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CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center Announces 13 New Members for its Fourth Cohort

Free Business Accelerator Program Supports Local Startup Founders from Virtual Automotive Services to Swimsuit Designer

 

San Diego CA  CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center (CAJC), the region’s first business accelerator program focusing on low-to-moderate income- and diverse entrepreneurs, has announced 13 businesses have joined its fourth cohort, receiving four months of free structured programming virtually.

In addition, CAJC, which helps local startups transform and scale their businesses, has created three new roles to assist startup businesses – two entrepreneur-in-residence positions and an alumni association director.

“The City of San Diego is proud to be a key partner in CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center. CAJC offers valuable programs for local entrepreneurs and business owners,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “It’s exciting to see investment for programs like this for the growth of San Diego’s entrepreneurial community, which in turn, greatly benefits our local economy.­”­­

A strategic partnership between the City of San Diego, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and CONNECT with San Diego Venture Group, CAJC launched in May 2019 and has since jumpstarted 39 local businesses through its business accelerator program. The program is geared specifically for San Diego-based, early-stage startups that are ready for growth and job creation. The entire program is free to participants, with no equity stake required.

Businesses in the current program this spring are: Baby Diary, BRENTFORDE Media, Challenge Island San Diego Coastal, Charbon Plus, D.A. Servicing, First Gen Scholars, Girlie Garage, Hexagon Laser, Hola Swim, Sonia’s Healthy Corner, Stuart Matthieu Wealth Management & Insurance Agency, Tabby Manor and Zero to Necessary. To learn more about each business, visit connectallsd.org/cohort-spring-2021.

Entrepreneurs who participate in the program experience a range of virtual benefits, including:

  • Weekly workshops with topics varying from financial fundamentals to customer discovery and marketing strategies
  • One-on-one mentorship
  • Office hours with the entrepreneurs-in-residence
  • Intern and employee connections through the City of San Diego
  • Daily opportunities to build a community and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs

“Offering CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s free business accelerator program and its resources to local entrepreneurs this past year has been critical,” said Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation President and CEO Reginald Jones. “Even virtually, the program provides a solution to the frustration and seclusion that many business owners experienced due to COVID-19 as well as the typical challenges of starting a new business. With our focus on helping companies grow and create jobs, we look forward to what this year brings.”

Entrepreneurs and their businesses must be located within the City of San Diego to qualify for the program. The next application period will begin at the end of April 2021.

CAJC first entrepreneur-in-residence and alumni association positions include:

  • Cassandra Schaeg, the operations and sales entrepreneur-in-residence, is the founder of SIP Wine & Beer, a tasting room located in Escondido’s Historic Downtown District that highlights local, women and minority-owned brands. In her new role, she helps entrepreneurs build a strong foundation that leads to sales increases and operational efficiency. Schaeg previously volunteered her time as a mentor for the accelerator program.
  • Maresa Friedman, the marketing entrepreneur-in-residence, is the founder of The Executive Cat Herder, a high-impact strategy firm that helps companies with business and marketing strategies. Friedman’s marketing expertise helps the founders discover what they need to do to develop a process to market their products or services. Maresa has also worked closely with CAJC by providing free workshops through its Business Resource Center.
  • Kelly Twichel, the alumni association director, is a graduate of CAJC’s first cohort and is the founder of Access Trax, an innovative startup that empowers people of all abilities to access the outdoors through portable and durable pathway solutions. She also won CAJC’s inaugural Union Bank Start-Up Pitch Competition. In Twichel’s new role, she manages alumni programs, relationships and communication between cohort members.

To learn more about how CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center supports economic development and job opportunities in Southeastern San Diego, visit connectallsd.org. For sponsorship and program support opportunities, please contact Selina Castillo Hudgins at schudgins@jacobscenter.org.

 

This program is funded in whole or in part with Community Development Block Grant program funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of San Diego, and private funding from partners, such as MUFG Union Bank N.A. and bkm OfficeWorks.


About CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center

CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center (CAJC) is the region’s first low to moderate income and diversity-focused business accelerator program, guiding startups that want to grow rapidly with all the support they need to be successful. A partnership between the City of San Diego, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and CONNECT, the program provides participants with mentors, weekly workshops and guidance on how to scale their businesses. CAJC also offers a free Business Resource Center where entrepreneurs can connect and learn about local services and support programs to help move their ideas and businesses forward. The center offers assistance and resources for startups at all stages, and can help prepare businesses for the accelerator program.

This program is funded in whole or in part with Community Development Block Grant program funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of San Diego, and private funding from partners, such as MUFG Union Bank N.A. and bkm OfficeWorks.

To learn more or get involved, visit connectallsd.org. Follow CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.