First Baltipreneurs selected for Loyola’s new accelerator program
| By Molly Robey
Eight companies and social ventures have been chosen to participate in the Baltipreneurs Accelerator Program, which is being launched by Loyola’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This first group of Baltipreneurs was selected from a competitive pool of more than 60 applicants.
The awardees are:
• Benegraft, a medical device company with a technique for dicing cartilage;
• Eatsplore, a startup company started by Loyola faculty member that matches hosts with clients who are interested in sampling local food;
• Halal Beauty Cosmetics, a beauty supply company;
• McKenna’s Kupcakes, a bakery business operated by Loyola student McKenna Moors, ’22;
• Smalltimore Homes, a nonprofit affordable housing initiative;
• Stone’s Throw Hash, a breakfast-based natural food company in Baltimore;
• Style Trail, a beauty shop and barbershop job listing service; and
• Tomana Inc., a pet-sitting service located in Baltimore.
“The Center is pleased to welcome these eight businesses into the Baltipreneurs Accelerator Program,” said Wendy Bolger, director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. “This program will help entrepreneurs from Loyola and the Baltimorecommunity receive mentorship, instruction, and valuable experience.”
Over the course of the program, each Baltipreneur will receive $2,000. The highest performing team can also qualify for an additional $5,000. All will get the chance to pitch at a Demo Day in April.
Hervé Franceschi, an affiliate professor of computer science, co-founded EatSplore with Rhys Scheuren, ’19, a communication major and computer science minor, and Alyssa Schilke, ’20, a computer science major.
“The Baltipreneurs Accelerator Program will help with startup funds for EatSplore, an online program that aims to provide guests with an in-depth cultural immersion in the location they are visiting through interaction with local people and food,” Franceschi said. “Funding granted through the program will also help pay for registering trademarks/copyrights, server monthly fees, an advertising presence on Google and Facebook, create visibility, and find hosts to get started."
The recipients will also receive business and entrepreneurship instruction from Loyola faculty members and other partners, dedicated office space at the Loyola/Notre Dame Library through May 2020, one-on-one pitch training, networking opportunities, and a photo session for professional portraits.
For more information on the Baltipreneurs Accelerator Program, visit www.loyola.edu/accelerator.