The Blueprint Accelerator Network: The Westchester County Association's Initiative for New Businesses

Are you struggling to take your young biz to the next level? Consider applying to Westchester’s first business accelerator: the Blueprint Accelerator Network.

Created and owned by the Westchester County Association, the Blueprint Accelerator Network offers all kinds of help, from legal, accounting, and IT services to debt financing and even a formal mentoring program. The business accelerator is free for participating companies (all services are donated by local businesses), but participants must agree to stay in the Blueprint Accelerator Network for two years, and in Westchester for another five years.

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“There is a whole entrepreneurial spirit that we were not capturing, and we really felt it was important to put together an environment where companies can grow and be nurtured here in Westchester,” says Marissa Brett, executive director of economic development for the WCA. “We’ve got tremendous intellectual capital, and this is our way of cultivating it.”

Once accepted, companies get free rent for one year and half-price rent the next year at various Westchester locations. Brett adds that many Westchester colleges have agreed to help companies in the Accelerator by exploring potential research partnerships and helping to funnel qualified students and grads to them as interns and prospective employees.

Perhaps most important, capital will be available. Brett reports that local banks have pledged to provide $225 million in total debt financing. Companies also will get to meet with angel investors. Brett says that one of the biggest benefits of the Accelerator is the many useful connections new companies can make.

The Accelerator is asking companies that are up to five years old to apply. Applicants should have a business plan and financial projections for their company. For more information: blueprint

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