only 4% of VCs invest in female led companies, but statistics show female-led private [tech] companies generate a 35% Higher ROI. This is real missed opportunity. We want to empower women entrepreneurs with the tools they need to launch their idea into the market and create successful companies,” Nally has been leading design and tech agencies for over 12 years, helped over a hundred entrepreneurs start up their businesses, pitched to investors around the U.S., and presented at various tech conferences.
“We want to not only empower female leaders to launch their big ideas, but also create a strong female entrepreneur community,” said Kale & Flax’s VP of Sustainability, and founder of New2Lou, Stacey Servo. “We strive to connect like-minded individuals in Louisville,” said Servo. “This program is a natural progression of that in the business world. We would love to help build a thriving female entrepreneur community as well as provide the tools and resources for success.”
With enough community support, Wild expects to annually support nearly 18+ well equipped, growth-minded women entrepreneurs from Louisville, who will go on to develop jobs, create revenue, and increase our talent pool and startup scene on the national stage. Not to mention, inspire other women to make the leap. Wild is currently seeking sponsors and partners to help support the current semester, as well as, overall growth of the non-profit. Sponsorship includes branded marketing, content creation, influencer sharing, weekly workshop product placement, and events.For additional information, visit wildaccelerator.org or contact Stacey Servo at [email protected]
The idea for Wild Accelerator was developed by leadership within Kale & Flax, New2Lou, and some community supporting partners in the Fall of 2017, and they have been quietly working towards landing some major national partnerships which will be unveiled throughout the course of the first semester. #WILDAFFF, the non-profit’s hashtag for all social media, stands for WILD Accelerator For Female Founders, among other things.
Applications open February 3rd and run through February 20th, 2018 at wildaccelerator.org.