In September 2021, Williams began the nine-week pre-accelerator program. Meeting once per week, she was exposed to every aspect of launching a startup.
Participants worked with various entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIR) matched to them through the program. The EIRs have established business expertise from companies such as Procter & Gamble (P&G), General Electric (GE) and Kroger, to name a few, that partner with the CID.
Williams gained valuable mentoring, learning the dos and don’ts of building a company. EIRs challenged her on how to build a team, identify her competition and sharpen her sales pitch to investors as part of her end-course presentation.
Graduation from the Venture Lab program concluded with participants pitching their products and ideas. Like the popular show “Shark Tank,” cohorts discuss their inventions one by one. Attendees included the EIRs, invited business leaders and potential investors.
Williams was well prepared, nailed her pitch, answered questions from the group about her invention and received $5,000 as a participant in the program. She was elated to be one of the participants invited to return and participate in the advanced accelerator program.
In late November 2021, Williams began the advanced program. She was partnered with an EIR from P&G, who specifically requested to work with her to launch her product.
Together with her EIR, Williams will make a series of pitches throughout the course for an opportunity to receive an additional $265,000 of investment funding. The partners recently completed their first joint pitch to better understand consumer needs and were granted $115,000 to invest.
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