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The Venture Creation Accelerator (VCA) is the Center for Entrepreneurship’s summer launch pad for student start-ups at James Madison University. The VCA develops businesses at all stages, from newly-discovered dreams to money-making productions. The student fellows receive funding, work space, mentorship, business classes, learning experiences, and a final pitch opportunity.



Accepted teams receive a stipend to allow the students and recent graduates to remain at JMU for the 8-week VCA and work exclusively on their ventures.

Work Space

Teams received collaborative work space in the Ice House in downtown Harrisonburg. This location situated the teams in the heart of the Center for Small Business Development downtown, giving them key access to local resources. The space gives students the office space they need to make productive progress on their businesses and collaborate with other entrepreneurs to maximize innovative success.


The VCA provides mentors with relevant field experiences to each of the student ventures. Mentors will partner with students to assist in the development and growth of their businesses.


Business Classes

This program provides a tailored entrepreneurship curriculum to give entrepreneurs a distinct business advantage. Students learned about equity, cash flow, and other important concepts necessary to develop their businesses.

Learning Experiences

Students take field trips to practice pitching their ventures alongside student ventures from prestigious universities such as Georgetown and Princeton. Students used these opportunities to prepare and receive feedback on their business model, plans, and pitch presentation.


Final Pitch

At the culmination of the summer program, participants pitch their businesses to investors, experts, Advisory Board members, parents, fellow students and members of the Harrisonburg community to receive feedback and potential additional funding.

The VCA’s blend of collaboration, student growth, and unique opportunities prepares student fellows to emerge as knowledgeable and experienced businesspeople. To learn more about the program or to apply for next summer, contact!

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