M&T Bank, NextCorps Launch Scholarship Initiative for Entrepreneurs

M&T Grant Funding to Provide 15 to 20 Local Entrepreneurs with Free Business Mentoring, Education, and Resources to Launch Tech-Oriented Companies

ROCHESTER, NY, March 5, 2024 — M&T Bank and NextCorps, a non-profit that helps innovative technology companies launch and grow, have announced an M&T-funded scholarship to foster entrepreneurship across Monroe County. The scholarship will allow 15 to 20 individuals to receive one year of startup incubation services at NextCorps.

“We understand the challenges founders face in the early stages of starting their businesses,” said Matt Foley, Director of Startup Incubation at NextCorps. “Being part of an incubator, having access to resources, and working within a community of other entrepreneurs can greatly improve success rates — but it’s not always accessible. Our goal in teaming up with M&T Bank on this scholarship program is to help more individuals advance from having an idea to launching an early-stage company, particularly those who may not otherwise have the means to take the leap and pursue their dreams.”

During the 12 months of incubation services, NextCorps startup scholarship recipients will receive structured coaching from an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) who will advise on market analysis, prototype development, capitalization strategy, and business plan development. They’ll have access to NextCorps’ facilities, including its prototyping lab, digital media studio, and meeting and work spaces, as well as opportunities to network and learn from a community of 70+ startups in the incubator. At the end of the scholarship, recipients will have completed a Lean Canvas (a single-page business model) in collaboration with mentors and EIRs.

“M&T Bank is committed to supporting emerging entrepreneurs on their journey to developing successful businesses. By collaborating with NextCorps, we hope to empower local founders to transform big ideas into new startups that deliver meaningful impacts for communities in the Rochester region and far beyond,” said M&T Bank Regional President Dan Burns. “With its focus on expanding access to critical resources, this new scholarship initiative will help further strengthen our local economy and foster more inclusive growth.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, individuals must be located in the nine-county Rochester region and not have participated previously in NextCorps’ incubation services. M&T and NextCorps are looking for coachable individuals with an idea for a scalable, tech-enabled product or service. Preference will be given to applicants in or serving an under-represented community, including founders who are women, minorities, veterans, those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with financial need.

Scholarship applications are being accepted now through April 5, 2024. Apply here.

The scholarship will be awarded to a maximum of 20 people in two phases, with the first beginning in May 2024. NextCorps will be holding a virtual informational session on Wednesday, March 27 from 12:00-1:00 PM to help people assess if they would be eligible for the scholarship. Register here.

For more information about NextCorps, visit nextcorps.org.

M&T Bank’s dedicated team of business bankers and commercial bankers work with small businesses and middle-market enterprises across industries to provide customized solutions tailored to their unique needs. M&T has also launched and expanded several programs designed to empower business owners, such as its M&T Spotlight Shop and Multicultural Banking Initiative. For more information about M&T, visit mtb.com.

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