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September 14, 2023

Entrepreneurs: Collab sets October deadlines to apply for accelerators

PHOTO | FILE IMAGE Dawn Leaks Ragsdale, executive director of Collab New Haven.

Entrepreneurs interested in starting or boosting new ventures can apply now for programs aimed at helping them succeed. 

Collab New Haven is looking for people to be involved in its Fall Accelerator, a 12-session hybrid virtual and in-person program for those who want to develop a business idea or scale their venture.

The program provides mentorship, connections for fundraising, one-on-one coaching and weekly workshops. Participants can learn about business planning, and legal, accounting and marketing information.

Women and minority entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 8, and the program runs from Oct. 18 through Dec. 15. 

Collab is also hosting its “Groundwork” pre-accelerator program, which is aimed at assisting those who are interested in entrepreneurship but don’t know where to start.

Groundwork lasts for five weeks and includes a series of virtual workshops. Participants learn how to develop their ideas and about the basics of entrepreneurship. 

The Groundwork program runs from Oct. 16 through Nov. 13, with weekly two hour sessions. The deadline to apply for Groundwork is Oct. 4.

Dawn Leaks Ragsdale, executive director of Collab New Haven, said, "There are so many people in Greater New Haven who have a business idea but are not quite sure how to start, or they are running a small startup and don’t know how to grow it."

That’s where Collab comes in, she said, as it helps provide entrepreneurs with a clear pathway through its programs.

"We also provide one-on-one coaching, mentors and a community of support which are vital to the success of any business," she added. 

Collab has helped multiple ventures on the path to becoming successful businesses. 

Oh Shito!, founded by Kwame Asare and his family, is a Ghanian hot sauce company, with its products now available in multiple Stop & Shop supermarkets and other grocery stores. Venezia Pizza, founded by the Torres family, started with a food truck and has since launched a restaurant in North Haven. 

For more information or to apply to either program, visit

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