The University of Tulsa (TU) is thrilled to announce the TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER Fellowship for first-time women founders. In partnership with the Cherokee Nation and empowered by the ayana Foundation, the TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER provides a learning platform for Cherokee women to develop a path to grow their businesses.

AcceleratHER I

Highlights

Launching Fall 2024, the TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER program is an industry-agnostic, 12-week hybrid fellowship program designed to build entrepreneurial leadership competencies while addressing women’s unique challenges in scaling their business concepts, particularly in accessing capital and resources.

  • Duration: 12 weeks / 3 months
  • Format: Hybrid; LIVE Online (Save the Date for the in-person Showcase on 12/14/2024)
  • Timeline: Mid-September – Mid-December 2024
  • Participants: 10
  • Curriculum: Customized, founder-focused, and business-focused
  • Program Director: Lesley Robinson, PhD // Director of Education at ayana Foundation
  • Support: Assigned Accountability Partner + Mentor Matching
  • Networking: Opportunity to meet in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the program launch and concluding Showcase
  • Community: Access to founders, funders, and friends with varied industry backgrounds
  • Cohort: Build a supportive community with fellow women entrepreneurs
AcceleratHER II

Eligibility Criteria

We are excited to welcome dynamic founders into the TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER program, designed to empower and accelerate the growth of venture-scalable businesses. Our selection criteria ensure we support individuals driven by passion and committed to building successful enterprises.

  • Fellow Profile: Verified as a Cherokee Citizen who runs a for-profit U.S.-based women-owned business.
  • Early-Stage Startups: Positioned to scale with a legally established business (LLC, C Corp, or equivalent).
  • Stage: Pre-seed/revenue (less than $500,000 in prior 12 months).
  • Development: Embarking on customer discovery with an established go-to-market strategy.
  • Commitment: Must be committed to the entirety of the program (mid-September – mid-December) and able to dedicate ~5-10 hours/week to actively participate in scheduled programming, including workshops, mentor sessions, and networking events.
  • Engagement: Interested in engaging with The University of Tulsa, Cherokee Nation, and the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Community Building: Interested in helping fellow founders flourish by building community alongside the ayana Foundation.
AcceleratHER III

Benefits

By nurturing a diverse community of talented entrepreneurs who meet these criteria, we can collectively drive meaningful impact and innovation in the entrepreneurial landscape.

  • A non-dilutive $10,000 “seed grant” stipend.
  • Access to working space at The University of Tulsa (for local Fellows)
  • Business coaching is from the ayana Foundation, Cherokee Nation, and TU network, as well as investors, executives, and our extended network of business leaders.
  • Weekly content to help you dive deep into relevant topics during group working sessions and one-on-one meetings.
  • Community with other Cherokee founders.
  • At the end, the AcceleratHER program participants can showcase their products and stories to the community.

The TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER is committed to providing funding and resources to our Fellows. After completing the program, including all requirements, Fellows will have enhanced access to funding and resources, including seed grants, a Showcase prize pool, introductions to mentors and funders, and other resources.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: 7/30/2024

AcceleratHER Application

Applications will be accepted from June 15 to July 30, 2024, and AcceleratHER Fellows will be announced on August 15, 2024.

  • For sections that are not applicable, mark N/A. If relevant, you may disclose the status of any intellectual property (IP) pertinent to your submission. However, DO NOT submit any confidential information in the application process.
AcceleratHER

Commitment

Must be committed to the entirety of the program (mid-September – mid-December) and able to dedicate ~5 hours/week to actively participate in scheduled programming, including workshops, mentor sessions, and networking events.

Selected companies must commit to having at least one founder participate in:

  • A 12-week program that will run in the Fall of 2024
  • Weekly Sessions/Workshops (2-4 hours/week)
  • Office Hours/Mentor Sessions/Networking (1-2 hours/week)
  • Our in-person in-person Showcase on 12/14/2024
    • Travel stipends will be provided.

Overall, time commitment will require about ~4 hours/week. Additional opportunities to engage with thought leaders in the space will be available throughout the Fellowship. As these opportunities present, they’ll be communicated well in advance to selected participants.

AcceleratHER II

Selection Process

Applications will be accepted from June 15 to July 30, 2024, and AcceleratHER Fellows will be announced on August 15, 2024.

  • After the application is closed, a Selection Committee will review all applications.
  • The Selection Committee may hold candidate interviews if necessary.
  • All AcceleratHER Fellows will be notified of the final decision by the end of August.
  • The AcceleratHER Fellowship will run from ~September 15, 2024 – December 15, 2024.
  • Selected AcceleratHER Fellows will be required to attend an in-person, half-day event on December 14, 2024, at which we will Showcase the participating companies to the Tulsa community.

Resolute PR

a bold, purposeful, and local Tulsa women-owned and women-led business, is investing in the TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER Fellowship as a Gold level sponsor through mentorship and in-kind public relations support.

Questions about the TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER?

Email: fellowship@ayana.org. For an overview of the TU Cherokee Women’s AcceleratHER Fellowship, please view our website.