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TEN boot camps to begin March 28

The County of Monroe has launched its 26th class of The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), an initiative to bolster economic growth locally.

TEN is an initiative powered by Imagine Monroe that supports scalable businesses in Upstate New York. TEN boot camps are designed specifically for startups and small businesses, and local entrepreneurs have until Friday to apply for the latest TEN class.

“Now more than ever, Monroe County is home to a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that is transforming our economy and growing more jobs across our community,” Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said in a news release. “The Entrepreneurs Network and its over 400 alumni are key to our region’s continued success, developing exciting business ventures that are offering new products and services, creating more local jobs and enhancing our quality of life.”

Ten companies will be accepted in this year’s class, which will meet for nine full-day sessions beginning March 28. Candidates for TEN must be founders, owners or CEOS of scalable, high-revenue potential companies, whose business is fewer than 10 years old. Established companies involved in ownership transition and spinoffs from university research departments also are eligible.

TEN’s instructors and business coaches are active investors and business owners, officials noted. They also support members outside of boot camps to provide access to technical expertise and funding sources.

“Leading a startup is different than running a corporate division,” said Michael Pavia, CEO and President of Sydor Technologies. “While I had experience as a global product executive, I wanted to tap the expertise of business owners that were negotiating contracts and securing money without the status of a Fortune 500 company.”

Topics discussed include assessing markets and pricing strategies, engineering a sales process, building financial models, investor presentations, negotiating with strategic partners, hiring employees and selecting vendors.

“TEN provided a sounding board for improving our business strategy,” said Health Care Originals cofounder Sharon Samjitsingh. “The feedback I received is invaluable, helping us to make good decisions on investors and strategic partners.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Business accelerator program for women taking applications

women-business womanThe 25th class of The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) business accelerator will be offered to women only, officials said this week.

Ten’s Women Business Accelerator will teach women entrepreneurs new and best practices in human resources, marketing and sales integration, finances and operations. TEN offers peer-focused support from instructors and coaches who are investors and business owners themselves.

“Statistics show that women are half as likely as men to start a business and remain underrepresented among entrepreneurs across the state and nation,” Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said in a statement. “The Entrepreneurs Network is stepping up to close the opportunity gap and support female-led local startups and small businesses.”

As the first exclusively female economic accelerator program in Upstate New York, the program is dedicated to supporting women-led scalable small businesses. Candidates for TEN Class XXV will include women who are founders, co-founders, owners and presidents of businesses based in Upstate New York. Businesses should be actively selling their product or service with a focus on expanding their customer base.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 14.

“As a former small business owner myself, I understand the challenges any business will face, but Monroe County and TEN are here to support our local business owners on their path to growing more jobs and building a stronger economy,” Dinolfo said.

TEN is supported by Monroe County and Imagine Monroe. To date, some 400 entrepreneurs from 375 companies have completed the TEN program series. TEN serves a regional audience spanning Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Ithaca.

TEN reports that 20 percent of its alumni have revenues of more than $1 million, and 16 percent have revenues of $5 million or more. Some 16 percent have raised $50,000 to $250,000 and 22 percent have raised more than $250,000. More than half of TEN alumni are hiring, officials said.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer