BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Economic Development Corp. has opened applications for the next B-Start program. The five-month startup pre-accelerator program aims to launch "innovation-driven enterprises" and create jobs in the Bloomington community and this year, has been expanded to include all Bloomington residents in addition to students.

Throughout the five month process, B-Start provides mentorship, consultation with local experts and business development workshops for startups. It concludes with a pitch competition and the BEDC says this year's program will have a "renewed focus on customer building and lean business models." 

"B-Start gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage with the local business community and learn first-hand about how to build the foundation for a successful business in Bloomington," said Dana Palazzo, vice president of the BEDC. "We have great momentum in our community, especially with local startup Cheddar’s recent venture funding announcement. It’s an exciting time to be a startup in Bloomington."

This year's B-Start will also add a summer program for the highest-performing startup to help offset costs and encourage continued development of the startup after the program ends. You can learn more about B-Start and how to apply by clicking here.

Earlier this year, Palazzo appeared on Inside INdiana Business Television with last year's B-Start winner, Zachary Burr, who created Tydee, an on-demand laundry service.