Editor’s note: Pipeline Entrepreneurs, a network and fellowship of high-performing entrepreneurs in the Midwest, is a community partner and financial supporter of Startland News.
A new fellowship program designed exclusively for underserved entrepreneurs is expected to help better prepare founders who identify as womxn, minority, or are leading a business in a rural community to scale from the Midwest, said Melissa Vincent, announcing the launch of Pipeline Pathway.
“Pipeline is excited to be able to create new programming that bridges that gap between existing resources while also collaborating and partnering with other community builders to create an equal playing field within our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Melissa Vincent, executive director of Pipeline, an elite network of entrepreneurs founded in 2006. “The goal being to continue to build our network and provide the best resources, programming, and opportunities possible to both our Pipeline Fellowship and Pipeline Pathway programs.”
Recruitment for Pipeline’s traditional fellowship and the inaugural Pathway cohort began today and runs through Oct. 27. Click here to learn more about applying to become a fellow in either fellowship.
Pipeline Pathway — which is expected to debut its first crop of founders in 2022 — is expected to cover similar topics as the Pipeline Fellowship, like market validation, business models, financials, and communication.
Session leaders and facilitators will primarily come from underserved backgrounds, Vincent said, with each Pipeline Pathway Fellow matched with a mentor who also hails from an underserved community.
“The Pipeline Pathway Fellows and 2022 Pipeline Fellows will intentionally be brought together for networking events and different sessions as we collectively continue to power the Midwest ecosystem and grow the Pipeline network,” the organization said in a press release.
Pipeline Pathway applicants do not need to be working full-time in their business at the time of application, Vincent detailed. However, applicants should have an end-goal to be full-time in their venture in the next 1-2 years and be located within our region (Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska).
The majority of Pipeline Pathway programming will be held virtually and in the evenings, she added.
“Now, more than ever, we know that entrepreneurs need to be supported and equipped with the resources they need to scale their high-growth ventures,” the press release said.
The traditional Pipeline fellowship is a prestigious year-long program for high-growth entrepreneurs working to scale their businesses. After a rigorous application and interview process, those invited to join the Pipeline 2022 Fellowship will receive access to National and Regional advisors, professional development, and access to Pipeline’s network.
Pipeline Members like Toby Rush, Leandro Castro, Maria Flynn and many others have led their companies through successful exits. Many Members are now angel investors or have started innovative investment firms (like Carlos Antequera).
Pipeline now boasts more than 163 entrepreneurs who have generated more than $2.2 billion in revenues; employ more than 3,545 people in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri; are doing business in more than 85 countries; and have raised more than $756 million in outside capital since joining Pipeline.
“Being acquired by one of the largest brands in our industry was both validation and consequence of all we had accomplished as a business,” Castro said of the exit for his company, the Omaha-based MultiMechanics (acquired by Siemens). “Pipeline was fundamental to my entrepreneurial journey from the early stages all the way to the exit. Being able to leverage a network with such a deep level of business experience helped me to learn important lessons and gain perspective to avoid many pitfalls that would prevent a successful outcome.”
Click here to learn more about Pipeline Entrepreneurs.