Gallaudet Student Entrepreneurship Program

Gallaudet Student Entrepreneurship Program

Bridging the gap between the deaf community and entrepreneurship

The Gallaudet Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (GIEI) is excited to announce that Village Capital has partnered up with Gallaudet University with the support of the Sorenson Impact Center to create a one of a kind program bringing Village Capital’s Venture Investment Readiness Awareness Level (VIRAL) Curriculum during the 2018 Spring semester. This opportunity will offer students the necessary support and training to take their businesses to the next level. This will also teach students the milestones needed to seek funding in order to grow their business.

Village Capital has worked with underrepresented and under-resourced entrepreneurs from around the world for eight years. While this has given us an incredible scope into the many barriers of entrepreneurship, there is still an entire community being left out of the conversation: the Deaf community.  

Working in collaboration with GIEI, Village Capital will provide facilitator-led sessions where students will learn about how to grow their businesses through setting milestones related to customer discovery, team structure, and the basics of venture capital fundraising. During mentor-lead sessions, participants will receive one-on-one feedback from a current Deaf or signing entrepreneur on the progress they are making with real-time, actionable next steps.

Participating entrepreneurs may be eligible for grant prizes up to $5,000 per team upon successful completion of this program!

Selection Criteria

We are looking for businesses from current Gallaudet students as well as alumni, with preference given to current students. Your business should:

  • Already have launched, either in beta (test) or with current customers (seed or early stage);
  • Have at least one founder interested in pursuing the business post-college;
  • Be interested in expanding beyond DC in the next year

Note: If interested students do not have a business idea nor concept yet, they are more than welcome to participate in the facilitator-led workshops

Applications close Tuesday, January 23rd! 

Program Dates

Entrepreneurs selected to participate will be given bi-monthly, on-campus trainings that alternate between facilitator-led workshops (approximately two hours most likely in the evening) and mentoring sessions. Participating entrepreneurs must attend every facilitator-led workshop and may only be absent from no more than two mentor workshops total.

Sessions will be held Tuesdays from 6 to 8 pm on campus.

Topics subject to change based on cohort makeup

Jan 30 Facilitator Intro to Investment Model
Feb 6 Mentors Subject area TBA
Feb 13 Facilitator Value Proposition
Feb 20 Mentors Subject area TBA
Feb 27 Facilitator Market Mapping
March 6 Mentors Subject area TBA
March 13 No Session
March 20 Facilitator Financial Narrative
March 27 Mentors Subject area TBA
April 3 No Session
April 10 Facilitator Product-Market Fit
April 17 Mentors Mentoring session to be held at VilCap Offices
April 24 Pitch event