A Different Approach to Entrepreneurship: The Community Growth Program + Toolkit

Community Growth Program + Toolkit

A different approach to entrepreneurship.

Did you know:

75% of venture capital has gone to just three states, all on the coasts

Of $150B invested in capital funds, only 2% goes to women

Less than 5,000 ventures got funded in 2021.

We’re filling in the gaps.

Idea Accelerator

The Builders + Backers (B+B) Idea Accelerator powered by Heartland Forward is a 90-day program, a proven onramp to entrepreneurship, helping participants (we call them Builders) put their business ideas into action.

Builders receive $5,000 in pebble grant funding to run experiments to test the demand and early-stage feasibility for their idea.

The Toolkit

The Community Growth Program Toolkit is an online platform that is meant to support economic developers and entrepreneurs who are looking for resources. The toolkit:

  • Establishes community by aggregating all of the builders who have gone through the Idea Accelerator program and posting information on their ventures so that they can be contacted for opportunities.
  • Presents data using Heartland Forward’s Entrepreneurial Capacity Index & Tool, also known as the “Impact Calculator” on how specific states can pull certain levers to improve their entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  • Presents data using the Data Explorer to paint a picture of the status of your metro area on several overall economic indicators.

Stepping Stones

The Stepping Stones Intensive is the next phase of the Idea Accelerator to help entrepreneurs who have gone through the program scale their businesses.

  • Members of the Stepping Stones program participate in a three-day intensive workshop and receive additional non-dilutive funding to go toward their business.
  • The goal of this new program is to help high-capacity Builders with promising ventures get on a path toward $1M in revenue and having 2-3 full-time employees.




Get in touch with us today to receive information on how to bring the CGPT to your community:

Where We BUILD

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Oxford, Mississippi
  • Clarksdale, Mississippi
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Oklahoma City
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Helena-West Helena, Arkansas
  • Northwest Arkansas
  • Fort Worth, Texas Health Cohort
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Durant, Oklahoma
  • Fargo, North Dakota
  • Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Northeast Tennessee
  • West Tennessee
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Alabama (workforce cohort)
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Montgomery, AL
  • Birmingham, AL