Valley Ventures seeking applicants for its next entrepreneur cohort

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Valley Ventures seeking applicants for its next entrepreneur cohort

The Valley Ventures Accelerator at Fresno State is accepting applications through Aug. 15 for its next cohort of entrepreneurs with start-up companies in the water, agriculture and energy technology industries.

The four-month cohort provides professional direction for emerging companies on how to grow in size, value and profitability in preparation for an initial round of funding.

Companies accepted into the program must show an economic impact in the region and the potential to use scarce resources more efficiently. Other evaluation criteria include companies’ scalability, potential return, highest impact, fundability, commercial value, personnel skills and leadership.

“Whether your startup is looking to establish clientele in the Central Valley agricultural community or raise venture capital, Valley Ventures can provide guidance on creating a foundation for future success,” said project coordinator Benjamin Francis. “We have taken a proven curriculum and structured it to tap into our region’s reputation for innovative companies in the natural resource and agricultural industries. Mentors, handpicked to represent the best of their respective industries, will help entrepreneurs develop sales, investments and industry connections.”

Participants will also take part in exercises and learning modules led by Central Valley professionals, investors, industry and technical experts, successful entrepreneurs and target consumers.

The three-year program is coordinated by the International Center for Water Technology and BlueTechValley and made possible by a $500,000 federal grant through the Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support Grants competition. Additional campus support is provided by Fresno State staff from the Center for Irrigation Technology and Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center.

The program is housed at the WET Center at Fresno State and adjacent to the 1,000-acre University Agricultural Laboratory and the Jordan Agricultural Research Center.

For more information on the program, contact Benjamin Francis at 559.270.7121, bfrancis@mail.fresnostate.edu or visit www.valleyventures.org.