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Silicon Valley's Most Egalitarian Startup Accelerator Accepting Applications
[March 13, 2014]

Silicon Valley's Most Egalitarian Startup Accelerator Accepting Applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--

On the cusp of its fifth year of operation, Santa Clara University's California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE) has differentiated itself as Silicon Valley's most egalitarian startup accelerator. And a quite successful one at that.

Applications are being accepted now for the fifth session of CAPE--which is part startup accelerator, part entrepreneur incubator, and part mini-MBA bootcamp.

There are no restrictions on what kind of businesses will be considered - although they must be based in California, must be deemed by evaluators to be realistic and viable, and have the potential to make a positive impact on the community. Unlike most entrepreneurship programs, CAPE is free, and the program takes no equity interest in the businesses it helps to launch.

"Our goal is to help launch businesses that will employ people and contribute to the growth of the California economy," said Leavey School of Business Dean S. Andrew Starbird. "We want to be the rising tide that raises all the boats."

In its first four years, 95 entrepreneurs have graduated from CAPE, representing 83 ventures. Of those, more than 85 percent are still active and growing or have been sold. CAPE alumni have successfully launchd businesses ranging from gourmet hot dogs to elder care as well as more technology-driven enterprises like engineering consulting firms, mobile apps for retailers and online gaming.

"The CAPE program goes far beyond classroom teaching," says Matt Lehr, who brought his business idea, iCoupon, to CAPE in 2010, and launched the company shortly thereafter. "It provides the real world skills entrepreneurs need to make their start-ups a success." Lehr sold iCoupon and is now working on his second venture, On Point Production.

More than 150 volunteer mentors, judges, guest speakers and panelists support the CAPE program, representing finance, marketing, legal, technology, consumer goods, food service and more.

Candidates must apply for the program by May 31, and provide an overview of their business idea and the market opportunity. Approximately 40 aspiring entrepreneurs will be selected for the 2014 program, held mostly on weekends over six months from June through November.

Applications are available online at

About Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business

The Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University began in 1923, and was one of the first business schools in the country to receive national accreditation. Its undergraduate business, MBA, and Executive MBA programs are consistently ranked among the top in the nation by BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Princeton Review, and others. The curriculum at all levels emphasizes the leadership role of business in creating prosperity within an ethical framework, as well as business responsibilities for social justice and sustainability in the global marketplace. The School's $49 million building for undergraduate, graduate, and professional business education opened in Fall 2008. For more information, see

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