Accelerator Women Find Support & Mentors
The road to launching a successful new business is rarely a straight line. The thirteen members of Federation’s Women’s Accelerator program (a Federation Innovation initiative in partnership with Hub Central ATL, Hadassah of Greater Atlanta and the Jewish Women’s Connection) are discovering that entrepreneurship is sometimes, one step forward, two steps back, as they take their ideas out into the world. The women got great feedback when they pitched their business ideas at The Exchange, a Federation networking event, earlier this month.
They’re also finding backers and inspiring people to come forward as advisors and mentors. It’s exciting to see Atlanta’s strong innovation culture spread virally and take root in the Jewish community. One attendee commented, “I am very interested in getting involved and helping with the event next year. I work with many startups in the Atlanta area and work out of a brand and consumer-focused startup space. Please let me know how I can help.”
Rachel Gurvitch’s pitch to bring the Israeli sport Catchball to Atlanta, won the most votes at The Exchange, but even better, it generated productive conversations about how Catchball might catch fire in Atlanta. Rachel reports, “The exposure was great. In the days following the event, I have had more people talking with me about Catchball since the past two years!
Another Accelerator participant, Alison O’Neil, is developing Senior Select Seal, a seal that identifies products made easier to open for people with arthritis, lack of mobility and issues with motor skills. Allison expressed gratitude to her mentor, Michael Kogon. “Your enthusiasm from the start ignited a new spark for me and for that alone I am more than grateful. The response at The Exchange was remarkable and gave me renewed hope and a sound confirmation that I am on the right path.”
Alison’s mentor was also happy. Michael Kogon wrote, “Thank you for engaging me in this process. Rarely does volunteer work feel so good!”
We are so thrilled to connect our entrepreneurs to each other and to the broader Jewish community through programs like the Women’s Accelerator. If you’d like to be an advisor to an aspiring innovator, please contact Isabel Ranner at Federation.
If you have an idea for a Jewish program that benefits the Atlanta Jewish community, you can apply through another Innovation Fund initiative that makes grants and provides additional support to jump start or accelerate promising projects. We’ll be issuing a new round of requests for these proposals in February 2019 and can’t wait to hear your ideas.