This article first appeared on BostInno.
For anyone looking to break into the startup scene, enrolling in the Startup Institute could mean fast-tracking a dream to reality. The full-time eight-week program not only helps participants to develop the skills and mindset they need for success in the startup world, but also gives them a chance to grow their network. The only problem? Tuition—which costs $5,250—isn’t affordable for everyone.
Now, though, the accelerator is partnering with Yelp Boston for partial need-based scholarships. In doing so, the Startup Institute hopes to enable applicants who are strapped for funds to take advantage of the program’s benefits, and moreover, to close the talent gap and fuel innovation in the community at large.
STARTUP INSTITUTE HOPES TO ENABLE ENTREPRENEURS THAT ARE STRAPPED FOR FUNDS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE PROGRAM’S BENEFITS, AND MOREOVER, TO CLOSE THE TALENT GAP AND FUEL INNOVATION IN THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.
While the two brands may seem to be an odd pairing, they actually serve a similar purpose: growing and empowering local businesses. Not to mention, Yelp is typically the go-to source for people on the startup scene searching for a new place to connect over coffee or a cocktail.
And since startups can learn a lot from the popular crowdsourced review site, the Startup Institute is bringing on Yelp Boston marketing director Damien Smith. Smith will work closely with curriculum developers to “deliver an intensive component for the career accelerator’s technical marketing track on best practices for building community in the post-digital age.”
“With an active, vibrant community in place for ten years, Boston was very much an instrumental part of Yelp’s infancy,” Smith stated in a press release. “To work with Startup Institute in helping to shape tomorrow’s disruptors and visionaries is an excellent opportunity to help fuel the local entrepreneurial scene.”
This isn’t the first Startup Institute’s first effort to make its program more financially feasible. Back in September, following a $3 million Series A investment from the holding company of Silicon Valley Bank, the accelerator announced it was founding a scholarship program specifically for women, minorities and military veterans. Additionally, MassChallenge extended five scholarships to Startup Institute student-referrals from their own community last fall.
The next class of Startup Institute’s immersive program kicks off February 23d. Allan Telio, vice president and director of the Boston Startup Institute, revealed that the exact level of the scholarships will be determined on a case by case basis.
“We want to make this program accessible to as many people as possible, and Yelp is ensuring everyone can benefit,” he told BostInno.