The new Lumos Accelerator is now accepting applications through June 30 for its inaugural class to begin later this summer. The accelerator is one piece of an ecosystem that’s bringing together a founding team of entrepreneurs to build a place where seed stage startups, growing companies and corporates can collaborate and collide.
Co-Founder & Accelerator Director Alex Purtell, who was instrumental with accelerator 10X, says that since that program wrapped up, there has been a gap in early-stage resources in the city.
“We’re really trying to fill that void,” he says.
Lumos Accelerator offers a 10-week program with up to $20,000 in seed investment and free access to the Lumos Innovation space for a full year in return for a small percent of equity. Qualifying companies must be an early-stage startup company at the customer or pre-customer stage and nearing an MVP with two or more founders.
“Curriculum will be customized depending on the companies,” Purtell says.
A team of mentors with expertise spanning marketing and branding, to programming and development, and even legal insights, will work with accelerator companies on a metric-based curriculum with goals based on company stage and needs. Companies will work toward weekly, monthly and program-end goals. Purtell says think objectives like launching a MVP and getting 100 customers.
The program will culminate with a demo day and potential for additional funding from the Lumos Innovation Fund which is sustained by the accelerator’s equity stake in its companies.
The accelerator will be flanked by other startups and corporate innovation partners that look to build a startup ecosystem in every sense of the word. Purtell says the model is new for Columbus, but takes inspiration from places like 1871 in Chicago and 1776 in Washington, D.C. Lumos Innovation wants to create a space where researchers, universities, corporations, local government, local officials, startups, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs can work together and learn from each other.
“You need to have that special sauce of all those entities involved in the success of our community,” says Co-Founder & Corporate and Community Partner Matt Armstead.
Coworking will introduce some of Columbus’ growing startups and small businesses to the ecosystem. Dedicated desk space will run $275 per month and a dedicated office to house unlimited team members is $800 per month. Lumos is looking at many of the traditional amenities to boot – conference rooms, kitchen space, 24/7 access, etc.
Lumos will also answer the call of increased demand for larger corporations to get on board with entrepreneurial thinking.
“There’s a strong desire for big companies to want to learn to act like and be more like startups,” Armstead says.
From retailers, to insurance companies, or businesses in the hospitality industry, Lumos wants to work with corporate partners that are ready to innovate. Armstead says that could take on a few forms.
Lumos’ team of experienced entrepreneurs could consult with a company that’s trying to establish an innovation team inside their business. Or, a business might be developing a product or initiative they can’t pull off internally, so a small corporate team may use Lumos’ resources for a fresh wave of ideas and space to focus on development. Lumos may be able to help identify other startups in a similar space to what the corporate team is trying to build, or if no product in the market exists, come together to build it themselves.
Lumos has their team in place to take on the many dimensions of the space, and are ready to hit the ground running once a location is finalized. Purtell says Lumos creates the centralized, cohesive ecosystem that’s missing from Columbus’ startup scene. While many pockets and facets of their offering exist across the city, none are really housing it all in the same location. Purtell says that more options like Lumos will only go to strengthen Columbus’ startup community.
For more information, updates and to apply to the accelerator, visit lumosinnovation.com.