News Flash

Executive - Press Release

Posted on: January 10, 2019

NCCinnovates offers business accelerator program for aspiring local entrepreneurs

Apply online through January 24 at 

Wilmington, DE – Today, New Castle County announced that it has partnered with a leading local entrepreneur, 1313 Innovation, the Emerging Enterprise Center and area business mentors to offer an intensive 12-week business accelerator program to underrepresented entrepreneurs who have launched start-up businesses or have the next great business idea. First Founder’s Accelerator will feature instruction, one-on-one mentorship and hands-on help building the foundation for successful companies.

“We win the future when our local job creators have the support and tools they need to turn their great ideas into reality, and that’s what NCCinnovates is all about,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “We are proud to partner with Garry Johnson, a leading local entrepreneur, and members of our local business community to offer First Founder’s Accelerator to help ten promising start-ups develop their business plan, refine their pitch and strategize opportunities to leverage funding sources. Apply today at!”

Entrepreneurs can apply through January 24 at for a chance to participate in First Founder’s Accelerator. Participants who are selected will attend weekly classes beginning in mid-February at 1313 Innovation, a dynamic co-working space for entrepreneurs and start-ups in downtown Wilmington. Participants will also have access to co-working space at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Emerging Enterprise Center, a business incubator that helps start-up businesses learn entrepreneurial skills and build sustainable models.

“As a business student at the University of Delaware, I travelled the country learning from top investors and successful start-up founders who created thriving companies we all recognize today, and I’m bringing some of what I learned from them back home to New Castle County to empower aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Garry Johnson, who developed the First Founder’s Accelerator and will lead the weekly accelerator sessions. “The First Founder’s Accelerator is an opportunity for you to connect to the resources, mentors and community that you need to be successful in the innovation economy.”

Click HERE to watch a video with details about First Founder’s Accelerator

Last August, New Castle County launched NCCinnovates, the County’s most comprehensive effort to drive the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and support homegrown innovation to create sustainable local jobs. It features, a first-of-its-kind in Delaware interactive business web portal that provides customer, market and industry information, workforce data and help identifying available commercial properties. Additionally, it offers modest grant awards to promising startup companies through partnerships with local pitch competitions. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have explored the information and resources at and dozens of promising start-ups have competed for the program’s first three grant awards. Visit throughout the year to get information about 2019 grant opportunities for start-up businesses in partnership with area pitch competitions.

NCCinnovates is administered by the New Castle County Office of Economic Development, which is focused on supporting the county’s innovation ecosystem by prioritizing new job creation through entrepreneurship, startup companies, existing small businesses and providing a predictable land use planning process.


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