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The ICELab Business Accelerator is a joint program for Delta and Gunnison counties funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant by request of Western State Colorado University. The entire effort is driven in response to the idling of the Elk Creek mine in Somerset and the need for sustainable, economic development.

Business accelerators are popping up all over the globe. The concept was born out of Techstars in Boulder and has now expanded into the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) that serves 77 countries in becoming Startup Communities. As a member of GAN the ICELab Business Accelerator has access to industry experts of all walks, curriculum guidelines and global accelerator support.

"The accelerator movement has changed how companies get created. It is part of the fabric that ties entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors together in a startup community. It has inspired entrepreneurship all over the world, and reinforces the idea that entrepreneurship is vibrant in many different cities and industries," Brad Feld, founder, Techstars.

The ICELab Business Accelerator is a 12-week mentor driven program that pairs high-growth startups with world-class mentors, advisors and investors. Selected businesses will undergo intensive mentorship and training, culminating in a pitch day to investors from across Colorado and beyond.

The first round of business acceleration launches in Delta County this week with two informational sessions in Delta County. Applications are open for the 2017 ICELab Business Accelerator at ICELab.co.

Learn more about the ICELab Business Accelerator on Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m. at CB's Tavern in Delta or in Paonia on Friday, May 12, at 6 p.m. at The Hive.

The ICELab Business Accelerator is being built in Delta County with partnership and support from Delta County Economic Development, the North Fork Creative District and the Colorado Small Business Development Center.

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