Alaska Small Business Development Center

Finding Funding and Mentorship in Alaska

January 2, 2016

It takes a community to build a successful business- at least that’s the idea behind Alaska’s newest accelerator Launch Alaska. Business Advisor Lance Ahern has been working with a group of Alaskans who are deeply involved in the entrepreneurial scene to bring the accelerator to our Anchorage area and help potential entrepreneurs find the mentorship and funding they need to start successfully. The group, including SBDC’s Adam Krynicki, BEI’s Nolan Klouda and Gianna Foltz, AEDC’s Jon Bittner, Joe Morrison and Katherine Jernstrom (to name a few) recognized the need rocket-launch-67721_1280for a more resilient, diverse economy in Alaska. Building Launch : Alaska is a humble first step toward economic diversification, startup best practices, an organized system of mentors, and more. A robust economic future is the responsibility of Alaska itself. Creating L:A goes beyond talk, to action, toward change. Launch : Alaska’s mission is to help founders build great companies, raising the bar for entrepreneurship. It’s a program that takes a cohort of early-stage companies and offers them education, mentorship, coworking and $25,000, encouraging rapid maturity and investment readiness. Launch Alaska has both a private and nonprofit arm to provide business owners with an accelerator program and also allow for for-profit seed finding which capitalizes cohort companies.

Launch Alaska was initially made possible by an SBA Growth Accelerator grant that has gone towards operating expenses. Accelerator participant’s successes will be measured in post-acceleration financing and jobs created while the program itself will be measured on startup investment dollars, startup graduation, new cohorts, qualitative community impact, and corporate sponsorships. To learn more about the program, visit their website.


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