2020 Stella Labs Launch & Scale Intensive Cohort
As we cross over the new year and look towards the future of 2021, we would like to take a moment to show our appreciation for the resilience and tenacity of the 2020 Stella Labs Launch & Scale Intensive Cohort Participants. These incredible 13 female founders had the odds against them, dealing with the inherent struggles of those early startup stages, along with the added stressor of a global pandemic on their shoulders. However, this did not slow them down. The drive and dedication of each and every one of these women was undeniable, and we cannot express enough how proud we are to have been there during their journeys.
- Carolyn Gartrell – Game Day Ladies (Media company)
- Anna Surde Thomas – Surde International (Document collection legal services)
- Michelle Repetto – Just Spanish (Translating, interpreting, and teaching business)
- Eleticia Owens – Blu Life Wellness Studio, LLC (Boutique wellness center)
- LaQueta R. Hatton – aRise to Greatness, LLC (Leadership development and training)
- Jennifer Piper Scott – Slow Fashion Diary (Member based clothing rental platform)
- Julie Anne Freeman – Mindful Wellness (Integrative nutrition, mind-body counseling)
- Carmen Proctor – Teen SMART Goals (Mobile app for teen success)
- Stephanie Kessl – Best Vibes Family Tribes (Cooperative work and play space for busy families)
- Olga Wharton Newman – PetSitConnect.com, LLC (Pet sitting service/software)
- Gwen Beren – Illuminous Marketing, Inc (Content Marketing/SEO Social Media Management)
- Octavia Lightner – Rhema Life Center (Non-Profit for homelessness)
- Sharry Zubrod – Sparkle Farms (Girls’ Apparel)
With the rapid nature of COVID, we went from our in-person program to all virtual overnight in the 6th week of the intensive, right at the halfway point. The first batch of modules that were in-person were:
- Week 0 – Vision Board
- Week 1 – Visual Business Plan
- Week 2 – Action Planning + Customer Validation
- Week 3 – Mentor Session & Debrief
- Week 4 – Customer Validation (wrap up from surveys) + Journey Mapping
- Week 5 – Sprint Session
- Week 6 – Marketing Strategy
At this point during Week 6 is when COVID hit hard, pushing our intensive online with the following modules:
- Week 7 – Digital Marketing & Advertising
- Week 8 – Public Relations & Media
- Week 9 – Systems & Operations
- Week 10 – Business Development & Sales Funnels
- Week 11 – Financials
- Week 12 – Culture | Revisit Visual Business Plans, Course Wrap-Up
Typically, our cohorts participate in a demo night at the end of the intensive, an evening for our graduates with business showcases, investor pitches, networking, and more to celebrate the completion of the intensives. Though this was not in the cards for our 2020 Cohort in the same way as our in-person cohorts, we look forward to showing our gratitude for these female founders with a demo night in the near future, whether that be in person or virtually. There is so much to celebrate in 2021, including the amazing work of very single one of these female founders.
We were also excited to pivot from a cohort-based model to a free advising model to meet demand for COVID assistance for female entrepreneurs. Since April 2020, we have met with 226 entrepreneurs and conducted over 500 FREE advising hours, with a total of $24M+ raised in 2020 by all of our women startups we impact.
About Stella Labs: Formerly Hera Labs, the female-focused business accelerator equips entrepreneurs through intensive workshops to launch, grow and sustain profitable businesses. Interactive labs, strategy sessions, female-founder intensives and accountability groups offer sustained support that allows women-led businesses to flourish. For more information, please visit stellalabs.org.