New WCC program offers boot camp, $10k for tech entrepreneurs

A new 12-week program launching next week at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) will provide education, mentorship, and $10,000 in business funding to participating local tech entrepreneurs.

The WCC Entrepreneurship Center's  "All-In" Tech Ecosystem Development Program is aimed at fostering innovation and empowering tech entrepreneurs. The program, which begins July 15, is a collaboration between WCC, Ann Arbor SPARK, and the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA).

"Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems and creating businesses to do that," says WCC Entrepreneurship Center director Michelle Julet. "We’re seeing technology become more ubiquitous with our clients, and SPARK is seeing that as well."

Julet says participants will be able to take advantage of "essential resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to early-stage tech founders" in the Washtenaw County community. A press release from SPARK says that "the program will facilitate invaluable insights from industry experts," from opportunities to connect with academic and business leaders to financial planning support. 

"We hope that the program is totally inclusive and supportive, but rigorous," Julet says. "The education angle is very strong here. It’s a lot of coaching and mentoring to help entrepreneurs best develop their businesses."

Applications for the program closed at the end of June, and Julet says she is very excited to see how the program is received by the selected participants. She also encourages aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as current small business owners who applied but were not selected for this summer's program, to explore the Entrepreneurship Center’s other programs, including its Start-Up Incubator and the annual Pitch@WCC competition.

"We were really surprised with the number of applications and the number of really good businesses that applied," Julet says. "If someone didn’t make it this round, we have so many other programs available to people regardless of where they are in their entrepreneurial journey."

To learn more about "All-In," visit the Entrepreneurship Center's website or call (734) 249-5880.

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.