The Starting Gate accelerator program is a two-semester program (fall and spring) with a mission to help Western Michigan University students (sophomore and above) achieve success in their business endeavors. Starting and developing a new business is hard work and takes a significant amount of time. Students will be required to participate in programs designed to increase their chances for success. These include weekly attendance commitments for meetings with mentors and others, attending entrepreneurial speaker events, training and workshops. Please consider the time commitment before submitting your application.

At least one owner of the business must be enrolled at WMU. Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to participate. Students must demonstrate adequate progress in order to retain their membership in the program. All student participants must be in good academic standing prior to admittance to, and while participating in, the program. 

Application instructions

Before beginning the application, please gather all materials and review the complete application.

  • Names and information about team members.
  • Social network addresses for startup, if available.
  • Names and information about mentors, if available. It is strongly recommended that at least one mentor be a WMU faculty member.
  • 140-character description of the startup.
  • Description of your business model, including how your business creates and delivers value, earns profits and generates income.
  • Target customers.
  • Major accomplishments.
  • Business pitch video or a product demonstration video, if available.
  • Goals.