Since our first cohort launched in 2016, we have coached over 60 new companies through our intensive, fast-moving Empower Accelerator program. There is no charge for the Empower Accelerator and it is open to any student, faculty or community member in South Florida. Through workshop-style programming and one-to-one coaching, we empower people of all backgrounds to build scalable companies. We challenge them, train them and support them to develop strong business models and to prepare to raise growth capital. This program is designed for companies that have a well-developed prototype, possibly some revenue and, most importantly, an in-depth understanding of the industry in which they plan to compete. We look for entrepreneurs that genuinely want to listen and learn and are willing to diligently apply the concepts taught each week in the program. By the end of the Accelerator, each team will have significantly reduced the many risks inherent in a startup and will be able to easily explain their business to any audience.
The Empower Accelerator is a 14-week program with weekly programming in topics that lead the teams through three multi-week modules: Customer Value and Business Model; Financial Modeling; and Story Telling and Pitching.
Each week has the same structure to explore that week’s fundamental principles:
Every Tuesday from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm there are two 2-hour presentations, with a one-hour lunch break in between. Each week has a theme that is developed in the two related, but different presentations. The workshop-style classes include a short presentation combined with hands-on exercises the entrepreneurs apply to their own businesses.
Every Friday from 9:30-11:30 there is a two-hour session in which each CEO presents the week’s deliverable to the StartUP FIU staff for feedback and advice. This is a formal presentation.
Hurdle Pitches Three times during the 14 weeks the companies give a formal presentation regarding their business model development up to that point. Hurdle pitches must be accomplished in order to remain in the program for the full 14-week period.
The fundamental principles and concepts developed each week are shown below.