Entrepreneurial Center Launches 1st Milestone Makers Class

As a budding entrepreneur, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to invest in your own development while growing a company. How can you become the kind of founder who has the confidence and grit to take risks, innovate, and shape the future of business not only today — but also for years to come?

In the year since its launch, the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco — which supports entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds with free education, resources, and mentorship — has championed the idea of helping entrepreneurs define and achieve success on their own terms for the long-term, beyond the traditional Silicon Valley measures of success.

That’s the inspiration behind their first-of-its-kind Milestone Makers Program, which helps early- to mid-stage entrepreneurs set, hit, and celebrate milestones that drive their businesses forward. Each founder selected for the program gets a personal business coach, 3–4 business mentors, a customized set of classes, and access to state-of-the-art resources — all valued at approximately $250,000 with no cost to the entrepreneurs. In the pay-it-forward spirit of Silicon Valley, graduating entrepreneurs will return to teach future classes of Milestone Makers.

The goals of the 12-week program, which will run quarterly, are to:

  1. Help entrepreneurs define and attain success on their own terms, for the long-term
  2. Support the growth of individuals as lifetime entrepreneurs, rather than the growth of a single business, and
  3. Recognize and amplify the important business milestones that fall outside traditional measures of success.

Entrepreneurs representing a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, industries, company sizes, and stages of funding and development were invited to apply. After a competitive process, the inaugural 2016 class of Milestone Makers includes:

Ty Walrod Bright Funds, Ibrahima Wagne Petel, Ming Zhao AMMO, Justin Oberman Till, La Donna Higgins The Startup Admin, JP Emelie Marcos SignifAI, Umesh Tibrewal BuzzBoard, Lucian Tarnowski BraveNew, Trevor Cobb Bramble Outdoor, Mariana Frese Hellotracks, Matthew Lock, Raddish

“During the past year, the Center has supported more than 3,000 entrepreneurs in 200 programs, and we’ve learned that in order for entrepreneurs to succeed they need a personalized learning path and network of support to overcome challenges and achieve their business goals”, said Nicola Corzine, Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.

“We can’t wait to see what these entrepreneurs achieve over the next 12 weeks and beyond.”

After completing their milestones, the inaugural class will take the Nasdaq stage in San Francisco to ring the Closing Bell on Wednesday, January 11th.

Are you an entrepreneur who’s eager to expand your founder’s toolkit and help your business hit key milestones that seem just out of reach? Interested in applying to the Milestone Makers Program next quarter? Applications and nominations for the second cohort will be available November 1. For more information, please visit

Each week, MarketInsite will feature one of the Milestone Maker class members so our readers can learn more about them and their business dreams.

Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Cente is a San Francisco-based non-profit that educates, innovates, and connects current and aspiring entrepreneurs. We provide access to quality resources, including mentors, training, and networking.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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