2021 PGCC Startup Cup


2021 PGCC Startup Cup Story & FAQs

Through the PGCC StartUP Cup, the INNOHUB@PGCC wants to tap into local entrepreneurial talent in order to provide them the resources to create and scale their ventures here in Prince George’s County.  We have created a movement to cultivate the next generation of New Majority entrepreneurs and creators in order to celebrate and amplify the incredible ingenuity of the people of Prince George’s County and the surrounding region. 

The INNOHUB@PGCC, along with strategic partners Inncuvate, and Startup Maryland have made a three-year commitment as the County looks to economic recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic to nurture the local startup community. The purpose of the program is to identify and connect entrepreneurs with the resources to transform these revolutionary ideas into great companies while preparing them to be influential founders. We also want to unify and amplify the impact of peer entrepreneur support organizations focused on the County.  

Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has many individuals, institutions and systems pulling in different directions to adapt and we need our entrepreneurs now more than ever to create solutions to problems. The PGCC StartUP Cup is meant for the following: 

  • Those of you that are advancing your education, preparing for what's next and deciding whether to fully launch yourself into an entrepreneurial journey. 
  • Those of you that have been working on business ideas casually while busy at a 9 to 5 
  • Those of you that have dusted off your passion project business plan because the pandemic has forced you to re-evaluate your options. 
  • Those of you that are all in on your idea, have a couple of target customers, and are ready to scale to build a great company.

our Approach

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if the PGCC StartUP Cup is for me?

The PGCC StartUP Cup is for entrepreneurs no matter what phase they are in with their business. We group the phases as follows: 

  • Ideate - You have an idea and you want to see if there is a market or customer
  • Startup - Your idea is defined but now you want to develop a business model and start a business
  • Accelerate - You have a business but you want to refine your business model and scale. 

There is specific programming for you no matter what phase and you will be grouped with peers that are in the same phase. 

In what ways are entrepreneurs and or existing business owners supported in this program? 

PGCC StartUP Cup participants will be given education, resources and mentorship to take their idea and or business to the next level. Education and mentorship will be provided by the INNOHUB@PGCC’s team of entrepreneurs-in-residence. Support will be provided by phase of business.

Entrepreneurs that are in the Ideate phase will be given access to curriculum and mentorship to help frame their idea into a business. These participants will have 6-month access to INNOHUB@PGCC resources and tools to develop their concept. 

Entrepreneurs that are in the Startup phase will be guided through an 8-week course to help them validate their business model, complete a business model canvas, an elevator pitch, and a three-year financial forecast. They will leave with a concrete plan for business formation and Startup. 

Entrepreneurs that are in the Accelerate phase will have their business assessed by entrepreneurs and potential investors. They will go through an 8-week exercise that will give them the opportunity to validate their business model canvas, pitch, and financials. They will also clearly understand the ideal market for their business by performing structured customer discovery to identify additional customers. They will leave with an enhanced business model, brand, and marketing plan that speaks directly to their target customers. 

Entrepreneurs that complete the Ideate phase are eligible to receive additional INNOHUB@PGCC advisory services.

Entrepreneurs that successfully complete the Startup phase are eligible to continue to the Accelerate phase and participate in a pitch to investors.    

Does this program provide financial support?

The PGCC StartUP Cup program is covered by sponsors and is free for all participants that meet the criteria. There are several opportunities for additional financial support. 

Select companies that complete the Startup phase will receive financial support to cover any legal and filing expenses to get their businesses formed and registered in the State of Maryland. 

Companies that complete the Accelerate phase will be entered into the Startup Maryland STRT1UP Road Show Pitch Event and will be exposed to investors across the State. In addition, companies will be guided to other debt and equity funding resources in the County and State depending on the type of business and amount of capital needed.  The INNOHUB@PGCC will support and help navigate funding and investment activity.  

What are the expectations/requirements once accepted? 

This year's program kicks off on June 14, 2021. The Ideate phase is self-paced and participants selected for this phase must complete all assignments and exercises before meeting with mentors. The Startup phase participants will be expected to attend virtual sessions one day a week (in the evenings) and complete all activities and assignments before each session and meeting with mentors.

The Accelerate phase starts on September 13, 2021 and participants will be expected to attend virtual and 1-2 in person sessions one day a week (in the evenings) and complete all activities and assignments before each session and meeting with mentors.

All participants selected will be expected to attend and or participate in the Startup Maryland STRT1UP Road Show event on November 18, 2021

We are blazing a bright trail to cultivate the next generation of innovative New Majority entrepreneurs and creators. We Build Different.

The INNOHUB@PGCC believes we must equip people to participate in the innovation economy, either as entrepreneurs or as entrepreneurial employees. We believe that with a good idea and a lot of grit, anyone can become an entrepreneur. 

Coming out of the COVID19 pandemic we need more entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need support.


our Results