Starting Gate is a student business accelerator that gives students rich and valuable resources to develop their startup companies. Located in the Park Trades Center in downtown Kalamazoo and operated by the Haworth College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the accelerator is open 24/7. Any WMU student can apply through a competitive application process in which students must demonstrate a promising idea for a product or service, which can be launched within a short period of time.
Starting Gate provides a fast-track to business launch. Open 24 hours per day, the mentor-based accelerator offers an array of resources and just the right amount of structure for these highly motivated and creative students.
- Participate in regular update nights to help define the scope of their companies, adjusting business models and plans and gaining feedback.
- Interact with several key mentors, including faculty members, successful entrepreneurs from the local community, investors and experts in areas of interest such as commercial law, venture capital and others.
- Have access to the full complement of resources available through WMU, such as the Small Business Development Center, WMU Business Connection, Haworth College of Business experts and WMU faculty expertise from across campus.
- Develop a robust network of contacts and connections within the local business community to aid in the success of their ventures.