The USVI Idea Incubator, a new initiative of the UVI Research and Technology Park (RTPark), is currently accepting applications for its inaugural 15-week program. This new program will provide ambitious Virgin Islanders who have big tech ideas a step-by-step framework for launching and growing a technology company, free of charge.
USVI Idea Incubator offers a free education, training and development program that helps local tech innovators grow ideas into scalable ventures and runs May 9–Aug. 18. Apply now through April 24.
An onboarding to tech entrepreneurship, the program aims to educate and train participants on the fundamentals of working with developers to build a product while exposing them to industry best practices and providing the tools and resources to execute. This program is run in a hybrid format, with weekly virtual sessions and opportunities to engage in person during the first week and the final week.
“Supporting local entrepreneurs is a key part of our mission here at the RTPark. Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to help residents grow and scale their businesses through programmings like Accelerate VI and Pre-AVI, which in turn has provided us with unique insights into the needs of the founders in this market,” said Amanda Spann, the entrepreneurship program manager.
Spann acknowledged that a big programmatic takeaway was that many aspiring founders, especially those transitioning into tech entrepreneurship, didn’t know what they didn’t know.
“We realized that it was critical for us to realign as an organization to provide a foundational education that would empower and enable residents to take their ideas from concept to creation and to break into the industry with confidence. We’ve recalibrated and have got a lot in store! We look forward to deploying Idea Incubator and helping Virgin Islanders take the first steps towards building the ideas of the future,” said Spann.
Idea Incubator will immerse participants in a series of workshops, webinars and mentoring sessions tailored to give them professional feedback, launch a product, boost their sales and polish their pitch for future endeavors.
“As a born-and-raised St. Croix resident, I am thrilled to work for a program that is specifically designed to support USVI tech entrepreneurs. The USVI Idea Incubator provides an unparalleled opportunity for aspiring founders, and I encourage everyone to apply and join us on this journey,” said Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., Accelerate VI operations manager.
By the end of the program, founders will:
- Improve their understanding of startup best practices
- Validate their idea with customers
- Expand their network to include successful founders and investors
- Enhance their professional brand
- Refine their business model and revenue streams
- Become more proficient at pitching their startup to potential co-founders, accelerators and customers
- Map out a plan for the next year of growth
Eric Sonnier, director of entrepreneurship, said, “The Entrepreneurship Team at the RTPark is dedicated to creating an environment that is conducive to innovation and growth for Virgin Islanders who want to explore tech entrepreneurship. We’re excited about working with another group of innovative problem solvers and can’t wait to see the results at the end of the 15 weeks.
Individuals should apply if they:
- Are currently based in the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Have a startup idea or business concept that can be delivered and deployed as a web or mobile app
- Have an innovative tech or tech-enabled business idea that either addresses a challenge specific to the U.S. Virgin Islands or has the ability to scale globally
- Are a passionate, aspiring founder willing to dedicate 10+ hours per week to work on your business
- Consider yourself committed, ambitious and disciplined enough to meet weekly milestones and complete the program
- Have a reliable and stable internet connection, as the program will primarily be conducted online
- No professional services, i.e., consulting
- Idea has generated less than $50,000 in revenue to date
- Idea has raised or received less than $100,000 in total investment (e.g., equity, convertible notes, government grants, academic grants)
- Commitment to Accelerate VI Code of Conduct and Attendance Policy
To apply, visit www.incubatevi.com