When applications were first opened for a new accelerator at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) Business School, the program received 437 applications for its six available slots.
Part of the reason might be that “UMSL Accelerate” provides $50,000 in non-dilutive capital to founders that make it into the program. Entrepreneurs are paired up with paid interns from the college, along with support from the university, and access to mentors, alumni, and subject matter experts.
Another reason could be the focus on DEI – diversity, equity, and inclusion. Now two years old, the program that UMSL describe as a “first-of-its-kind” university-led DEI accelerator, recently drew a spotlight from national cable business network CNBC.