College launches new entrepreneur pitch program

RALEIGH, NC (January 13, 2022) – Wake Tech is excited to announce an innovative new program to help emerging entrepreneurs accelerate their business.

The Main Street Entrepreneurs Accelerator (MSEA) program is a training and pitching competition for college entrepreneurs and small business owners in Wake County, offering the opportunity to win seed funding of up to $8,000 to help support their idea business to start. The program is open to student entrepreneurs from Wake Tech, Shaw University, and Saint Augustine University as well as eligible small business owners in the community.

“A lot of people who really want to start a business don’t have access to the extra capital they need to make it happen,” said Cherith Roberson, director of StartUp at Wake Tech. “This program is a way of trying to help those who have the dreams, the desire and the knowledge in business to take the next step in developing their business. The adage, it takes money to make money, is so true.

The Main Street Entrepreneurs Accelerator program is made possible by a private donation from Mike Conlon, Founder and CEO of Affordable Communities Group, LCC and a grant from Wells Fargo. Conlon, also a board member of the Wake Tech Foundation, has directed over $1 million to support small business programs at Wake Tech.

Wake Tech announced the new program today at a donor event recognizing Conlon for his philanthropy. In addition to entrepreneurship, Conlon has also supported scholarships, Fostering Bright Futures, and the Scott Scholars program at Wake Tech. In recognition of his support, the college has added the name Conlon Hall to Building K on the Scott Northern Wake campus.

“There has been a lot of focus on funding new tech-related businesses, which is understandable, but there are a lot of Main Street entrepreneurs building businesses that are vital to our local communities and need support. finance to achieve sustainability,” says Conlon. “Entrepreneurship has changed my life in a big way, and I think we can help a number of local families change their lives.”

During the program, participants will complete a series of small business training sessions on a variety of topics and receive coaching and mentoring to help them hone their business skills. Those with a demonstrated understanding of business will be invited to pitch a business they wish to grow to a panel of judges for the chance to win a cash prize of $2,000 to $8,000. Entrepreneurs will be evaluated on their homework, their business acumen as well as their general presentation.

Students from Wake Tech, Shaw University and St. Augustine’s University, as well as community entrepreneurs who live in Wake County can learn more and register for the program at

“Mike Conlon embodies the type of champion we seek and need at Wake Tech. His thought leadership, service and support to our college is second to none,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “Through this significant donation, the college will be able to collaborate with our university partners at Shaw University and Saint Augustine University and help aspiring students and existing entrepreneurs in Wake County realize their dreams. to own a main street business.”

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