Lincoln based MusicSpoke has announced that it will take part in the Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator in St. Louis, Missouri, this fall. Jennifer Rosenblatt, CEO and co-founder, will participate in the three-month intensive program designed specifically for women looking to grow their businesses.
Rosenblatt credits a Silicon Prairie News story about mobile content publishing company Appticles for connecting her with the program.
“I’m an avid SPNer,” Rosenblatt said. “I don’t read every story, but one came across my Facebook feed about Appticles and I thought I could try it for my business.”
As she read further, Rosenblatt said she learned about the company’s roots in Romania and their participation in the Prosper Women Entrepreneurs accelerator.
“I had never heard of Prosper before,” she said. “I clicked through their site and started an application.”
But the pull of day-to-day responsibilities of running a business got in the way.
“I told myself, ‘You just got distracted for the last hour, you need to focus on your next customer and sale,’” Rosenblatt said. “I went on with life until I got an email from Prosper asking if I wanted to jump on a call and finish the application.”
She took the call, finished the application and didn’t think too much about it until the email arrived congratulating her on MusicSpoke’s selection.
“We were at a conference in Cincinnati when the email came,” Rosenblatt said. “I probably wouldn’t have even heard of Prosper without reading the SPN story.”
In the heart of STL
Prosper participants meet for two or three days each week during the program at T-REX in downtown St. Louis. They will have access to renowned mentors resources and a custom curriculum. Companies also receive $50,000 in capital investment.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Honestly, I’m humbled to be part of this program.”
Rosenblatt just completed the first three-day session in the program and was asked how it went.
“There are six women entrepreneurs in this cohort, including me,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s a very diverse group. One is a cookie dough manufacturer, one in health care tech, another in third-world geolocating and mapping. All highly scalable, high-growth companies.”
They are also diverse in terms of entrepreneurial experience.
“For some, this is their first venture,” Rosenblatt said. “Some of them have ‘retired’ twice. I have so much respect for them, but I also bring some things to the table.”
Like other accelerators, mentors are a key part of the Prosper program.
“We have access to all the mentors, but we’re assigned one before the program starts,” Rosenblatt said. “Mine has 30 years of private equity experience and has raised over a billion dollars. It’s really validating to have someone at a high level with that much experience who gets what you’re doing.”
“He’s really excited about helping me build my company,” she added.
Rod Armstrong is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for AIM in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a regular contributor to Silicon Prairie News.