Carbondale Accelerator Program

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Join an accountability group - your fast track to Success. Classes are scheduled in the Spring and Fall

Carbondale Small Business Accelerator Program

Starting Feb. 15th! 

Equipping Entrepreneurs with what they need to Launch and Thrive 

New in 2024 - Embark on an entrepreneurial journey with the collaborative initiative of the City of Carbondale and the Illinois SBDC at SIU. This Accelerator Program is an exclusive grant opportunity strategically designed for small business start-ups. Apply today for this 10-week accountability program offering practical insights, tools, and mentorship to launch a business.

Participants who successfully complete the program will receive $1,250 in start-up funding with the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of judges for up to an additional $5,000 in funding. Don’t miss out on this unique grant opportunity to help elevate your business.

About The Program

Throughout the course, participants will attend weekly classes, engage in assignments, and receive personalized mentorship from an SBDC Small Business Advisor, ensuring they're well-guided in their journey to open or expand a business.

Classes meet for 2 hours weekly, with the first hour dedicated to targeted lessons covering different practical topics. The second hour allows participants to work on assignments, meet with mentors/advisors, and address any questions. The course offers flexibility with your preferred learning mode: in-person, virtual, or a hybrid approach, tailored to your needs and resource availability.

For more details call our office 618-536-2424.

In-person location to be held at 1740 Innovation Dr, Carbondale. Times for next cohort Feb. 15, 2024

Ideal candidates for this course

  • Operate a business but haven't registered with the state yet.
  • Have a business concept and are prepared to register as an LLC or establish as a Sole Proprietor.
  • Recently initiated their LLC but require guidance on the subsequent steps.
  • Have a product or service-based business.


  • Participants must be at least 18 years old 
  • Participants must have a business idea or an existing business that has been in operation for less than two years. 
  • Participants must live in and/or operate their business in Carbondale, IL   

Application Process:

  • Those interested in this program will complete an online application 
  • Complete a feasibility checklist. Participants do not need to know all the answers to these questions yet, the idea is that they have begun to think about these items. This can be completed with the assistance of an SBDC advisor.

Those who meet the criteria will be selected for an interview (those who don't will be referred for one on one counseling)

Program Requirements

Applicant must make satisfactory progress to receive funding. This includes:  

  • Attending all sessions or making arrangements to get missed information to complete assignments. If the participant misses 2 sessions, they will be disqualified from receiving funding.   
  • Complete all assigned tasks by completion of the program.  

Program Agenda:

Classes are hybrid (in-person or online.) In-person location: 1740 Innovation Dr, Carbondale
Times: Thursdays from 11am - 1pm

Spring Session - Open for applications

  • Deadline to apply for the next cohort is January 30th, 2024
  • Class starts February 15th, 2024

Apply today!