Startup scholarship aims to launch more tech companies

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NextCorps Startup Scholarship, a new business scholarship program, expects to help launch technology-oriented companies. Funded through M&T Bank, the scholarship will allow 15 to 20 individuals to receive one year of startup incubation services at NextCorps.

“We understand the challenges founders face in the early stages of starting their businesses,” says Matt Foley, director of startup incubation at NextCorps. “Being part of an incubator, having access to resources, and working within a community of other entrepreneurs can greatly improve success rates.”

The scholarship, aimed at launching technology-oriented companies, will give preference to applicants who are women, underrepresented minorities, veterans, those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with financial need. Applicants must be located within the nine-county Rochester region and should be coachable individuals with an idea for a scalable, tech-enabled product or service.

“Our goal in teaming up with M&T Bank on this scholarship program is to help more individuals advance from having an idea to launching an early-stage company, particularly those who may not otherwise have the means to take the leap and pursue their dreams,” Foley says.

“With its focus on expanding access to critical resources, this new scholarship initiative will help further strengthen our local economy and foster more inclusive growth,” adds Dan Burns, M&T Bank regional president.

During the 12 months at the incubator, scholarship recipients will have access to NextCorps’ prototyping lab and digital media studio, receive structured coaching on market analysis and plan development from an entrepreneur-in-residence, and be included in networking opportunities with more than 70  other startups. Recipients will also complete a “Lean Canvas” or single-page business model created in collaboration with mentors and EIRs by the end of the program. Services for one year under this membership type typically costs $1,800.

The scholarship will be awarded to a maximum of 20 people in two phases, with the first beginning in May 2024. In addition, NextCorps will hold a virtual informational session on March 27 for interested parties.

“By collaborating with NextCorps, we hope to empower local founders to transform big ideas into new startups that deliver meaningful impacts for communities in the Rochester region and far beyond,” Burns says.

Scholarship applications are being accepted through April 5.

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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