FAQS - CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center
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Our goal is to create a vibrant, self-sustaining ecosystem that results in more and better job opportunities for diverse communities.

What is the difference between the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center (CAJC) Accelerator and the Business Resource Center?

The CAJC Accelerator is focused on helping businesses with some traction that are looking to scale for rapid growth. It is a 4-month program of workshops, mentorship, and access to co-working space.

The CAJC Business Resource Center is a community asset for all entrepreneurs and businesses to get support through both in-house and referral partners.

What does the CAJC Accelerator do to help grow my business ?

The business accelerator prepares you to scale through expert hands-on training, high value mentorship and a physical workspace. The training has four core components – Customer Discovery, Financials, Sales, and Marketing. We believe that foundational knowledge in these areas is essential to success. Founders are paired with mentors to help them develop business strategy that fosters growth and join a community of entrepreneurs that care about your success.

What makes the CAJC Accelerator different from others?

Our program is designed for Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) and diverse founders. We know many of the financial and social challenges faced by our entrepreneurs and designed a program that reflects that in the schedule, workshops, mentoring, and cohort composition. Our main objective is to help you increase revenue, so you are able to provide employment for yourself and future employees in San Diego.

What is LMI (low-to-moderate income)?

LMI means “Low to Moderate Income.” CAJC is focused on supporting LMI founders and encouraging accelerator participants to hire from the LMI community. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets income limits that determine eligibility for programs like CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center. HUD develops income limits based on Median Family Income estimates and Fair Market Rent area. To find out if you qualify as LMI visit: https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/hudupdatedincomelimits_05202021.pdf

What diverse founders is the CAJC Accelerator targeting?

The goal of the Accelerator is to support the growth of businesses run by underrepresented and LMI founders, including women, African-American/Black, and Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ+, and Veteran founders. We encourage all diverse and LMI founders to apply!

Will the Accelerator invest money in companies that participate in the program?

We currently do NOT provide capital investment. We do provide resources to help obtain capital and access to partner lending organizations.

Is there a cost to be a part of the Accelerator program?

No. There is no cost if accepted into CAJC business accelerator program. Also, we do not take any equity from companies to participate. The program is 100% free. The program is funded in whole or in part with Community Development Block Grant program funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of San Diego.

What business is a good fit for the Accelerator?

We are open to all businesses and to date we have accepted retail, high tech, consumer goods, software, professional services and food & beverage companies. Check out our cohort pages for more details on the businesses we have worked with.

Cohort 1, Cohort 2, Cohort 3, Cohort 4 and virtual pitches from our last cycle.

If you are a diverse and/or LMI founder of a business that is beyond the ideation stage with a product that has some traction (sales, customers, pilots, users, etc.), then we strongly encourage you to apply for the accelerator.

Note: For the accelerator founder(s) must be residents of the City of San Diego and the business must reside in the City of San Diego.

What if I don’t have a team and I am a solo founder?

Many of our cohort members are solo founders. You can participate in the program if you have not formed a team already. If you are applying as a team at least one founder must participate fully in the program attending mandatory workshops, actively participating with the cohort, and submitting assignments on schedule.

Will the Accelerator help me if I just have an idea not a business?

The Accelerator is designed for founders that have already started their business and obtained some traction (customers, users, developed prototype, etc). If you have yet to start your business, we are still able to help you through our Business Resource Center.

What is the Accelerator program timeline?

The CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center Accelerator is a 4-month program.

Is it a full-time program?

Yes. The program is based on the founder(s) commitment to growing their business full-time. We require at least one co-founder on your team to attend and participate in the accelerator curriculum.

What is a typical week for businesses in the Accelerator program?

For entrepreneurs we know there is rarely a “typical” week. During the program you can anticipate spending at least 6-10 hours per week on things related to the program:

  • Mandatory weekly workshops
  • Accountability calls
  • Progress updates
  • Program assignments
  • Attending speaker series (optional)

When does the next cohort start?

The next cohort starts March 8, 2022

When is the application deadline?

We are currently accepting applications and the deadline to apply is February 15, 2022 at 11:59pm.

What resources I can access now?

Our Business Resource Center provides services for businesses and you can gain access by completing our business needs assessment. Click Here for the assessment

What if I am not a resident of the City of San Diego?

We are unable to accept founders into the Accelerator that are not residents of the City of San Diego. For those that live outside of the City of San Diego we can provide assistance through our Business Resource Center.

Can I speak with someone directly as I have more questions?

We encourage those interested in learning more to attend an upcoming information session. The sessions cover the business accelerator in detail.

If you have additional questions, feel free to email the Director of CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center – awaters@jacobscenter.org

Why should I apply to the Accelerator program?

Each founder has unique reasons for the decision to apply to be a part the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center business accelerator. If you have started a business and are eager to get a solid foundation and tools for growth, then this is the program for you. We want you to be successful and have designed a program that provides an environment to learn how to level up and take your business to the next level.