Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

10 Start-Up Companies Welcomed to Newest Cohort of the Georgetown Startup Program

The Georgetown Venture Lab, a workspace which provides resources and mentorship to early-stage startups run by Georgetown alumni, welcomed its newest Georgetown Startup Accelerator cohort. 

The Georgetown Startup Accelerator (GSA), founded in 2020, provides mentorship for entrepreneurs to take the next steps with their businesses. The nine-week virtual program features opportunities to connect with fellow entrepreneurs in the program, as well as connecting members of the Georgetown community who may be interested in investing in the startups. GSA recruits mentors to match the needs of each startup by assessing who would be the best fit for the particular company, drawing from both people who have been involved in GSA programs before, and those who have not.

This year’s cohort featured 10 companies and 18 entrepreneurs and founders, including Carlos Bello (GRD ’22), co-founder of Budeli, a food delivery app seeking to make food delivery more sustainable by making multiple deliveries at one time to apartment complexes.

WeWork | Ten start-up companies run by Georgetown alumni joined the newest cohort of the Georgetown Startup Accelerator, a nine-week program that helps them take the their business to the next level.

Bello said the partnering of mentors was important in nurturing the growth of his startup.

“The real value is having someone with deep subject matter expertise, being able to critically look and examine and make your case bulletproof, which is what he’s trying to do,” Bello said in an interview with The Hoya. “And that’s what we need.” 

Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, said GSA is an opportunity for startups to be matched with mentors that will best serve their particular interests and support them as they continue to grow.

“We recruit mentors, after we know which companies are in the program,” Reid said in an interview with The Hoya. “So we recruited mentors specifically to match the needs of the companies. And some of the mentors are people who have been involved in our programs before and we know they’re going to be a good fit. Others are people that we may not have worked with before, but we also believe they will be a good fit for our particular company.”

Max Gottlieb (COL ’14) said collaborating with other entrepreneurs in the cohort and their support is an invaluable part of the support that the Georgetown Startup Accelerator provides. 

“It’s a wonderful group,” Gottlieb said in an interview with The Hoya. “You get to learn from others who are going through the startup process with the cohort. And I don’t care what anybody tells you; it has its ups, its downs, it’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s stressful. It’s all the emotions and all the feelings, but it’s wonderful.” 

The culmination of the program is a Nov. 8 Demo Day, where the startups showcase their companies to the campus community. Attendees will range from entrepreneurs, to mentors and to investors.

Cesar Correa Parker (GRD ‘13) said Demo Day allows for investors to gain a full understanding of the startups’ products. 

“The way that Demo Day works is that we are going to have to prepare a video, and this video is going to be presented to the investors,” Parker said to The Hoya. “So you know by that point, we are hoping to meet all the expectations of our types of investors in terms of having a product, and with the scalability and with the business plan, that it’s appealing to investors.”

Tonya Sloans (GRD ‘08) said she is grateful for the program that has helped her even after she graduated.

“I’m grateful that Georgetown didn’t just leave me at graduation back in 2008,” Sloans said to The Hoya. “But there’s now more programming that is widely available to me. And that’s made a big difference in my business world today.”

Reid said he expects the program to grow in the future. 

“I expect the accelerator to continue to attract amazing entrepreneurs from all over the world to help them grow their businesses and connect with the Georgetown community.” Reid said to The Hoya. “So I think the program will grow in terms of interest, and maybe we’ll be able to add multiple cohorts in a given year.” 

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