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Nonprofit mentors unique South Florida startups

Posted at 1:08 PM, Aug 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-24 13:08:13-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — From a new women's pantie line to an AI-powered app that provides financial coaching and guidance in 15 seconds, to ethical yacht wear. Those are just some of the startup companies that have participated in the Business Accelerator Program from 1909.

The nonprofit offers its entrepreneurial members a place to collaborate, get mentorship, and office space as they launch their startups.

The six-month program is designed to help founders from different backgrounds form their ideas into successful businesses.

Jessica Krupa is the founder of Panty Promise and a 1909 Accelerator Participant. The former Victoria's Secret panty designer has created a line of seamless cotton underwear that comes in several colors and sizes for all body types. Krupa partnered with a New York Gynecologist to help eliminate panty lines and regulate PH balance. She said the Accelerator Program has helped get her business into over 90 retailers and launched her subscription business.

"Entrepreneurship is incredibly lonely and it's almost impossible to know how to do everything for one person. For people that are trying to do big things, having someone who can help provide them accountability can help provide them knowledge and wisdom and just support on the hard days is really what gets people through to the next level," said Shana Ostrovitz who is the Executive Director of 1909.

Brian Neer agrees, that his investment business uses 1909's Google-esq offices for mentorship, to find leads, and to exchange ideas.

"If you're good at marketing and somebody else is good at finance, they'll kind of do that exchange (of information), and then there's the one-on-one mentoring that happens. I've sit down and (entrepreneurs) can tell me about their business. I can tell them about what kind of things I've seen be successful and pitches that other people have done. So mentoring takes many different forms," said Brian Neer, founder and chief investment officer of Neer Venture Partners.

Interview with Brian Neer, founder and chief investment officer of Neer Venture Partners