• Group photo of the 2023-2024 Starting Gate students standing in front of a large presentation screen.

    Building business networks

    Starting Gate provides resources to student entrepreneurs and connects them to experts in the community who can move their businesses forward. Starting Gate has now served its 100th student business.

  • Starting Gate student at mentor meet-up event.

    Making valuable connections

    Students have access to events such as Mentor Meet-ups, Community Workshops and Demo Day to connect with possible future funders and industry professionals, which are critical to entrepreneurial success.

  • WMU Haworth student and staff member holding large novelty check for $10,000.

    Crypto-mining student business honored with $10,000 award

    Student entrepreneur Payton Walker, founder of CryptoShovel, receives the 2023 Brian Patrick Thomas Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

Craft your career at WMU Haworth

Video of Craft your career at WMU Haworth: Entrepreneurship major

At the Haworth College of Business, students craft their careers with experiences that take them outside the classroom and their comfort zones, leading to increased confidence and job opportunities. Hear from Siera—in her own words—about how WMU Haworth has supported her.

What is Starting Gate?

Starting Gate is a student business accelerator program that gives students rich and valuable resources to develop their startup companies. Under the guidance of Tamara Davis and the Department of Management within the Haworth College of Business, the accelerator is open to all WMU students 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.

Companies completing the accelerator program for the 2023-2024 academic year will have the opportunity to apply for a number of funding opportunities to advance the growth of their business.

Resources and benefits

The mentor-based accelerator offers an array of resources and just the right amount of structure for highly motivated and creative students.

Student entrepreneurs:

  • Participate in regular update nights to help define the scope of their companies, adjusting business models and plans and gaining feedback.
  • Students participating in the program will be able to request independent study of up to three credits for their work in Starting Gate.
  • 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 and the Haworth College of Business via industry experts and faculty from across campus.
  • Develop a robust network of contacts and connections within the local business community to aid in the success of their ventures.