The MORTAR Entrepreneurship Academy is a fifteen-week course designed for those who are starting or growing their businesses. It will challenge you. It will inspire you. It will force you to confront your limitations and help you identify and develop your strengths. You will be exposed to new information and you will be reminded of what you already know. You will be asked to work hard inside and outside of class. You will be asked to think abstractly; to imagine something that does not yet exist. You will be asked to think concretely; to work with data and information and to make decisions about your business. But most of all, you will be asked to make some REAL decisions. If at any point you decide that this entrepreneurial journey isn’t for you—come and talk to us. Chances are we can talk you off of the ledge;, but if you choose to walk away, understand that everything you’ve learned will still help you on your journey to wherever you’re headed.
THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. According to Fortune Magazine, nine out of ten startups fail. According to this statistic, you have a higher likelihood of being accepted to an Ivy League school than running a successful business.
Entrepreneurship can be lonely, difficult, and financially draining. Throughout the course, we will provide check-ins to make sure you’re still about this life. If you aren’t, there’s no shame in it! There will be off-ramps throughout the course allowing you to exit and plan for the future.
We are committed to creating a space that cultivates a strong sense of community. We are committed to encouraging honesty and transparency throughout the course. Most of all, you must be honest with yourself. We are committed to meeting you where you are and tailoring this course to your style and process.
Finally, we want you to know that you are not in this alone. The MORTAR community of entrepreneurs, educators, creatives, facilitators, and organizers is here to help you along your way.
Before taking flight, even before stepping onto the plane, a pilot consults her preflight checklist. This is to ensure that when she’s soaring 30,000 feet above the clouds, nothing surprises her, nothing throws her off her course. Read below to get a taste of a typical class and the week-by-week outline.
Elements of a MORTAR Entrepreneurship Academy Session:
Week By Week
No two classes are the same. Every week introduces something new while building on something old. Although the structure is flexible, most classes will stick to the following format:
Gratitudes and Challenges
Putting In Work review
Inspiration and Activities
Reflect and Plan
ALL of the sections must be completed. If you aren’t sure about an answer, please just put your best guess. There is not a save function on the form, so it is suggested that you complete the form in one sitting without exiting this page. OR another option is to type answers into an external document (like Microsoft Word) and then come back here to copy and paste text into this form so that you will not lose your work.
We will be reviewing applications and selecting ideas that we believe are the most likely to succeed. We want all of our students to be able to take the lessons that they’ve learned from our program and plant their businesses in their own neighborhoods, making a difference for their community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. If selected for the entrepreneurship course, your attendance at each class session is MANDATORY.
This course includes:
– Culturally competent curriculum and materials.
– Cohort model for driven entrepreneurs to support each other.
– Access to on-site legal support provided by UC Law.
– One-on-one mentorship supplied by SCORE to provide guidance throughout the course.
– Opportunity to pitch your idea in front of potential investors, community leaders and customers.
– Ongoing support system provided by MORTAR and partner organizations.
– Business support and brand development strategies that continue even after graduation.
Thanks to our partnerships & funders, we’ve been able to keep the tuition costs for the course down to ONLY $295 for the entire 15 weeks, and the 18-month Alumni Program at no charge for qualified participants! Payment plans are available if you’re unable to pay the entire balance at once.
If you have any questions, we’d love to talk with you! Please contact us through any of the methods below and we can set up a time to meet or call you at a time that’s convenient.
MORTAR would like to congratulate you for taking this first step of completing this application! Because we want to make sure that we’re able to offer personalized attention to each participant, we limit each cohort to about 15 members. With that being said, we’ll do all that we can to get you through the process quickly & painlessly.
After receiving your completed application, here’s what you can expect from our process:
1. The next step is for us to review your submitted applications, focusing on the uniqueness of your business and overall viability (this is why it’s really important to be thorough on the application).
2. If you’re selected to move on, we will send you two essay questions to answer. These questions help us determine your abilities to start or grow your business and overall readiness for the Entrepreneurship Academy.
3. If you’re selected to move on, the final step is to come in for an in-person interview with a combination of our MORTAR staff, alumni, program facilitators & MORTAR Board members.
Selected participants will be notified if they’ve made it into the next class (if you aren’t selected for THIS class, you may be placed on the waiting list for the next class). If you ARE selected for the next class, you will be asked to pay a non-refundable $50 deposit to hold your spot for the class. Before the first class session, you will be required to pay your remaining balance OR submit a payment plan for the remaining balance.
YOUR ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. If you miss more than three classes, you will not be permitted graduate or participate in the Pitch Night festivities. If there are barriers prohibiting you from holding up your end of this arrangement (example: finances, transportation), please let us know and we will see what can be done to accommodate your needs.