One of the first things we did after opening up the doors of the Atlanta Tech Village is setup a scholarship program for startups that don’t have the means to pay yet, social enterprises, and student entrepreneurs. In fact, our most famous startup to start and graduate from the Tech Village, Yik Yak, came in on a scholarship and left after raising a $62 million round of funding. While that’s an exceptional case, we’ve made the scholarship program an integral part of our mission to make Atlanta one of the top 10 cities for entrepreneurs to succeed.
Here are a few thoughts on the Tech Village scholarship program:
- Much like entrepreneur roundtables, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs is an accelerant for startup success
- Scholarship recipients are often at the beginning stage of a new venture, and thus the most fragile, making the opportunity to be in a strong community that much more valuable
- Culture fit is the most important requirement, and we’ve found scholarship recipients to be even more grateful to be part of the community
- Social enterprises and student entrepreneurs are an important part of a vibrant community, yet don’t typically have the same resources, so they might otherwise be excluded if not for scholarship programs
Surprisingly, we don’t get as many applicants as expected for the scholarship program and feel that helping entrepreneurs when they’re at that most nascent stage is a real opportunity to grow our community. If you know an entrepreneur in the Atlanta area, encourage them to get involved at the Tech Village, and apply for a scholarship, if applicable.
What else? What are some more thoughts on scholarships at the Atlanta Tech Village?