From creative retail to cold-pressed soap, Denton’s AccelerateHER aims to help eight local small businesses grow – dallasinnovates.com | Ad On Picture

AccelerateHER works to build an entrepreneurial network by welcoming the newest members to its female founder-focused incubator program.

The incubator – a partnership between Texas Woman’s University Center for Women Entrepreneurs and Stoke Coworking – is launching its five-month program today and has selected eight local, women-led small businesses to participate in a bid to expand beyond its roots in Denton for future endeavors.

“Members will go home with a stronger foundation for their business and the tools they need to grow,” Heather Gregory, executive director of Denton coworking space Stoke Coworking, told Dallas Innovates.

First personal program for AccelerateHER

The Denton area small businesses newly enrolled in the AccelerateHER program. [Image: AccelerateHER]

With businesses ranging from craft and community spaces to tutoring services and soaps, this year’s group of companies is primarily focused on the creative retail and service spaces, Gregory said. She added that this will be the first class to go through the program in person. The incubator will continue to include a digital element and will use the Heartbeat online learning tool to offer video workshops, homework and cohort communication.

“The eight selected women come from a variety of different industries and they will learn and grow from each other and from programming,” Tracy Irby, director of the Center for Women Entrepreneurs, said in a statement.

AccelerateHER wants to expand in Texas

The announcement comes as TWU’s Center for Women Entrepreneurship expands AccelerateHER to the Lone Star State. Through partnerships with business and coworking spaces, the center has brought the program to Dallas in partnership with The Slate.

Gregory says launches in Houston and Abilene are next.

AccelerateHER was first launched in 2020 to help early stage companies generate ideas, test ideas and grow their business while making an impact on the local economy and entrepreneurial community.

A network of entrepreneurs

During the program, companies will receive networking opportunities and workshops in areas such as business planning, financing options, leadership and marketing from local entrepreneurs Aaron Powell, Founder and CEO of Bunch Bikes, and Jasmine Brand, Director of Innovation at Frisco Economic Development Corporation.

Gregory said two cohorts have already gone through the program and created a network of entrepreneurs who have been in the same position as the current class and can help provide guidance to businesses.

“Through the two cohorts we’ve already completed, we now have an alumni network of about a dozen local entrepreneurs,” Gregory said.

They also come back to lead workshops on subjects in which they are experts, she says. AccelerateHER alumni continue to make “a positive impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Meet the new AccelerateHER members from Denton:

  • The workbench—A collaborative art space with workshops and retail space
  • Spoonie Creative Collective—Handcrafted goods “created by disabled and chronically ill makers”
  • Salted Sanctuary Soap—A manufacturer of cold-processed soaps, oils, and other skin care products
  • La Catrina creations—An apparel and accessories manufacturer focused on Mexican culture
  • Math with Marcia– A math coaching and tutoring service
  • Hans film & photo—Photography and videography services for engagements, weddings and elopements
  • CM actions— Event planning services for weddings
  • Draw attention to yourself with video– A coaching and consulting service for content creators who use live streaming

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