Image of a window space and chairs at the naples accelerator


A program built around helping your business succeed

Vetting Process

Applicants to the FGCU Naples Accelerator Program will be vetted according to the following criteria.

RevenueDoes the company have established revenue?

Product -  Does the company have a minimum viable product? and Has the company demonstrated their product sells?

Growth - Does the company have growth potential?

Funding - Does the company have established funding in order to begin growing the company or potential to raise funding?

FGCU Naples Accelerator Program Overview

The FGCU Naples Accelerator Program is a new, comprehensive program for early and growth-stage companies. In addition to expert coaching and support, Florida Gulf Coast University's Entrepreneurship Faculty will train entrepreneurs on the tools to make your business grow. Our comprehensive 6-month program is flexible to your schedule.

The program consists of a six-month program over a year. For members who wish to reapply to further their growth, we will try to be accommodating.

At acceptance, each member is given one assigned mentor. This mentor will oversee and guide them through their program. Each member also has a group of contacts to refer to for specific needs. The following FGCU faculty and staff include:

Dr. Sandra Kauanui, Director

Dr. Eric Arseneau, Assistant Director

Amy Andrews, Assistant Director

Erica Swafford, Coordinator

Kelly Werder, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Mark Bole, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Paul Evans, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Sasha Minsky, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Shontra Powell, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


The program offers bi-weekly training workshops. These adaptable workshops are specific to the needs of the majority of the entrepreneurs in the program. The programs are also offered in-person and virtually.

The program also offers 25+ hours of pre-recorded training videos/content that can be viewed on-demand to support members as needed.

Demo day is an opportunity for members to showcase and pitch their companies to potential angel investors and venture capital groups. This will take place twice a year at the end of each six-month program.  

Overall, a minimum of 80 hours a week will be spent by FGCU’s faculty on the Naples Accelerator Program with 70 percent of the time (56 hours) being at the Naples Accelerator.

The Program Coordinator’s role is to assure that FGCU Faculty are meeting with the Naples Accelerator members as well as coordinating the training sessions, mentor meetings, program reports, and data analytics used for measuring the members’ success in the program. In order to be properly facilitating the coordination between faculty and members, the coordinator is responsible to spend 28 hours (70 percent) at the Naples Accelerator and 12 hours (30 percent) at FGCU.

Student interns will be offered to assist program members with building social media, integrating QuickBooks, building websites, online advertising, and more. The interns will be matched to participants based on need and capability. The program coordinator will also assure the interns are adding value to the members.