Letter to the editor: Get paid to launch your startup

Graphic courtesy of Sam Davenport.

Across the country, rates of entrepreneurship among 20-somethings are declining. Gretchen Fauske, associate director at the UAA Center for Economic Development, or CED, says Alaska is no exception.

“Fortunately, because of our position at UAA and focus on early stage entrepreneurial development, the CED is well-positioned to reach young Alaskans with an interest in entrepreneurship,” Fauske said.

With that, the CED is unveiling the Upstart Alpha Startup Accelerator, a university-based entrepreneurship engine launching in the new year. The accelerator offers intensive mentorship and experiential learning over a period of four months to a cohort of entrepreneurs.

Upstart Alpha will provide funding, tools and connections for participants interested in turning their idea into a startup within the span of a semester. Cohort members will learn how to test their ideas, find the best customers, meet investors and more. And, participants will earn a cash stipend of $1,500 to work on their business.

“We are really excited about these programs and bridging students and startups,” Fauske said.

Applicants do not have to be students of the University of Alaska to apply for the accelerator, though students receive priority. The inaugural cohort will be comprised of 12 individuals and kick-off in Anchorage on Jan. 10.

Priority applications due by Dec. 19, 2019; late applications due Jan. 2, 2020. Those interested can apply at upstartalpha.com.