The GSU Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund (MSESF) Program is designed to identify and support underrepresented student and community entrepreneurs with seed funding and mentorship. In addition, the seed fund will enhance job creation, new business development and the entrepreneurial landscape of Metro Atlanta.
To be eligible to participate in the MSESF Program, company founders/majority owners must:
- Be part of an underrepresented and/or underserved population in Entrepreneurship (e.g. low socioeconomic status, veterans, women, first generation college students, refugees, legal immigrants);
- Be affiliated with GSU (i.e. current student, alumni within 5 years of graduation or date last enrolled, or community member of GSU-supported entrepreneurship or community-development program with business plans in alignment with the University’s goals); and
- Agree to participate in MSESF mentoring program and requirements for the coming year.
About the Process
A 2-stage competitive vetting process with internal and external reviewers will be established to select recipients of seed funding and mentorship based on the inclusion criteria above and alignment with program objectives of the MSESF Program. First stage will include basic application process that certifies eligibility and alignment with program objectives. Upon successful initial stage review, invitation will be made to complete full application for second stage review and presentation to reviewers.
Applicants who submitted their Main Street Entrepreneurship Seed Fund application prior to June 6th will be notified of next steps by August 2019.
The ideal participant will be in the Seed/Idea or Startup stage of development as described below:
- Products/services are just ideas;
- No proven market or customer traction;
- Funded by founder(s), family and friends only;
- Not yet a legally registered business.
- Products/services in production;
- Have few, if any, customers;
- Funded by founders, family, friends, grants, competitions, loans (bank or otherwise), crowdfunding campaigns, revenues, incubators/accelerators;
- Legally registered business (i.e. name, legal entity, tax authorities, applicable licenses and permits).
What is the deadline to apply for the MSESF Program?
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis contingent upon program capacity and funding availability.
Does my company need to be incorporated to apply?
No, but founders must be willing to incorporate the company within the next 6-9 months to be accepted into the MSESF Program.
What are the selection criteria for MSESF Program participation?
Applications will be judged on idea validity and novelty, strength of business model and pitch, product-market fit, entrepreneurial vision, founder/team commitment and expertise, probability of becoming a success, appropriate resource allocation, and impact on local community.
When will I be notified of my status?
Applicants who submitted their application prior to June 6th will be notified of next steps by June 28, 2019.
Entrepreneur In Residence
Musaddeq (MK) Khan
MK is a serial tech entrepreneur. He has taken ideas and transformed them into full blown revenue generating businesses. MK has started a number of software companies. He founded Prominus in 2002 to help small hospitals manage their receivables. In 2008, MK founded Verdeeco, a cloud based analytics platform that energy utilities used to manage and analyze data to gain operational efficiencies. Verdeeco was acquired in 2014 by Sensus, the company that helps Georgia Power measure our electricity consumption and produce a bill. Verdeeco was dubbed iTunes of the Smart Grid.
MK is also a startup mentor and works with startups and entrepreneurs nationwide. He is also a mentor at the Atlanta Tech Village. He has advised a number of startups like Bractlet, 1Efficiency and Clevest. MK is a soccer aficionado. He loves watching Premier League, and is a Manchester United fan. But he is most excited about the Atlanta United. Please don’t get him started.