The following questions and responses are provided to assist in understanding the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, and the competitive process for its “WEI 15” incubator space. Following your review of the FAQs provided here, if you have additional questions about the initiative, please submit your inquiry in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative will function as both an incubator (The WEI 15) for existing women business owners to accelerate their business growth, while also providing community outreach, educational workshops and mentorship engagement to emerging business owners and future entrepreneurs.
Through a competitive selection process, a maximum of fifteen woman-owned, Atlanta-based businesses will be selected to “incubate” their businesses at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) without any overhead costs, in a collaborative environment designed to foster business growth and sustainability. Over the course of fifteen months, the entrepreneurs will have access to practical business education, mentorship engagement, financial literacy assistance and business support services. At the culmination of the fifteen month period, the goal will be for the businesses to transition back into Atlanta – fully prepared for sustainable success, growth and job creation, as they now serve as contributors to the economic and social vitality of the City.
Who can apply?
Ideal candidates for entry into the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative should meet the following eligibility criteria:
Please visit the “Criteria for Entry Into the WEI 15” for the complete criteria requirements.
Who is not eligible to apply?
The applicant applying on behalf of the woman-owned business, corporation, partnership, or other private entity may not be:
- a current City of Atlanta or Invest Atlanta employee or employee of any affiliated agencies or branches, or an immediate family member (parent, child, spouse or sibling or spouse, regardless of where they reside) or living in the same households, whether or not related.
- an elected official, an employee of the City of Atlanta or any affiliated agencies or branches, or a member of their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) or living in their same households, whether or not related.
- an immediate relative (parent, child, spouse or sibling or spouse) of a member of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Board.
- a vendor (example: website designers, etc.) affiliated with the development and implementation of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.
What is the deadline for applications?
The application period for the WEI 15 incubator is currently closed. Please subscribe to our mailing list by clicking here, to be notified of the next call for applications.
What is the selection process for the WEI 15 incubator?
Entry into the WEI incubator is a rigorous and competitive process, intentionally designed to curate from a pool of highly qualified candidates. The application process including the criteria and application procedures are subject to change.
While the process remains fluid, the following steps describe the overall process:
- Written Applications submitted
- High scoring applicants invited to interview in person for consideration of pitch presentation to a member of the selection committee
- High scoring interviewees invited to deliver pitch presentations to the full selection committee
- Highest scoring pitch-round applicants selected for entry into the incubator
Where will WEI be located?
WEI will be housed in downtown Atlanta’s iconic Flatiron Building – the city’s oldest standing skyscraper. The 40,000 square foot landmark is undergoing a transformative journey, to intersect its historical character with cutting-edge innovation and design. This unique collaborative space, through a partnership with Microsoft, will serve as a technologically-advanced backdrop to Atlanta’s emerging and existing entrepreneurs, seeking to foster their business growth in a space that is engaging, energetic and supportive of bold ideas.
WEI will open its doors, on the 11th floor at the Flatiron Building in spring 2016. The space is currently under construction.
The 15 month incubation cycle will commence when the incubator opens, and participants are able to occupy the space.
What tools does WEI provide to business selected to participate in the WEI 15 incubator space?
Backed by research and findings from leading institutions on women business owners, and with local women entrepreneurs serving as thought leaders on actualizing the vision, WEI’s primary goal is to provide the following resources to its community of emerging and aspiring entrepreneurs:
- designated workspace in a technologically-advanced environment, designed to foster business growth and sustainability
- community designed to support the engagement, interaction and collaboration of women entrepreneurs in a supportive environment
- network of expert, seasoned mentors and consultants from the business and entrepreneurship communities serving in an advisory board capacity
- Technology resources via the Microsoft partnership to amplify the businesses’ traction and scalability
- Measurable business growth and progress metrics to identify, track and harness success
- Post-incubation support to reinforce business growth and sustainability, once back in the community
WEI will function as an incubator for the selected participants while also providing community outreach, educational workshops and mentorship engagement, to aspiring business owners and future entrepreneurs.
How long is the WEI 15 program?
The WEI 15 incubator program lasts for fifteen months. The class of participants will be given use of the incubator space for the fifteen month period, and at its conclusion, they must transition their businesses out of the space.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications via the online process, however, you may download a printable version of this application, and submit it via U.S. mail. The application is not currently available, since the current application process is now closed. Additional details on the application submittal process will be available, once the call for applications re-opens.
Does WEI require in-person interviews?
Yes, applicants who are selected to advance past the written application submittal, will be required to participate in an in-person interview.
Do I need a business plan?
Applicants are not required to provide a business plan, but are strongly encouraged to provide one, and/or other supplemental materials to best describe their business. It will be critical for the applicant to fully identify and articulate key metrics, specific to the operation and functionality of the business, throughout the application process, and as such, a current business plan is highly recommended.
I have more questions about the application process. How do I reach WEI?
All inquiries specific to the WEI 15 competition must be received in writing via email. Questions should be submitted to:
Subject: Question About WEI 15 Application Process
Yes! WEI serves to provide outreach, education and programming to empower aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs, and will frequently host events open to the community. The best way to learn about these opportunities, and invite-only events, is by subscribing to become a part of our network.
Are you able to help business in the conceptual start-up stage (i.e. – business plan, not licensed, idea of business only)?
WEI will frequently provide events and programming for aspiring entrepreneurs – specifically those who need assistance in bringing an idea to life or identifying the feasibility of a business concept. We also collaborate with great partnership organizations who provide robust outreach to aspiring entrepreneurs. You may view a list of our partner organizations who can help, here.
Does WEI provide funding to businesses?
While the City of Atlanta does not serve as a funding source to private businesses, we collaborate with partner organizations who specialize in financial capital resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. You may view a list of our partner organizations who can help, here.
Can someone rent a desk or an office in the WEI space or at the Flatiron?
WEI does not provide rentable space, however we encourage you to visit www.flatironcity.com, for more information on lease options for desks and office space.
Can I volunteer at WEI?
Yes! WEI has several opportunities available for internships and volunteer positions available. Please contact us at (404) 546-4065 for more information. You may also send an email to:
Subject: Volunteer Interest for WEI
I’m interested in sponsorship opportunities with WEI. How do I get more information?
Please contact us at (404) 546-4065, for more information regarding sponsorship opportunities. You may also send an email to:
Subject: Sponsorship Interest for WEI