In addition to our special events and guest speakers, the GCFE offers several longer-term programs designed to spur success and innovation at any stage in your entrepreneurial journey. Whether you’re just developing a business idea or are ready to seek venture capital, we can help prepare you to take the next step.

GCFE Student Programs

 Bluestone Seed Fund Venture Capital Project

Created in 2021, the Bluestone Seed Fund is a donor-supported fund that invests in early-stage JMU-affiliated (student, student/faculty, alumni) start-ups through a competitive pitch process. This gives JMU student founders real-world entrepreneurial experience, actionable feedback on their pitches, and mentoring and coaching opportunities from experts. 

Not only does it provide experiential learning opportunities for the Student Founders, but also for a prestigious group of Student Venture Associates (SVA) who will recruit and screen initial applicants (deal flow), conduct due diligence, observe investor pitches and Q&A, and manage portfolio companies. 

Find out more here.

 Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

Mastering the Basics

Join us the week before fall semester ‘21 begins to learn the basics of getting your entrepreneurial journey started from knowledgeable JMU faculty, experienced alumni entrepreneurs and GCFE staff.

If you have a business or non-profit idea that you’ve been thinking about, the bootcamp is designed to teach you the first steps to take to make your vision a reality.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is open to ALL JMU students at the beginning stages of their entrepreneurial journey, and may help you see if the entrepreneurship minor is for you as well.

Dates: August 16-20, 2021; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Applications open mid-April 2021

 Academic Year Incubator Program

Building the Foundation

If you have a venture you’d like to get off the ground or want help balancing the work needed for your startup with your schoolwork, consider joining the Incubator Program. Through monthly one-on-one meetings with GCFE staff, you’ll create achievable goals to help your business ideas move forward, even while you balance college life.

You'll benefit from custom-tailored special events and connections with local and alumni entrepreneur mentors in addition to opportunities to meet with lawyers, graphic designers, coders and fellow entrepreneurial students. Our once monthly cohort gatherings allow you to share successes, woes, advice and support with fellow incubator program members.

And your venture can be at any stage of development from idea to ready for launch when you join.

Students are admitted on a rolling basis! Simply email to set up a meeting.

 Summer Impact Fellowship

Shaping the Community

Each summer our student fellows engage with a Harrisonburg organization to mimic the early-stage work of startup businesses, with a goal to provide the community organization a consulting package covering topics like organizational structure, funding opportunities, community outreach, market research and social media development. You can build on your collaborative problem-solving skills and learn more about the entrepreneurial mindset while fostering relationships between JMU and the greater Harrisonburg community.

This year, the SIF will work with the North East Neighborhood Association.

The six-week fellowship runs from May 17 through June 25, 2021. Students from across all disciplines are encouraged to apply! Fellows will be awarded a $500 stipend and will commit between 10-15 hours a week for the fellowship. Daily reports are expected.


 Summer Venture Accelerator

Earning the Capital

The Summer Venture Accelerator is a six-week program to take established, scalable student ventures to the next level. Launch your business, acquire customers and develop your pitch, all while forming close mentoring relationships with expert entrepreneurs. Through directed programming from COB faculty and staff, trips to Richmond and Washington D.C. and dedicated work days, you’ll be given the tools to reach your entrepreneurial goals.

Students are provided $2000 for seed funding and to cover living expenses. Additional funding can be unlocked when pre-set goals are achieved.

The Accelerator will run June 14-July 30, 2021 

Applications will open Feb. 28, 2021

Interviews for finalists will occur March 8-19, 2021

2021 Cohort will be announced March 22, 2021


Read more about previous startups from the accelerator program:

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