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City of San Diego opens its first business accelerator

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 22:58:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- Some local entrepreneurs are getting help taking their businesses to the next level. The City of San Diego is making good on its commitment to bring business opportunities to under-served communities.

This morning the City of San Diego opened the doors to its new business accelerator. "Connect All @ the Jacobs Center" provides entrepreneurs the tools they need to jump-start their business. Out of 60+ applicants, 13 were chosen for the inaugural cohort.

Rosa Adam, the founder of Shukor Bella, started her natural hair and skin care line, inspired by her Ethiopian culture. But she needed help turning her dream into a reality. "There's so much more than just getting a product and putting it in a package and delivering it," says Adam.

Kelvin Crosby came up with the "Smart Guider" to help the visually impaired, after losing his sight at 19 years old. "The dog is great, the cane is great, but I needed more," says Crosby.

Connect All offers 4,300 square feet of co-working space, expert mentoring, and business management assistance — all free of charge. The program is a $2.5 million investment located in the heart of District 4.

"We have been under-served," says City Council member Monica Montgomery. "If we don't have an economic component, then we don't have real success."

The start-ups are committed to hiring low-to-moderate income San Diego residents.

"It's nice to see that there is a program in place right now that's bringing back more of those mom and pop type of businesses," says Adam. "I do believe that the Connect All program will fix that."

All applicants for the program have to be residents of the City of San Diego and serve businesses within the city limits.

Entrepreneurs can apply at Connect All @ the Jacobs Center.