Uptima is a member-owned business accelerator dedicated to providing diverse entrepreneurs with greater access to hands-on education, resources, and community to create thriving businesses. Uptima offers rigorous and culturally relevant courses and classes, business advising services, and custom programs to give busy entrepreneurs the tools and support to build financial sustainability and personal success, while creating positive social, environmental, and economic impact.
The member-ownership model makes Uptima very different from other entrepreneurship programs. As a cooperative, entrepreneurs, workers, and investors in Uptima have the opportunity to become owners of the accelerator. This means that participating entrepreneurs are part of a community that invests in each other, shares in the accelerator’s profits, and has a say in how the accelerator is run.
Uptima’s programs support freelancers, small business owners, and startup founders to start, plan, grow, fund, and keep their businesses in their communities.
Be Your Own Boss is a 4-week online class that supports participants in taking a deeper look at their personal goals and whether starting a business could help achieve them. Participants will also look at what they need to have in place to make a sustainable transition to business ownership.
Freelancer Accelerator is a 6-week course that supports participants in defining their service offering, developing client relationships, and establishing the foundation to thrive as a self-employed person in a personal or professional services industry, or as an independent artist, musician, or writer.
Business Planning is our 12-week Creating a Business Roadmap course. We work with business owners who have a working prototype or product / service currently being sold in the market to identify the resources needed to grow the business, develop a business plan, and create a financial forecast.
Basic Entrepreneurship Program is our 12-week Launching a Business course. We use design thinking and lean startup methodologies to guide participants in clarifying their business idea and its market, testing the solution, designing the business model, and laying the foundation for the business to thrive.
Advanced Entrepreneurship Program is our 12-week Building Operational Capacity course. We support business owners in turning their business plans into action by building the internal capacities to execute on their operational plans, monitor business performance and impact, and make informed decisions about the business’ direction.
Financing Resources is the focus of our 12-week Funding a Business course. We help business owners in assessing their readiness for funding, evaluating funding alternatives, crafting a funding pitch, and understanding how to communicate and negotiate with potential funders.
Business Advising Services match entrepreneurs with our mentors who provide tailored, hands-on assistance with their business needs. In addition, we provide entrepreneurs with access to relevant content and activities from our programs to guide them through business processes that fit their needs.
Business Workshops are offered monthly and at a low cost to help participants with the technical and emotional aspects of starting and growing a business.
Custom Programs for government agencies, schools, community organizations, capital providers, and other accelerators and incubators are available to support their community members in building wealth through entrepreneurship. Custom programs draw from the curriculum and methodologies used in our courses and business advising services.