If you believe business can be a force for good, you’re in the right place.
Blue Morning works with a network of experienced executives, industry experts, and impact leaders who are committed to growing mission-driven businesses in Virginia. Our role is to help promising, early-stage ventures identify opportunities for faster growth and secure resources to realize that growth. We do this by delivering content across a three-month timeline that’s relevant to individual needs and goals of each venture.
Having spent significant time observing accelerator programs across the United States, in addition to working with a range of startups in Charlottesville, we’ve identified key areas where we can be most helpful:
- Business model and company development – We collaborate with founders to solidify a scalable business model and analyze the organizational requirements to grow and scale. Additionally, we bring in professionals to assist teams with building a financial model, identifying addressable markets, articulating use of proceeds, or developing a go-to-market strategy.
- Building a team – We work with founders to address gaps in their management team and match them with fractional executive support and/or advisers. For those that don’t require executive support, we can serve as an interim team member to help ventures reach their milestones.
- Investment preparation – We help founders assess different investment structures, create and organize materials that satisfy due diligence needs, and connect with aligned investors and philanthropic funders at an appropriate stage. Often, we see a disconnect between investors and founders, which is why we provide ongoing relationship management to keep communication clear and open.
- Connections and partnerships – We facilitate results-driven introductions to strategic partners, impact investors, and potential customers to help founders build quality, mutually beneficial relationships.
Our goal is to help teams focus on their business and incorporate initiatives that drive growth. We work with ventures on a rolling basis to provide real-time support and we take a 1:1 approach, which means no classrooms or curriculum-heavy programming. Additionally, we collaborate with area startup groups to help founders access opportunities to hear speakers, participate in office hours programming, engage in showcase events, and connect with a wider network of entrepreneurs and professionals across Virginia.
Companies We Seek
After two years of working with startups ranging from small businesses to ventures with high-growth potential, we’ve identified companies that can derive the most value from our network of executives, subject-matter experts, and investors. A fit for us is a company with the following characteristics:
Stage: Ventures should have demonstrated customer traction and initial revenues. We’ll consider pre-money ventures if they are seeking to fill an order. Companies should be growth-oriented either through increasing their sales or planning to raise investment in the next 6 – 12 months. We do not work with teams to help them explore early stage ideas or build a prototype but will happily refer them to organizations that can help.
Team: At least one full-time founder must available and willing to commit a minimum of 10 hours a week to the program. Additionally, we seek teams with founders that have strong domain knowledge.
Industry: Our network comes with a diverse background and we’ve worked across a range of industries, including natural food companies, outdoor retail businesses, and technology startups. We find our niche to be with companies in the food/agriculture industry and startups focusing on climate change solutions. We lean toward working with product companies but it’s not a requirement.
For food/ag ventures, we look for ones that seek to improve our food system through their products or services or by leveraging technology to achieve scale. For startups in the climate and environment space, we look for ventures delivering solutions that promote circular economy marketplaces, natural resources management, waste and recycling management, water recycling and reuse, or technologies that enable rapid transition to renewable energy. This is a short list and we’re open to ideas that drive the adoption of climate-improving practices.
Impact: Ventures must have a business model that integrates with social and/or environmental impact objectives. We do not work with one-for-one models.
Demographics: We’re located in Charlottesville and are open to working with Virginia-based businesses. We have a strong focus on working with diverse teams in all regards (age, gender, ethnicity, background, etc.).
Geography: Teams outside of Charlottesville aren’t required to re-locate to our area, but they must commit to regular meetings and events during the program.
Want to learn more about our program and people? Unsure where to begin? Let’s talk.