About Elevate/Elevar Accelerator

Elevate/Elevar Accelerator is a 6-month program that provides for-profit companies the funding, training, and connections to support business growth. We spark economic development and work to develop living wage jobs in North St. Louis City through entrepreneurship. Elevate/Elevar is the only business accelerator exclusively for Black and Latinx founders in St. Louis. Businesses enrolled in Elevate/Elevar sign on to our community-centered principles: The Founders’ Commitment to Community. In doing so, founders commit to create living wage jobs, build partnerships to develop workers from the community, integrate racial equity into the company culture, and to work with an advisory board that includes community members.

About the Opportunity: WEPOWER is recruiting mentors and guest experts! To learn more, find more information below

Elevate Accelerator will support a cohort of 10 early stage for-profit companies over a six-month cycle. Throughout the six-months, companies will access workshops (designed by Village Capital and SLAM!) that will feature feedback from guest experts (investors & founders), a team of mentors, connections to technical service providers (legal, finance, HR, marketing), community-building experiences, and coaching from a dynamic and experienced business coach. By the end of the six-months, companies will (1) increase their revenue (2) be ready to attract new capital.

Whether you’re an investor, industry executive, attorney, policymaker, or have other expertise, company teams can use your experiences and networks to help them and their companies become better. A mentor, as part of a mentor team, is a seasoned professional or entrepreneur with a variety of skills and backgrounds

Ideal Areas of Expertise

WEPOWER seeks to build diverse and dynamic mentor teams for each company that are made of people with one or more of the following areas of expertise.

  • Entrepreneur Support
  • Administration & Management
  • Start-Up Experience
  • Founder of a Successful Startup
  • Raising Capital & Investment Management (i.e. due diligence)
  • Mental Health/Wellness
  • IT/Technology Development Strategy
  • Expert in the Industry Area of the Company (IT, health, construction, food prep, retail)
  • Change Management
  • HR
  • Legal
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Negotiation
  • Product Design

Expected Commitment for Guest Expert

As a guest expert, you will engage at least once with the companies for a 1-3hr engagement using materials from the Village Capital Curriculum. WEPOWER provides the materials in advance and you bring your expertise! The engagements will mainly center feedback on critical components such as market mapping, investability, and more. We welcome you to volunteer more than once!

Expected Commitment for Mentor

As a member of the mentor team for one of WEPOWER’s early-stage companies, you will be expected to commit to six months of engagement. The first month will involve a two-hour orientation experience and company match-making process. The next five months will involve monthly 90-minute to two-hour mentoring sessions with founders of a specific early-stage company team and the other mentors.

As a mentor, you will...

  • Serve as a broker between the company team and your network and provide meaningful connections and introductions
  • Continuously affirm the company team, their identity, abilities, and potential to achieve impact and growth
  • During mentor sessions, serve as a partner on strategy development, problem solving, accountability around reaching key milestones and benchmarks, network building, and social emotional wellbeing

After the Six-Month Journey, We Will Celebrate The Company…

  1. Elevating 1-2 levels according to VilCap’s VIRAL/abaca framework
  2. Significantly increasing monthly to yearly recurring revenue
  3. Accessing new capital opportunities that support company growth, especially job growth

You Have Some of the Following Experiences & Skillsets...

  • Have connections in the community (business, media, political, philanthropic/foundations, nonprofit, civic, grassroots)
  • Have great leadership qualities (team/bridge builder, good communicator, strategist, visionary/big picture thinker, facilitator, achiever and results oriented)
  • Have real-life success stories of how you’ve had to apply the advice you’re sharing
  • Have spent time helping to improve the community through acts of service
  • Are an expert in one of the areas listed in the section above
  • Have experience with and are comfortable engaging and supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are often underrepresented and underestimated

Benefits

We acknowledge that you will be sharing your time and talent with WEPOWER and the Elevate/Elevar company team you support. That’s an invaluable contribution, and we want to acknowledge you as a member of the WEPOWER family. Checkout of the benefits below:

  • Access and introductions to St. Louis’ Black and Latinx startups
  • Ability to network with like-minded professionals and business experts
  • Featured on our website as an “Elevate/Elevar Mentor”
  • Hands-on experience with helping to build startups from the ground up
  • Annual celebration events