PowerUp is an intense boot camp training for early-stage entrepreneurs of color to develop viable and fundable business models with advice from successful entrepreneur and investor mentors.

The boot camp begins with a 6-week virtual program where companies attend interactive sessions covering specific entrepreneurship-related topics and pitch coaching. Participants are then brought together for 2-days of mentor-led workshops, peer learning and networking. PowerUp culminates with a Demo Day presentation to potential investors and a panel of judges to compete cash prizes.

PowerUp will be administrated in partnership with Startups Illustrated, an entrepreneur development company founded by Tom Chikoore, an experienced technology entrepreneur, startup educator and founder of the Techstars Risingstars’ Program.


Who is PowerUp for?

  • Early-stage companies that have not yet raised a formal seed round of funding
  • Company must be considered high-growth
  • Company must have at least one minority founder

What are the benefits?

  • Direct “hands-on” guidance from top Startup Illustrated mentors and coaches
  • Access to experienced entrepreneurs, investors and accelerators
  • Access to entrepreneur networks and technology startup ecosystem
  • A support system from your cohort and the PowerMoves.NOLA community
  • It’s free! Entrepreneurs do not give up any equity or pay for anything.

What do participants leave with?

  • A market-ready business model
  • An investor-ready pitch deck 

Presented in Partnership with Startups Illustrated